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Author Topic: How do YOU road trip?  (Read 15122 times)

Laura

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How do YOU road trip?
« on: March 03, 2014, 02:21:06 AM »

I'm curious how you all road trip. I'm always amazed by some of your travels and was curious how you personally do it. I've found that I've falsely assumed that some of you regularly take massive trips, while instead you've accumulated mileage on lots of shorter trips.

How many day trips do you venture on per month? per year?

How many overnight trips do you venture on per month? per year?

When you go overnight, do you usually stay in a hotel, sleep in your vehicle, or stay elsewhere?

For long distance trips, how long do you go?

Do you use paid vacation time for your long distance trips?

Are your long distance trips usually circular or do you fly somewhere and rent a car?

Have you ever driven all the way across the USA?

How often do you eat packed groceries versus fast food versus sit-down food on a trip?

When you travel, do you make the roads the main attraction, or do you work the roads around a main attraction (like visiting a family member or a destination city)?

How often do you stop to look at nearby sites (anything from roadside americana to stopping at a museum or national park)?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 02:23:25 AM by Laura »
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 04:11:15 AM »

I'm curious how you all road trip. I'm always amazed by some of your travels and was curious how you personally do it. I've found that I've falsely assumed that some of you regularly take massive trips, while instead you've accumulated mileage on lots of shorter trips.

How many day trips do you venture on per month? per year?

How many overnight trips do you venture on per month? per year?

When you go overnight, do you usually stay in a hotel, sleep in your vehicle, or stay elsewhere?

For long distance trips, how long do you go?

Do you use paid vacation time for your long distance trips?

Are your long distance trips usually circular or do you fly somewhere and rent a car?

Have you ever driven all the way across the USA?

How often do you eat packed groceries versus fast food versus sit-down food on a trip?

When you travel, do you make the roads the main attraction, or do you work the roads around a main attraction (like visiting a family member or a destination city)?

How often do you stop to look at nearby sites (anything from roadside americana to stopping at a museum or national park)?

Good question. I'll try to go bit-by-bit, keeping in mind that 1) I myself do not do the driving due to medical issues and 2) most trips to date have been with family members.

1) I have never just randomly driven all the way across the country. (That may be happening sometime in 2014/15...my mom may be heading to Reno, NV for a job there.)
2) Day trips per year: 1-2
3) Long distance trips: 1 per year, and when this is done, I stay in a hotel for the overnights. This body, with two titanium rods in there, doesn't like sleeping in the car or on a hard ground. Vacation isn't used because I don't work outside the home...and if I'm on the road, it's as likely to be for stormchasing as it is vacation!
4) Stopping at places: Unfortunately, it's rare. I need to get off the beaten path more, because really, as they say, "All you see on the interstate is interstate."
5) Usually, the trips are very circular. However, the next trip I take may change that.
6) Packed groceries vs sit-down vs fast food: This depends on the purpose of the trip. If the trip is to let's say...board a cruise ship, we pack a bunch of snacks and then it's otherwise fast food on the way unless there's an IHOP or somesuch nearby. If we're driving to a timeshare, we'll do the packing of snacks, fast food on the drives, and then once we're there, we may buy a few groceries and then other meals eat at the local joints. On a trip to Anaheim, California in 2012, I ate a bunch of fast food. It probably wasn't good for me...though I did enjoy my first In-and-Out and Jack in the Box experiences.
7) The road taken is based on: 1) Where are we going, and 2) What's the fastest way there? If it were up to me, I'd be on a road clinching spree...but it's not. That said, I love being able to say, "I clinched road x in state y", because I got I-95 and I-16 in Georgia, I-75 in Kentucky and Tennessee, I-70 in Illinois, Ohio, and WV, and I-64 in Illinois and Indiana in this manner.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 04:35:13 AM »

I like to drive about 20 hours a day.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 05:10:53 AM »

I like to poo about 20 hours a day.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 06:04:36 AM »

Just a quick partial response to Laura's OP, since I'm on the road right now (in Laredo TX).

I average about one overnight trip a month, but that really fluctuates, with some really long trips followed by many months at home.

