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Have You Any Tips for Planning a Cross-Country Trip?

Have you ever driven across the US? When? Why? How?

I know my H would quote "love to do that someday," and I'm wondering what it might take to plan such a trip for next year.

Like, if we weren't in a rush, but had somewhat limited time-- how long would it take? Like would 9 days be enough one way?

Re: Have You Any Tips for Planning a Cross-Country Trip?

  • buddysmom80buddysmom80
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    edited December 2013
    Have you ever driven across the US? When? Why? How?

    I know my H would quote "love to do that someday," and I'm wondering what it might take to plan such a trip for next year.

    Like, if we weren't in a rush, but had somewhat limited time-- how long would it take? Like would 9 days be enough one way?


    In 2011 my parents and I went from New York State to Las Vegas and back in an RV. I don't know why we did it, probably we were drinking and thought it would be an awesome idea. Which it freaking was.

    Our whole trip was three weeks. It was tough because my dad was the only one driving so we had to take more shorter trips. Originally I was going to help with the driving but I couldn't drive the RV to save my life.

    I remember we planned it out by saying "Okay we're going to drive X amount of miles and stop". If you want to know exact miles I can email my dad since he has all the info, but what I remember was we spent nights in Virginia, Alabama, New Orleans, Texas (actually a few times in Texas on the way out and back), New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Texas (on the way back), Arkansas, Nashville, Kentucky, Ohio and then back to NY.

    We pretty much played it by ear, if we like a town we would stay longer. For example, we were going to spend one night in San Antonio, but we all loved it so much we stayed three nights.

    ETA: I would say 9 days would be enough one way, we planned it as we were going to spend one week traveling, one week at Grand Canyon/Vegas area and one week back. Since you guys are younger, I think 9 days would be enough.

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  • An RV would be way cool. I'd call H Mr. White and say "Yo, bitches." as much as possible. Because I now associate all RVs with Breaking Bad. I can't even imagine trying to drive one though. Props to you for your attempts.

    I assume my traveling partner would be all about planning out every big stop. And I'd definitely want to sleep in hotels. Maybe there is some sort of reward program for using only one hotel company the whole trip?


    Swazzle
  • An RV would be way cool. I'd call H Mr. White and say "Yo, bitches." as much as possible. Because I now associate all RVs with Breaking Bad. I can't even imagine trying to drive one though. Props to you for your attempts.

    I assume my traveling partner would be all about planning out every big stop. And I'd definitely want to sleep in hotels. Maybe there is some sort of reward program for using only one hotel company the whole trip?


    Hahaha, our RV was a little nicer than the one from Breaking Bad, but now I realized why when we were in New Mexico people were always waving at us!

    I would check with major hotel chains and see. My dad when he was working always stayed at a Hampton Inn because they had a good rewards program.

    Also we made a list of places we wanted to see and went from there. From what I remember the places that we HAD to see was New Orleans, Grand Canyon, Vegas, Graceland, and the house from Christmas Story. So we built our trip around those places.

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  • SwazzleSwazzle New Jersey
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    I've only driven from NJ to FL so I don't have very much input but I wanted to say this sounds like a blast and is something H and I have considered doing. We're good travel-buddies on long rides which definitely helps.



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  • @Buddysmom80 I like that approach. I dunno what places I want to see, never really thought about it.

    @Swazzle That is a good point about being "good travel buddies." H and I have taken shorter trips, 12 hours being the most when we went to Maine from here. I think H would prefer to rent a car with manual transmission for a trip like this. Or maybe he thought he'd bring his own car? I can't drive manual... yet.

    H turns 30 this year so something like this seems like a cool way to celebrate that milestone.
  • This sounds like a fun idea for a 30th bash!  In my wild and crazy youth (at 17), I hitchhiked from MN to San Francisco in about 6 days with two friends, so 9 days should be able to get you pretty far in your own car.  ;)

    The longest trip  we have taken as a family in my calmer adult life has been the MN to the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, etc. in SD.  We are talking about possibly trying to get to Mammoth Cave in KY and making a road trip of it, once our finances are on better footing.
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  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO
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    I've done a couple of cross-country trips with my family. I grew up in Idaho and my mom's family lives in Virgina so a couple of summers we drove out instead of flying. It was actually pretty fun, we stopped to visit family along the way a took a different route home than we took to get there so we got to see different things and people. I feel like we took a 3-4 weeks for the whole trip but that was because we spent 3-4 days with the family we stopped to see.

    I definitely think 9 days one way is enough time, especially if you aren't stopping to see family and are just sightseeing.


  • The farthest we have driven is from Georgia to South Dakota but I think it would be a blast to do a cross country drive. We used to stop at the scenic spots or the touristy places just because. It was fun.

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  • kaitlynmichellekaitlynmichelle British Columbia
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    We drove across part of Canada (ON to BC) and it took us 5 days. We did some stops up in Banff, Jasper, etc. It was helpful to plan where we wanted to get to each day so we knew how much driving had to be done and could make stops accordingly.
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