Hi, I'm a college student from the East planning to take my two younger sisters out West on a roadtrip. One of them can drive, so I was wondering what kind of distances we should hope to cover in a day? Is 500 miles too much? I'm trying to plan where to spend our nights. Thanks for any advice!
Depends on the weather, roads, traffic, and type of people in the car and how long they're willing to sit. But 500-800 miles a reasonable distance for 2 drivers, good weather, mostly highway driving, with a few rest stops and detours along the way. Instead of distance, think about not spending more that 10-12 hours in a car. That can mean 1000+ miles on a nice straight interstate, or as little as 200 on a heavy traffic freeway during a snowstorm
One Caveat with respect to the miles
LA Native is an experienced roadtripper with thousands of miles under his seatbelt -- however, there is one caveat that should be issued regarding 1000 mile days. Generally the fastest average speed anyone (unless they drive a rocket car) can achieve over 8-10 hours of driving is 53-56 mph (this speed takes into account fuel stops, food breaks, weather, traffic, etc.) To actually drive 1000 miles in one day will generally require 16+ hours of driving.
Personally, I prefer not to drive more than 350-400 miles per day. Five hundred is doable, but is stretching the enjoyment a bit.
Actually, I think my math was wrong. I was assuming a average speed of 70, for 12 hours, don't know how that ended up at 1000+. But Mark is right, you will most likely be averaging much less. I won't even mention how fast I was really traveling in order to average 70 mph. Also, if you have 2 drivers, you don't have to take as many rest stops since one person can rest while the other one is driving.
I will give a hint -- to average 70 mph over a 12 hour period it is necessary to dabble in three digit speeds for an extended period.
Thanks guys for the advice! I will probably try to stick to only subsonic speeds and aim for around 400 miles a day. Thanks again.