While my truck has a camper shell with a sleeping bag in back, even when I'm driving the truck rather than my car I almost always stay in a motel.  I'm really a four-walls-and-a-roof kind of guy, don't like to camp -- but it helps when I go places where lodgings are completely unavailable, either out in the middle of nowhere or the local lodgings are full.  I do try to get daily Internet access, which is easier with motels but many campgrounds have wi-fi as do many fast-food places if I couldn't get my Internet fix at a motel.

I usually drive about twelve hours a day, depending on available daylight (I don't like night driving) but also my endurance doesn't allow for much more than twelve hours even on long summer days.

I'm retired, but when I was working I used paid vacation time for my road trips (as a senior Federal worker, that was about five weeks a year).  The downside was that my job's workload had irregular and unpredictable fluctuations, which made it possible to quickly schedule road trips in the lulls (not having to make plane reservations was a plus there) but also forced me to cancel or reschedule trips.

I rarely do one-way car rentals, so even when I fly out (usually to the west coast or beyond) I do a circular itinerary returning me to the same airport. 

I've done about a dozen cross-country road trips, including two from the east coast to Alaska and back (those two trips included other destinations, each lasting eight weeks or more).

My road diet is pretty much fast food that I can eat behind the wheel, or a sandwich (usually from Subway) I can eat in my motel room at the end of the day.  I shop at grocery stores mainly to restock on sodas.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 06:08:45 AM by oscar »
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2014, 10:33:32 AM »

My road trip level varies, but I probably do five overnight trips or so per year.

When I do longer trips, such as to the US Southwest, I tend to stay in hotels that I usually book day of during my trip.  I tend not to make a hard and fast itinerary, but rather have specific objectives of things I like to see.  Sometimes, for things such as touring Alcatraz, I need to make an advanced booking to ensure I get a spot.  I tend to fly to destinations further away, and drive to places within a one day drive.

When I am touring in Ontario and Canada I am much more likely to sleep in the car, or camp, but still sometimes stay in hotels or motels.  I camped a lot when I was younger, but have gotten away from it as my level of disposal income has increased.

I tend to eat a lot of fast food when I am on the road, though I try to eat at places that I don't have at home.  I also tend to stop at a grocery store on the first day of a multi-day road trip to pick up a jug of water and some snacks, such as nuts, and energy bars, so that I don't have to eat fatty foods ALL of the time.

On a road trip, my passenger seat tends to be a complicated arrangement of snacks, road maps and cameras.  It's a good time.
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Brandon

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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2014, 11:10:33 AM »

I do quite a few "local" trips for work.  Usually to Peoria, Rockford, or somewhere else within a few hours.  I do a few on my own, probably 6-8 times per year right now.

I haven't had an overnight trip in a while.  When we have them, sometimes we will say in a hotel, sometimes we drive straight through.

That depends on the destination.

Usually, I do my trips on weekends, and usually within a day.

I don't typically fly for a road trip unless it is to help family move from one area to another (or Hawaii).

No, I have not driven all the way across the US.  I've driven from California to Illinois (and the reverse).

I'd rather travel light and eat out cheaply.  I tend to bring small snacks and drinks.

Usually there is a destination.

Sometimes, but sometimes these are the destination, or known destinations along the way.

I like to poo about 20 hours a day.

Always knew you were full of shit.  :pan:
/Left yourself open to that one.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2014, 11:40:03 AM »

I have done all of the above except coast to coast on trips although I am planning a coast to coast under 50 hours on my motorcycle. I have been coast to coast and border to border, and across, but not in one trip. 

I still camp, stay in hotels, free load off of relatives and friends. The last time I actually slept in the car for any time has been a few years ago.  However, I do not hesitate to pull over for a nap in the car or on the motorcycle (Iron Butt Hotel). I always have snacks, water, and taking actual food along is done at times. 

I am now retired so vacation is not in the equation unless my wife goes with me in the car. I have her still working. Hey, someone has too.  :bigass:  In the past I had to plan around vacation, kids school, or long weekends.  Day trips are often now. I try to do at least one multi night road trip each month.  Two years ago I think between motorcycle trips and car trips I had 50,000 miles by July 1. 

I like to keep flying to a min. as I hate airports. I would rather drive to a place in two or three days than fly in one. Usually regardless of where I am going, getting there is at least half the fun. I can turn a 200 mile trip into 400 without trying.  I like back roads but I will super slab it at times and run over 20 hrs just to get somewhere that has good stuff to do or good roads to ride on. 

« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 12:01:51 PM by leroys73 »
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2014, 11:48:40 AM »

a nap ... on the motorcycle

how does this work?  wouldn't you fall off once you fell asleep?
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2014, 12:18:11 PM »

No, just prop yourself up with legs on handle bars and rest against a seat bag. I have just sat on the seat with my legs down and leaned back, caught a few zz's :sleep: for about 15-20 minutes and I am good for a few more hours.  Usually I find a picnic table to nap on, it is more comfortable. Some just lay beside their motorcycle. I don't. I will nap in the grass in a park.

So if you see a motorcyclist sleeping on a motorcycle or on a picnic table it might be me. Some do but I haven't done it for a real sleep, just naps.     
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2014, 12:20:44 PM »

No, just prop yourself up with legs on handle bars and rest against a seat bag. I have just sat on the seat with my legs down and leaned back, caught a few zz's :sleep: for about 15-20 minutes and I am good for a few more hours.  Usually I find a picnic table to nap on, it is more comfortable. Some just lay beside their motorcycle. I don't. I will nap in the grass in a park.

So if you see a motorcyclist sleeping on a motorcycle or on a picnic table it might be me. Some do but I haven't done it for a real sleep, just naps.   

and now I know!

I've definitely slept on a picnic table before.  sleeping bag and pillow?  perfect. 
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leroys73

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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2014, 12:24:16 PM »

You bet. Sleep when and where you need it.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2014, 12:34:46 PM »

You guys remind me of my rail fan friends.   They rent a car or drive their own, and sleep trackside.  Small tent and sleeping bags they carry.  Fast food all the way on their rail trips.

I was often wondering if anyone has done that only roadside instead of trackside.  You came close.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2014, 12:51:46 PM »

All of my multi-day trips have photographic evidence of them posted on my site, so you can get a pretty good idea of how my travels usually are (except for those routes for which I've pretty much quit taking pictures, like I-79 in West Virginia, since I've been on it so often).

My idea of roughing it is a motel room with basic cable and no refrigerator, so no camping for me. I try to find inexpensive accommodations, however, and am a member of several motel chains' rewards programs so I try to stay in places that are running promotions for extra points, free nights, etc.

I have never flown somewhere to take a road trip. And I always drive my own vehicle instead of renting.

I take plenty of pop, and I take along a cooler in case my room doesn't have a fridge, and I also have a DC-powered cooler in my vehicle to keep the drinks cold. I will take some snacks along but generally, I drive through somewhere for lunch during the day (unless I'm in Sheetz country) and at night, most of the time I get fast food and take it back to my room, although sometimes I will dine at a sit-down place.

I use vacation or comp time for my trips. Often, I will use a sick day for my getaway day and will have a doctor or dentist appointment in the morning and then leave later that afternoon. On several trips, I've done my annual optometrist visit at Morehead and then headed east on I-64 afterwards for the trip.

I try to get where I'm going before dark, for two purposes: 1.) photography, and 2.) deer. I'm not a morning person, so it takes an effort to get up and get going in the AM.

I have never driven all the way across the country. The longest trip I have done was a 10-day or so vacation with my dad and brother about 23 or so years ago. That trip was basically I-64/I-70 to Grand Junction, US 550 (Million Dollar Highway) and US 666 via the Four Corners to Gallup, I-40 and Petrified Forest and US 180 to the Grand Canyon, then back south to I-40 to US 93 to Vegas, then I-15/US 89 to Yellowstone, then US 14/I-90 east via Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills, then I-29/I-80/I-74 back home.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2014, 12:52:31 PM »

I would not road trip on a boat. I would totally road trip on a goat.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2014, 01:23:34 PM »

  I try to take at least 2 5+ day road trips per year.  The purpose of my trip is to clinch as many interstates and counties that I can, when I'm alone.  I generally won't hit any tourist attractions when alone.  If I have a friend traveling with me, I'll pick one that can tolerate my road geeking while going to/from some attraction. 

  I always stay in motels; whether alone or traveling with someone.  I don't like to drive in the dark in unfamiliar areas, so I've never napped in my car while traveling.   I would, however, if I was in a remote enough area.

