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Old 01-18-2018, 10:34 AM   #1
WanderingJuniper
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Default Planning a cross country road trip. Potentially. Maybe.

Or maybe Im dreaming about it. Either way I have never even thought about one of this level before.

Where do I even start? I am thinking about a road trip from Philadelphia area to San Diego. Rental car for the trip then fly back. Is this even possible in a week?
Are there websites that will plan it for you with estimated fuel costs, suggested hotels to book etc?

It would be my oldest and I because a favorite family member who is crazy influential to her is getting married.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Planning a cross country road trip. Potentially. Maybe.

What is your reason for driving one way vs. flying?
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Planning a cross country road trip. Potentially. Maybe.

Potentially cost but also experience, time with my oldest who is 16, potentially the chance to side trip through TX and see a friend even if just for a day.

I am fully aware I might be wishing for something that isn’t doable.
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Planning a cross country road trip. Potentially. Maybe.

It's totally doable. .

The reason I asked is to make suggestions based on what you wanted to get out of the trip.

I'd start with weather and route for the time of year you'd be travelling. Are snowy mountain passes or hurricane seasons an issue?

If time with your daughter is the biggest priority, I'd be tempted to fly and spend a few days enjoying San Diego.
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Planning a cross country road trip. Potentially. Maybe.

DH and his brother drove back from California to Virginia. In 3 or 4 days. He says he wishes they'd taken longer.
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Planning a cross country road trip. Potentially. Maybe.

If its just two of you I would fly and spend the extra time in San Diego or on a cruise that leaves from there.
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Planning a cross country road trip. Potentially. Maybe.

Renting a car one way is more expensive than renting it and returning it to the same location.

Often that is the same with plane tix (ie you don't save much over going roundtrip).

So you are paying more to do 2 different modes of transportation and in the end may not see any cost savings at all.

Therefore, I 2nd the suggestion of flying and planning to spend time at the destination with dd.

FTR: I am not a big road tripper, spending hours in the car, so that may influence my decision to you.
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Planning a cross country road trip. Potentially. Maybe.

I'd throw dates and such into a few websites and see what comes up cost-wise. Often a one way car rental is more pricey than a round trip - can be similar with flights.
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Planning a cross country road trip. Potentially. Maybe.

Round trip tickets are significantly more than one way at first look.
A cruise from San Diego is totally out of our price range and for so many reasons not my idea of fun.

I’m a bit annoyed at the time frame. It was originally supposed to be an August/September wedding and they bumped it up to early April. That really only gives us two months to save/plan for going and really might be the thing that stops us from getting there too.

Those of you suggesting flying what websites would you suggest to look at for ticket pricing? It has been a decade since I’ve flown and that time it was coordinated as a gift to me.
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: Planning a cross country road trip. Potentially. Maybe.

We just did South Carolina to as far as Arizona last fall. To drive PA to CA in one week means the only thing you would get to go is drive..drive...drive and drive.

The first thing I would do is mapquest the starting point to the end point. Divide that drive time by the number of days. If the number is not less than six (way less is better), then all you get to do is drive and that's not the fun part! (Edited to add: I just checked and it's 40 hours of driving from Phil to San D, so 6 hours of driving per day, not including stops or meals)

Our drive time was 24 hours (to our starting point). Since we had four adults, we pressed hard and got to New Mexico (our first stop) in two days, but we took three days to drive home. We were gone two weeks.

Once you have your route, use TripAdvisor to find all those cool places to stop along the way.
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:38 AM   #11
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Default Re: Planning a cross country road trip. Potentially. Maybe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingJuniper View Post
Round trip tickets are significantly more than one way at first look.
A cruise from San Diego is totally out of our price range and for so many reasons not my idea of fun.

I’m a bit annoyed at the time frame. It was originally supposed to be an August/September wedding and they bumped it up to early April. That really only gives us two months to save/plan for going and really might be the thing that stops us from getting there too.

Those of you suggesting flying what websites would you suggest to look at for ticket pricing? It has been a decade since I’ve flown and that time it was coordinated as a gift to me.
www.expedia.com
www.kayak.com
https://www.cheapair.com/flights/

Putting in hypothetical dates, it looks like the cheapest tickets round-trip are about $260 apiece. If you can fly there and back mid-week that will save you $$, it's more expensive to fly on a Friday, Sunday, or Monday IME (though others might have different experiences).

You can put in your dates, locations, and email and they'll send you price updates/alerts. The prices can fluctuate so much day to day. With just two people traveling, I really cannot see how flying is more expensive than driving one way b/c it is hundreds of dollars in gas, plus accommodations and meals along the way (unless you would also have to pay accommodations in San Diego and aren't staying with family/friends).
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Old 01-20-2018, 02:11 PM   #12
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Default Re: Planning a cross country road trip. Potentially. Maybe.

I pretty excited. Looks like this is going to happen! It’s actually cheaper for us to fly to Dalls stay a night and then continue on to California.
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