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  1. Default Best route to take week of 11/26 driving from Richmond VA to Seattle WA

    Hello Everyone,

    Recently I received a promotion on my job which was exciting; however, it requires for me to relocate from Richmond, VA to Seattle, WA. I would like to start the road trip on 11/24 or 11/25 at the latest and hope to make it to Seattle, WA by 12/1 or 12/2. It has been over 10 years since my last road trip (i.e. Richmond VA to New Mexico) in which I had a partner to share the driving. However, this by far will be the greatest distance I've travelled solo. Below are the steps I've taken thus far to prepare for the trip but my gut is telling me there is way more to be done.

    Please share any tips or suggestions of other things that I need to do to prepare, suggestions on how to find affordable and safe lodging (i.e. hostels, couchsurfing??, etc.), a few cool stops I can make along the way this time of year to make the trip memorable as well as which highways/routes are best to take and which to avoid this time of year. I will be driving my 2015 Nissan Altima 3.5 SL and from what I gathered there are places that require chains on tires this time of year, and if possible I would like to avoid those.

    1.) I'm getting the car serviced on 11/17 (oil change, 27 point inspection, fluids topped, etc.)
    2.) I'm getting new tires (all season) installed on 11/21 as well as an alignment.
    3.) Buying a road atlas, compass, car emergency kit and a First Aid kit tomorrow 11/17.
    4.) Will pack a blanket, cooler with water and juices as well as some healthy portion size snacks.
    5.) Will read up on the car's handsfree functionality as it is new to me.
    6.) Notify bank and credit card companies of the road trip to avoid them blocking my card.
    7.) Already confirmed that I have roadside assistance.
    8.) Looking into using weather channel trip planner,,, and apps such as Roadtrippers & On the way.
    9.) Purchasing a taser for protection on 11/21.

    I am open to any tips, suggestions, modifications or feedback that you would like to share. I would love to eat at really cool places, stop to see some monuments or awesome scenery and to stay at a couple of cool locations. Trying to stay on a budget of $1000-$1500 for the road trip.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    Please note that this is a 5 day drive with no sightseeing. You are allowing 7 to 9 days, so you can make some diversions. Affordable and safe lodgings are motels/hotels at Interstate exits, but not inside larger cities. This time of year, you should have no problem finding them without reservations, even the smaller towns along the Interstates have them.

    This is the general route I would recommend - I-64 to St. Louis, I-70 to Kansas City, I-29 to Sioux Falls, I-90 to Seattle. This is just under 3000 miles. This keeps you away from most of the toll roads and the larger cities that have major traffic issues.

    Take the I-265 north bypass around Louisville, take I-64 straight through St. Louis, and the I-435 northeast bypass around Kansas City. The only tolls will be I-64 between Beckley and Charleston WV, if you have an EZ-Pass it will work there.

    The only place where you MIGHT need chains is the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass in Washington. You can either get a set of cable chains, or find a hotel and wait it out. Another option - if Snoqualmie has a chain restriction and Stevens Pass on US-2 does not, get off I-90 at George, take WA-281 to WA-28 to Wenatchee, pick up US-2 to Monroe, then WA-522 to I-405 into the Seattle area.

    Washington State real-time pass conditions and restrictions:

    "Traction Tires" definition (they are usually but not always accepted instead of chains, and are frequently "advised"):

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