  If I'm alone I'll eat fast food almost exclusively.  Exception being if there's a microwave in my motel room and a store to grocery shop at is convenient.  In which case, I'll likely get some sort of microwavable dinner ad eat in the room.  Other than that, I don't look for grocery stores on trips.  I bring water/soda and snacks for the trip.  When I travel with a friend, breakfast will often be fast food or continental at the motel (if it's at all decent-some are).  For dinner, I will go out to a sit down meal with whomever I'm with.  If I'm alone and only a sit down place is available at dinner, I'll either eat at the bar (if available) or order it for take out. 

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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2014, 01:42:17 PM »

How many day trips do you venture on per month? per year?

Now?  Virtually zero--but as an undergraduate, I took about four to six day roadtrips per month, always on weekends (I only rarely exceeded a one-way distance limit of about 200 miles).  I have had a visit to the Woolaroc ranch near Bartlesville in mind for a while (150 miles one way), but haven't actually done it.  Similarly, I haven't made trips to Oklahoma City to see the new art museum, Stillwater to use the OSU library, or to the Maxwell wildlife refuge to say Hi to the bison, though these are all day trips I have seriously considered in the past year.

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How many overnight trips do you venture on per month? per year?

Per year, I think the average works out to two.  In 2012 it was Colorado and New Mexico for about five days; in 2013 it was northeastern Kansas for three days, northwest Arkansas for about four days, and then northeastern Kansas again for two days.  When I was younger I travelled more often, but nowadays I have less appetite for the schedule disruption involved in picking up and going somewhere.

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When you go overnight, do you usually stay in a hotel, sleep in your vehicle, or stay elsewhere?

Usually I stay in a motel.  In the past I have camped, especially on long roadtrips where it made sense to carry camping equipment on a just-in-case basis and on-road Internet access for forward booking was much less reliable than it is now.  I didn't camp on the Colorado/New Mexico roadtrip in 2012, however, because I was able to cover all but the last two nights with advance reservations.  I am a tent camper, but for comfort reasons I generally prefer to stay at RV campgrounds, since they generally attract a somewhat older and generally much more mature clientele.

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For long distance trips, how long do you go?

It varies.  Colorado/New Mexico in 2012 rolled over at 2000 miles exactly.  I took a monthlong roadtrip in 2003 (KS-NE-WY-ID-MT-AB-BC-AB-BC-WA-OR-CA-NV-UT-CO-KS) that ran to about 10,000 miles.

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Are your long distance trips usually circular or do you fly somewhere and rent a car?

I usually return to my starting point--I am not a fan of fly-drive arrangements.  The main exception was a trip to Alaska in 2004 I made with two other people (usually I travel alone).  I floated the idea of driving the Alaska Highway, but my companions didn't feel they had a week to spare just for the transit to Alaska, so we flew into Anchorage and rented locally.  Another exception was a trip to southern Arizona in 2009 where I flew into Tucson and borrowed a car from a relative for local travel.  When I fly somewhere for leisure travel (a scenario that comes into play more often in western Europe than in the US), I generally try to get around on the ground by rail.

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Have you ever driven all the way across the USA?

Nope, not in a single trip.  I have done quite a few Kansas-to-coast trips in both directions though.

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How often do you eat packed groceries versus fast food versus sit-down food on a trip?

Typically I try to have at least one (usually two) sit-down meals a day, and to carry nonperishable snacks (Cheez-It crackers, beef jerky, etc.) and long-lasting fruit and vegetables (apples, grapes, carrots, etc.) for eating inside the car.  I snack while I drive but I have a rule of never buying food for eating on the road that I cannot handle entirely by feel, preferably without having to lean far out of my usual driving position.  The front seat is for food and travel material; the floor in front of it is for a trash receptacle (generally a reused plastic grocery bag).

A sit-down meal might be in a fast-food restaurant if I cannot find a better alternative, but usually I do try to find a restaurant with table service, especially at dinnertime once I have checked into my overnight accommodation.  I never try to eat fast food behind the wheel because I feel that only sets the stage for hard-to-clean messes.

Besides the schedule disruption, another reason I don't do very many overnight roadtrips is constipation.  It is difficult to avoid on a steady diet of restaurant food and the kinds of tough, hard, or chunky meats and vegetables that will keep without refrigeration.  I usually double my daily apple ration to compensate, but that does not always help.  Travel also typically means that coffee (which acts as a mild laxative) is consumed after showering and dressing in the morning, rather than before, and that leads to its own comfort issues.

