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  1. #1
    jersey grrl Guest

    Default seattle to new jersey - advice needed

    instead of getting on a plane for the umpteenth time this year, i've decided to drive to and from new jersey this summer in order to see bruce springsteen at giants stadium (and the family). i'm almost 40 and i've never driven cross country. i have the vacation time so i'm going to do it. i wish i had a month... but i have more like two weeks.

    my tentative route:

    day one: seattle->boise (to get a head start after work)

    day two: boise to cheyenne (approximately) - basically 84 to 80

    day three: cheyenne to columbia, mo - to visit my best friend. 80 to 29 to 70. this will be the hardest day's drive, but it's day three, so i figure i can do it (i can do 10 hours a day solo with no problem, i've done it before)

    day four: stop in columbia

    day five: columbia to somewhere in PA, probably washington

    day six: pa to jersey

    coming home, i'm taking 80 to 90. stopping in cleveland (r&r hall of fame), madison, wi, south dakota (badlands/mt rushmore), and then somewhere in montana, then home. i'm still working out what i really want to do - my childhood home is in michigan, about an hour off of 80, it will probably be a rare chance to pop up there and see our old house, but it will depend how tired i am after three springsteen shows and if i can leave monday night or tuesday morning.

    anyway, any advice on my routing is welcomed.

    some questions:

    --my car is well maintained and i am getting it looked after with an eye towards this roadtrip. however, i do NOT have airconditioning. is it completely foolish to drive in late august/early september without it?

    --on the note of car maintenance, is there anything specific you'd recommend i have looked at? one of those "if i had to do it again, i'd..." or "next time, i would be SURE to look at THIS before i left..." kinds of things. (i'm getting new tires)

    --has anyone roadtripped with a GPS? my manager wants to loan me his. my concern is that i will already have a camera, laptop, and digital video camera (as well as cellphone and an ipod for music). i really don't want to have to be responsible for yet another electronic device unless i'm going to get real value from it. it's not like i'm going to be meandering the backroads - regretfully there's just not enough time.

    --any decent mapping software for the macintosh platform??? my laptop is a powerbook. i've got a pc at home and am using streets & trips, but would like to take it with me.

    --is AAA really worth it? i have 'roadside assistance' via my car insurance, and most of the time the responding truck is AAA anyway. are the triptics worth the $60 i'm going to spend? i'm considering getting it as backup just in case.

    that's it. thanks for the resource.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Some replies

    Air conditiong is darn nice, but your route of travel and time period will mitigate the lack of cool area.

    However, have you penciled out the cost of renting a car (equipped with a/c) with the cost of fixing up your car? The route you have specified and time pressure means that you will be pushing your car (& its driver) hard most of the travel days. What happens if you break down and lose a day or so? With a rental -- you can usually just switch cars (like a pony express rider) and keep on going. Granted you are driving a familar car -- but it is an option.

    Car maintenance -- Change all belts and hoses! Check the brakes, run a complete over-haul -- your car is going to be pushed hard for a few days.

    GPS. Yes, I always travel with one. No, it is not strictly necessary, but the built-in compass probably is. I also strongly urge a temporary/removable CB radio and a battery-powered NOAA weather radio. First aid kit, extra food and water, blankets, good book, flashlite and a teddy bear.

    There are some good mapping programs -- I still prefer a spiral bound map and my eyes.

    Yes, AAA is worth it.

    If you are an AAA member, TripTiks are free (at least I think they are). I haven't used the service in many years, since I am already a professional roadtrip planner. Since your trip was very little mosey time -- I really don't think you need such a route planning product.

    Go have an adventure. Three BOSS concerts? Sounds fun!

  3. #3
    jersey grrl Guest

    Default thanx for the reply

    "However, have you penciled out the cost of renting a car (equipped with a/c) with the cost of fixing up your car?"

    I have to fix up my car ANYWAY, as part of maintaining the vehicle. and, the money i put into fixing it up isn't lost money - it's still my car when i get home. spending the $$ on a rental - i might as well just fly, then, almost, because i'm not saving any money by driving. right now it's about even if i fly out vs. i drive out. and, i've always done roadtrips with rented cars and no matter how well you provision it, it's not *your* car.

    if god forbid i break down and lose a day, it's not fatal. there's padding built in.

    thanks for the response.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Breakdowns can be the best part

    You might enjoy Megan's essay on the "Art of the RoadTrip" in regards to this trip element:


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