Morristown, NJ to LA
Hi, I am graduating from high school and June and three of my friends and I really want to go on a road trip this summer. We have figured out where to stop by where people we know live, including Columbus, Copper CO, Salt Lake City, Tahoe, and Beverly Hills. On the way home we would like to go to Las Vegas, then the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon and make stops in Santa Fe, Tulsa, Nashville, Washington DC, and then go back home. My questions regarding this trip:
Is it unwise for four teenage girls to travel alone?
Are three weeks sufficient time to do all this?
Is a sedan spacious enough, or should we opt to try to borrow a parents' SUV or van?
Are there any places en route that are worth stopping at?
Thank you for your advice! -Nik
It is safe for four teenage girls to travel alone as long as you take safety precautions and use good judgement. I'm not convinced that 4 girls your age should take such a long roadtrip for your first one. I guess this is the mom in me coming out. It would make far more sense to me for you to start out with something closer to home and then branch out once you get experience. There are numerous threads on women and safety issues. You might search through them to get some good advice.
I ran your route through MS Streets and Trips and it is about 6500 miles with a total of 107 hours driving time. And this driving time does not take into account slow-downs due to construction, weather, accidents, rush hour traffic, etc., so it's on the low-side. To do this in 3 weeks would require driving at least 5 hours each day. Only you and your friends can decide if that is OK with you. It's doable, but is it really how you want to spend your entire trip?
Personally, due to your age, inexperience with roadtrips, and time, I would concentrate on the eastern area. Maybe drive to Washington DC and spend at least a week there seeing the sites. There's a LOT of very cool stuff there to see and even a week is pushing it to see everything DC has to offer. Then I would head onto Nashville, enjoying the sights along the way. I haven't been there but I've heard that the Great Smokey Mtns. are a wonderful stop. Then meander home from Tennessee stopping and smelling the roses along the way. This way you can still see a good part of the country, different scenery, while still having time to poke around and enjoy what these areas have to offer. Just a thought.
Sedans really vary in size. Are you talking about a big Lincoln or a small Saturn? How much gear are you taking? It's hard to say without knowing more whether or not that's enough space. If you opt for less hours in the car every day, you can get by with a smaller vehicle. But if you're going to be cooped up in the car for a minimum of 5 hours daily for 3 weeks, I would think you'd want more room to spread out.
Of course, an SUV or van will raise your fuel costs as well. Something you may want to consider depending on your budget. Hope some of these ideas help.
Back seat comfort
Also, consider that even small sedans can vary in comfort --front seats are probably OK in most of them, but take a look at the back seat and make sure it would be comfortable for two friends over long distances -- both for back-support and legroom. I don't even want to go to LUNCH in a car with zero legroom!
yeah, this trip might be a strech for us (i being one of the 4 girls), but we live in a tiny town in the middle of new jersey..we're kind of looking to get out of here, and off the east coast (considering this is where most of the group has spent their entire lives), considering between all of us we've been everywhere there is to go. well, that's an exaggeration, but we want to just kind of...get the heck out of here.
anyways, thanks for your input guys -- :).
It sounds like you want to go cross country and back with a lot of stops along the way. I did a four state trip over the summer in a week, and I learned a valuable lesson. Driving 7-8 hours/day is not exactly my ideal vacation! I am like you, I wanted to get away, and explore. I did enjoy my vacation, I just wish I had taken more time to see what was along my way rather than stopping for 1/2 hour in a place and feeling rushed to move on because I was late on my schedule already. Tip - divide the number of places you want to stop by 3 or 4, pick those as your major points of interest, and live a little while you are at those. It shouldn't take you more than 3 days to drive one-way across the country, but that's driving all day and part of the night. Think realistically about how much you are going to want to just REST after a long drive, then factor in seeing the sights, then add in time to have real FUN, too! Good luck, and congrats!
I understand COMPLETELY!
Email me. I'd love to help you out with this but I'm in the process of creating my own roadtrip. I'm from a small town in Wisconsin and can understand wanting to get away for a while and exploring new territory. I'm, also, a flight attendant based in Newark and have lived near Morristown, in Montclair and Glen Ridge.
My wife and I have traveled the US extensively since we were just out of high school. (from a small Ohio town) Our advice: a couple hundred miles a day or you will soon find you are missing out on the real fun--seeing new towns and people.
A good trip would be a round trip down the east coast with stops in along the way in say D.C., Charleston, Savannah, ST Augustine, Daytona,---all the way to Key West (a must see)and return north up Florida's gulf coast via US 75 stopping to see the cities on the gulf coast of Florida, then Atlanta, the smokey mountains and the beautiful cities in that area. Take a SUV or van(something big and safe) if possible and bring some gear for light camping. Dividing your dollars between hotels and camping can strech your budget.(nothing beats camping near the beach or in oldtown Key West at Jabour's) Plan a trip west for the next trip. I think you will find that the drive west once you cross the Mississippi river to be very very long and flat. You spend a disproportionate amount of time driving rather than seeing new things. Good luck.