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When you travel, do you make the roads the main attraction, or do you work the roads around a main attraction (like visiting a family member or a destination city)?

I usually have a series of landmark destinations in mind (typically chosen from the AAA-designated star attractions--now called "GEM" for "Great Experience for Members"--listed in AAA TourBooks for the states or provinces I am visiting), but I try to route along highways which have scenic interest, or which just look interesting to me on the map.  I once drove on SH 28 in Idaho to see if it was as straight and as flat as it looked on the map (it was, but the mountain views were stunning).  I also stop to visit friends when I travel and, for me, these are landmark destinations in their own right.

I don't aim to clinch routes or counties.  What I do try to do is to avoid retreads, especially on routes that are not scenic and which I do not otherwise have to use for short-term commuting (e.g. I-880 while spending a few days with a friend in Berkeley).

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How often do you stop to look at nearby sites (anything from roadside americana to stopping at a museum or national park)?

I consider the national parks landmark destinations, so I don't just visit them casually, though much of the time I confine myself to auto touring along the park roads with an occasional hourlong hike along marked trails (in my experience, auto touring and multi-day backcountry hikes are not an easy mix).  A lot of what people would call "roadside Americana" (examples:  the Garden of Eden in Lucas, Kansas, or Carhenge near Alliance, Nebraska) are in fact landmark destinations for me, though I have made casual unplanned stops at the Corn Palace and Wall Drug (both in the I-90 corridor in South Dakota).  I have passed Boot Hill in Dodge City many times, but never once visited.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2014, 01:58:50 PM »

I take a few regional trips now and then.  I used to take more when gas and the economy were better.

To answer the overnight trip question, I used to do two a year, now I am lucky to get one in.

Motels, usually the budget type, although in the Northeast its hard to find them these days.  Twice I stayed in my car at a rest area, and once I camped in my car at a KOA.

I usually go for five days, but I did go for 11 days when I went to South Dakota.  Mostly traveling as I only spent two nights there.

As far as drive or fly to drive question goes I have done both.  Did five fly to drives and I cannot count how many drive only I have done.  On route to South Dakota I drove through Kansas City and redid my previous year's fly-drive where I flew into KCI and rented a car to drive to Vegas and back there.  I even took some of the I-35, US 54, and I-40 route the second time around to get photos missed the first time.

Nope have not made it yet from coast to coast, but almost covered the ground in between.  Bartow, CA to Las Vegas, NV is the only exception of pavement not completed.

For food mostly fast food.  Cracker Barrel, Whataburger, Jack In The Box, and even other small regional chains.  Pizza Hut is one, as I very rarely eat them at home, and lately Golden Corral.

As far as roads go, yes roads are main focus, but sometimes if a friend is a long its whatever he wants.

Last question is that I do wander off to see other sites.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2014, 02:16:26 PM »

I'm curious how you all road trip. I'm always amazed by some of your travels and was curious how you personally do it. I've found that I've falsely assumed that some of you regularly take massive trips, while instead you've accumulated mileage on lots of shorter trips.

How many day trips do you venture on per month? per year?

How many overnight trips do you venture on per month? per year?

When you go overnight, do you usually stay in a hotel, sleep in your vehicle, or stay elsewhere?

For long distance trips, how long do you go?

Do you use paid vacation time for your long distance trips?

Are your long distance trips usually circular or do you fly somewhere and rent a car?

Have you ever driven all the way across the USA?

How often do you eat packed groceries versus fast food versus sit-down food on a trip?

When you travel, do you make the roads the main attraction, or do you work the roads around a main attraction (like visiting a family member or a destination city)?

How often do you stop to look at nearby sites (anything from roadside americana to stopping at a museum or national park)?

We made a goal for 20 day trips this year.  So far we've been on one.  We do the massive annual trips you mention.  We usually go out west and stay for 1-2 weeks in motels, hitting as many National Park as we can.  Most in one trip were 10 parks & 3 monuments.  We drive from home and generally bring a cooler for lunch, have a motel intercontinental breakfast, and eat a good dinner at a restaurant.  I look at as many old roads (and bridges) that I can get away with.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2014, 02:29:16 PM »

I do about 3-4x more overnight trips than day trips.  I usually can dedicate an entire weekend, so I may as well go ahead and do so.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2014, 02:57:10 PM »

How many day trips do you venture on per month? per year?

