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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Compact

    Your two proposed routes, combined, would (in general) make a great loop RoadTrip out of New York. However, Your starting point makes no sense - it's not JFK or any airport! And it's way too far from any airport to represent just getting to an off-airport site to rent the car. I will also offer two minor tweaks. If you fly into JFK airport, you can save yourself the first harrowing drive through New York City by starting out going east on Long Island to Orient Point and taking the ferry across Long Island Sound to New London CT. The second tweak would be to include Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor ME. That's a little farther "down east" (up the coast) from Portsmouth NH but well worth the extra miles. Even with those additional miles, you'd be looking at fewer than 1300 miles total (plus side trips), eminently doable in ten, or even eight, days.


  2. Default

    Hi AZBuck,

    Thank you for the feedback! Appreciate it. I didn't realise you can go down Long Island and avoid all the traffic, which is why I was so hesitant on going to JFK and rather wanted to go to EWR and take the long way around to Suffern as it seemed like a quiet place for a start point.

    What would you suggest on the way back then? If I'm driving from Ithaca, should I go straight to JFK?

    Would you think I would be better off booking hotel/motels before I go, or whilst on the trip, any ideas on locations?

    I know need to gather what is reasonable places to stop for the night, which I think is my next biggest problem!

    Here is the updated maps: Map 1:
    Map 2:
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 02-15-2019 at 02:06 AM. Reason: In line response so removed quote tags for easier reading

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I'd recommend you take US-1 from Brunswick to Ellsworth. That section of the coast is very scenic. Go ahead and take the Interstate on the return trip as you have plotted out.

    I will say that if you stay in places like the Crowne Plaza, your accommodation budget will be drained rather quickly. That's a high end hotel.

    The first half of June is before the usual summer rush, so reservations may not be essential. Where possible, I recommend you "wing it" so you aren't tied down to having to go a specific distance every day.

    I don't see why a 2012 model car wouldn't be reliable. I road trip in a 2003! However, it looks like Indigo works with major rental chains, so their cars should be no more than a couple years old.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Least Objectionable

    There's really no 'good' way to get to JFK from west of New York City, but here's how I'd do it to avoid as much traffic as possible, and particularly Manhattan. From Ithaca, take NY-79 east to Whitney Point and get on I-81 south to Scranton PA where you'd take I-84 (east) a couple of miles to I-380 which eventually joins up with I-80 east towards New York City. The 'trick' now is to get to the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge as simply as possible. There are a few ways to accomplish this, but the way I'd go is stay on I-80 to Parsippany NJ and get on I-287 south for just a couple of miles to NJ-24 east. Now NJ-24 is not an Interstate Highway, but it is a four-lane, divided, controlled access (Interstate quality) road. Take that to I-78 (yes, it was a typo) east to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike, toll) south to I-278 east. (Note that you will be using two similarly numbered highways, I-287 and I-278.) As you reach the Long Island end of the bridge, watch for and follow the signs for the Belt Parkway and JFK Airport. Map that out, and it should make more sense than just reading it.

    I tend to book my lodgings before I set out on any RoadTrip where I'm going to be on a schedule. First and foremost this is because I can spend as long as I want shopping for the best deal from the comfort of my home office rather than trying to find something, anything, at the last minute in the dark. Having known stopping points each evening also keeps me from trying to push on "just a few miles more" and ending up too tired to enjoy the next day.

    Once the logistics are set (plane/car/lodgings) there's not much left to do but to decide what you want to see and enjoy!

    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-15-2019 at 01:21 PM. Reason: Corrected route numberfor the record

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Take that to I-76 east to I-95
    I believe that's a typo - it's I-78, not I-76.

    Discuss the toll payment plans with the rental agency. Compare the use of their EZ-Pass transponder to paying cash. Using a transponder is a lot more convenient, but there may be hefty service charges.

  6. Default

    Hi All,

    Thank you all so much for the suggestions and help for this.

    As discussed I've now plotted where I THINK would be good to stop over each place.
    If you can cast your eye over this and as always let me know if I've done anything wrong/anything needs adjusting!

    Once I know stop over areas it will give me a "Goal" each day of driving time. If I'm doing a 5 hour drive I'll probably do 2.5 hrs driving and stop somewhere for an hour or so for rest which is why I label them as "Days".


    Day 1
    Drive 1, total time: 3 Hrs 35 Minutes
    Land at JFK and drive to Orient Point Ferry location, take Ferry across to New London.

    Drive 2, total time: 2 Hrs 39 Minutes
    From New London, Grab some lunch and drive to Portsmouth.

    Hotel/Motel at Portsmouth for the night.

    Day 2
    Drive, total time: 3 Hours 40 Minutes
    Drive from Portsmouth in the morning to Acadia National park.
    Stay at Acadia/Near by for the night.

    Day 3
    Drive, total time: N/A
    Leave Acadia National Park midday and drive to Bar Harbour.
    Spend day in Bar Harbour and stay the night in Motel/Hotel.