In the summer months, I more or less take a day trip every other weekend. In the winter, it's rare.

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How many overnight trips do you venture on per month? per year?

Nary a three day weekend goes by that I don't take a roadtrip, so that covers MLK Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, the fourth of July sometimes, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day.

In addition, I'll take 1-2 more substantial trips per year.

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When you go overnight, do you usually stay in a hotel, sleep in your vehicle, or stay elsewhere?

Depends on weather and time of year. If there's family nearby, I'll try to crash at their place. Otherwise, I use hotels. I stick with Wyndham and Hilton for most of my travels, using Wyndham in smaller towns and Hilton (usually Hamptons) in bigger cities.

I try really hard to collect and conserve rewards points. For instance, on my St Louis trip I'll be on the road for ten nights, but I'm only paying for a hotel for three of them. One night is with family, my roommate in St Louis is covering another night, and then I have five rewards nights saved up (and I'm careful to only burn reward points at best bang for the buck hotels. You have to be tricky about it, but it's doable), and that helps pay for road trips a lot.

I do enjoy sleeping under the stars, but that only happens once or twice a summer. I don't want to see people if I do that though (unless I'm with people I know)- I just want to drive down a logging road on some public land, find some dead wood, build a fire, and go to sleep, and that can be tricky to do sometimes (especially in a rental car) and rules out campgrounds. On occasion if I rent a midsize sedan I'll fold the back seat down, put my feet in the trunk, and crash that way. My Jeep Liberty is about 3 inches too short to sleep in comfortably.

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For long distance trips, how long do you go?

Usually three day weekends, since I don't have to burn vacation. I do make 1-2 longer trips per year. At ten days, the one this week will be my longest alone (I have done longer with friends in the past). The last few years my longest trips were five or six days, but I'm hoping to change that now that I have a job with generous vacation policies.

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Are your long distance trips usually circular or do you fly somewhere and rent a car?

Always circular. I'm probably going to break that this summer for the NYC meet, as I plan on flying out there and renting a car to drive to Quebec. It's not that I'm opposed to flying and renting, but it's a logistical hassle to book plane tickets a couple months in advance and airfare isn't terribly cheap out of Montana to begin with.

I also work for the government. Time off is easy to come by, but I'm not exactly swimming in cash, so cost savings at the expense of time almost always trumps convenience at the expense of cost.

I do usually rent a car for road trips if the numbers add up.

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Have you ever driven all the way across the USA?

My longest would be western Idaho to Portland Maine and back. Not quite coast-to-coast, but just about.

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Do you use paid vacation time for your long distance trips?

I effectively get 16 vacation days a year in addition to paid holidays. I use two of them at Thanksgiving time and two of them at Christmas time. That leaves me with 12 extra days- I'll generally burn two of them on stupid stuff. So that really leaves me with 2 weeks. I'm stingy about them and try to save them for those bigger trips, which is how I'll get to drive to St Louis via Georgia this weekend and fly to New York and spend a week in French Canada this summer.

Next year will probably be one big trip (10 day) and one smaller trip (5 day), and then in 2016 I'd like to do a big eastern Europe trip, depending on finances.
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How often do you eat packed groceries versus fast food versus sit-down food on a trip?

I buy snacks in advance and pack those. For lunch, I try to find a carryout place that is not a chain or is a regional chain (my affinity for Steak n Shake is well known). If there's a real good sit down restaurant that I can't pass up, I'll suck it up, but I'd rather maximize my daylight time on the road.

I scout restaurants well in advance. Some people would hate traveling with me because I more or less time everything to the second before I hit the road, so I'm not wasting time on the road trying to figure out what to do.

I only buy groceries in advance if I don't know where I'll get food- usually if I'm planning on camping.

For dinner, I'm more apt to sit down, but I sitll don't really like going to sit down restaurants alone unless it's Denny's or something, so I still try to find a local carryout place.

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When you travel, do you make the roads the main attraction, or do you work the roads around a main attraction (like visiting a family member or a destination city)?

It seems like most of my major roadtrips are roadmeet centered and will be for a while, so I guess that's that. For 3 day weekends, I let the roads steer me to my destination. I clinched the state highway systems in Arizona, Washington, and Wyoming and I'd like to finish Idaho up this year, so the roads are in total control there. For the longer trip, it's usually a bit of a hybrid, where I have things I want to see, and then I see if I can work the roads around that.

I nearly always...if it's a three day weekend, I'll leave after work on Friday and drive in the dark until I get near unfamiliar territory, then wake up in the morning and there's new stuff.

I drive sunrise to sunset in unfamiliar territory and try to avoid interstate as much as possible. For the trip coming up, I'm planning on 5,620 miles. 909 of those miles will be on the interstate. 104 of those miles will be on interstate outside of Montana, so yeah.

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How often do you stop to look at nearby sites (anything from roadside americana to stopping at a museum or national park)?

I try to work it in. Most times I don't go inside, just look at the outside, but I try to find quick and easy roadside attractions along the way. Sometimes I make time if I feel like I need to- I'm planning on spending a few hours at the New River Gorge next week, and on my trip to the Wichita meet last summer I checked out Nauvoo, Illinois pretty well. I try to get my culture by listening to local radio and eating at non-chains while driving off interstate, as opposed to necessarily getting out of the car. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 03:30:41 PM by corco »
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2014, 04:18:52 PM »

Before I began building cars I would take one day trip a month. Since then I've cut back a lot. I rarely took longer trips due to not want to leave my dog alone. I usually get fast food for both lunch and dinner, unless I'm with someone else, when I'll eat at a sit down place.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2014, 05:21:20 PM »

I don't know how you guys manage on fast food for days on end while driving. Being sedentary all that time thanks me feel bad enough there's no way I can ingest 1200 calories per meal on top of that.

I find supermarkets are actually a really good way to eat something decent while not spending a lot of money and time on it. They usually have some of the healthier take out options, and particularly if you carry a cooler goes it a long way.

I tend to drink a lot of water, which can be a problem if you're trying to keep moving and you have to keep stopping to use the bathroom. My compromise is usually to eat fruits and vegetables, which provide a measure of thirst relief while not filling up the bladder so fast. During clementine season I have those things rolling around the truck all the time easy enough to peel even when driving.

Don't get me wrong I still stop and get a hot meal every now and then, particularly if it's at a place where locals will chitchat with you about what's what.  And I try to make sure to do stops that involve a lot of walking from time to time, because again, it's no good for your body to be sitting in the car for long periods for days.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2014, 05:25:23 PM »

I don't know how you guys manage on fast food for days on end while driving. Being sedentary all that time thanks me feel bad enough there's no way I can ingest 1200 calories per meal on top of that.

I stop and get out of the vehicle to eat, even if it is Wendy's, Subway, or something else.

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I find supermarkets are actually a really good way to eat something decent while not spending a lot of money and time on it. They usually have some of the healthier take out options, and particularly if you carry a cooler goes it a long way.

It depends on what you buy at a restaurant.  However, I find grocers to be very good for snacks and drinks.  They beat gas stations and vending machines on price and variety every time.  And sometimes they have a gas station as well.
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Re: How do YOU road trip?
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2014, 05:58:35 PM »

Two long trips, several weekend trips each year.

Weekend trips
* 1-day: Out in the early morning, sometimes as early as 2 AM. Back by midnight. I'll stop to eat dinner once it gets dark, but otherwise I'm just driving.
* 2-3 day: Same as above, but I stay over somewhere. For St. Louis, for example, I have a decision to make: drive 5 hours Thursday night and stay in Youngstown, or leave at 2 AM on Friday morning and head straight through. I usually do the latter. Again, I only stop to eat once it's dark - usually I check into the hotel and then go eat, but if I'm getting in at a time when restaurants typically close (7:45, 8:30, etc.), I'll eat first.

Long trips (1 week or 2 week): I won't leave at 2 AM for these. I just drive sunrise to sunset. Typically there will be events or sights interspersed - sometimes a 14 hour day will only have 6-8 hours of driving, other times there will be 14.5 hours packed in. Otherwise the same as the 2-3 day trips.

If I'm running ahead, I'll spend more time at various sites (museums, roads) or detour to an old waterfall or bridge that I didn't know about but I see a sign for.

Food: I always dine out. I try to sample something local everywhere I go and avoid chains.

Types of trips: 1-day trips are always circular. 2-3 day trips usually are, but not always. 1-2 week trips used to be, but aren't anymore because I've exhausted this side of the country, and it saves so much time to fly halfway out and then continue.

 


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