    Day 4
    Drive 1, total time 4 Hours 40 Minutes
    Drive from Bar Harbour to Mt Washington and Franconia Notch, Stay somewhere near Franconia Notch for the night

    Day 5
    Drive, total time: 4 Hours 18 Minutes
    Drive from Franconia Notch/near by to Lake Placid, stopping at Trapp Family Lodge for lunch/break and the night at/near Lake Placid

    Day 6
    Drive, total time: 4 Hours 4 Minutes
    Drive from Lake Placid to Skaneateles, stopping over in Syracuse for a break/lunch/explore.
    Staying night at Skaneateles/near by

    Day 7 & 8
    Drive, total time: 2 Hours 15 Minutes
    Drive from Skaneateles to Buffalo/Niagra Falls. Possibly Park car on Buffalo side(?) and walk over to Canadian side for the better view(Will need to make sure I have the right documentation with me etc(Is it worth staying on the Canadian side for the 2 days here?, and I suppose this will be one of the most expensive accomodation nights)

    Day 9
    Drive, total time: 3 Hours 23 Minutes
    Driving from Buffalo to National Soaring Museum and then Taughannock Falls State Park. Staying the night at Taughannock Falls State Park

    Day 10
    Drive, total time: 4 hours 19 Minutes
    Drive from Taughannock Falls State Park to JFK/Drop car off. I am planning on booking a return flight out of JFK hopefully for the evening after 9PM so this gives me time to also stop off for lunch somewhere on the way down.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Back Up - Now!

    I'm sorry, but your plan starts out bad and will put you behind the curve for the rest of your trip. Look carefully and objectively at Day 1. You plan to wake up; get organized; drive two hours (at least) to Heathrow; spend a couple of hours (again, at least) getting checked-in, through security and boarded; fly eight-and-a-half hours to JFK; deplane and collect your luggage; pick up your car hire; drive (on the 'wrong' side of the road) two-and-a-half hours to Orient Point; wait for the ferry and then take another hour-and-a-half to cross over to New London; and finally drive another two-and-a-half hours to Portsmouth. Rounding those times a bit and allowing for inevitable delays and hiccups, you're planning on going for 21 hours straight! That is simply not going to happen. Period. Full Stop.

    As you plan you need to keep two things in mind. the first is human physiology. We have evolved to work best on eight hours of sleep a night, and to be awake for only 16 hours a day. Yes, you can force yourself to stay up a bit longer, but your senses, reaction times, and mental acuity all start to suffer severely after about 12-15 hours. You are putting yourself, and more importantly countless others, at risk by trying to push a two-ton vehicle down the road at highway speed in such a sleep-deprived state.

    Secondly, and you will see this repeated often in these forums, the drive times that you're getting from mapping software are a total joke with almost no basis in reality. Google Maps and other such software simply take the number of miles driven and divide that by the speed limit to get their estimates. They make no allowance for traffic, stop signs or lights, food stops, bathroom breaks, anything. Plan for every drive segment to take 25% or more longer than your computer program is telling you. Failure to do so could cost you dearly, especially on your final day where being late for your flight back to England (and JFK is notoriously slow to get through) could result in forfeiting your already purchased ticket and having to buy another, full cost, one-way ticket home - the next day - thus missing work.

    As I warned you in one of my first responses to you, this area is one "that you might be able to ten days, but it would be a bit rushed. Skipping a few and spending more time in those areas that really appeal to you would make this an eminently enjoyable trip." Since then, you've made the trip longer rather than shorter. It's time to go back over your plans and please take some stuff stuff out.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-15-2019 at 10:09 PM.

  8. Default

    Thank you for the feedback.
    Sorry I've not replied as of yet. Just finding it very difficult to plan this trip.
    If I cut down the places I DONT really want to see then I'm left with over 3 days leftover that I have no plans for.

    I'm considering possibly cutting it all out and just making a trip from NYC > Niagra as that seems a lot more simpler - but I think I'll go away and take some time to think about it.

    I don't buy tickets till the end of the month so I've got a week or so to think exactly what I wantr to do.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-17-2019 at 09:17 AM. Reason: quote of entire previous post removed

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default How the 25% rule actually works

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    ...Google Maps and other such software simply take the number of miles driven and divide that by the speed limit to get their estimates. They make no allowance for traffic, stop signs or lights, food stops, bathroom breaks, anything. Plan for every drive segment to take 25% or more longer than your computer program is telling you.
    Having been involved with beta testing of mapping software since the dawn of time.. I just want to clarify how those time estimates are derived. Google Maps and their estimated time of driving when referencing a particular segment are time-specific (where they have sufficient data collection points). So, what this means is if the route being viewed covers only urban areas where they have installed data collection points, the time shown to drive from point A to point B can be pretty darn realistic. Again for shorter distances, they do factor in traffic flow, construction, weather and other impediments for travel. I've spend hundreds of hours checking estimated travel rates in key American cities and as long as the distances are short enough (less than 40 miles) the stated driving times are remarkably accurate. Because these times are generated on the fly based on the users javacript settings in their browsers, the time duration specified expires seconds after the viewer loads it.

    One of the ironies of this data collection process is that when we use the Google Maps database to create the routes in the RTA Library Map collection -- if at the second that we load that data, the route is closed due construction, snow, flooding or accidents -- Google Maps prevents us from using that route in our maps -- because in "Google's Mind" that road is not available "forever".

    To overcome this logical data error -- we have adopted the 25% rule on RTA. That is, we recommend that users always add at least 25% time to the time estimates in Google Maps. Sometimes that is not even close enough to actual. Case in point, if you were to look at a RTA Library Map for US-50 in California's Sierra Nevada mountains in the summer (dry roads) and compare it with conditions today you would need to factor in, at the minimum an increase in time of nearly 65%. In the summertime most personal vehicles can average 65 mph along most of that road. Today, drivers covering the same stretch of road would be thrilled to be able to average more than 23 mph.


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