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Old 09-24-2013, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Amelia Island
2,921 posts, read 3,928,384 times
Reputation: 3034

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Everyone has had great advice and your list is spot on..............traveling with young children now we have the tendency to be a bit less adventuresome as far as driving into the night and off the beaten path..we do not carry although a lot of friends do. We also tend to only stay in hotels with front lobby entrances and swiped entries. Not a 100% secure but like the feeling of not having our door open to the parking lot. Good luck and have fun.............there are way to many things to see driving cross country....try to check out a few.

 
Old 09-24-2013, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,098 posts, read 24,817,562 times
Reputation: 11131
Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
Lol are you driving across Somalia or something?
O/P questions are all logical. For the most part a safe trip but that said a small percentage of female single travelers have disappeared from rest stops etc...better to be safe then find yourself in that small percentage
 
Old 09-24-2013, 08:55 AM
RVT
 
367 posts, read 639,343 times
Reputation: 393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterboy526 View Post
LOL, ok. The chances that a state will recognize your CCW permit are pretty good actually. Not sure about all states (although there are maps out there to show you this info.), but in NC I can pretty much drive all the way across the country to the California border and have every state in-between recognize my permit. In fact 37 other states will recognize my NC CCW license.

I have driven from Wilmington, NC to Los Angeles, CA before (Ocean to Ocean). It was a fun trip, but long. We still did it in 3.5 days after taking a day detour to the Grand Canyon. This was way before I had a CCW permit. Just be aware of your surroundings and do your research on where you want to stop and what you want to do.
OP stated that they were going to Chicago, and so that leaves them right out of having a concealed firearm legally there. They only just approved the process to sign up for one, and they do not recognize any other states licenses.

One other note that I would add is to not carry any large amounts of cash (more than $200 to $300) as if you get stopped by the police, it's likely that it would be confiscated and you'd never see it again. Use a few (not just one) prepaid debit cards for your expenses.
 
Old 09-24-2013, 09:03 AM
 
2,629 posts, read 1,917,986 times
Reputation: 4597
Old car with active AAA is good enough as long as you've kept it up. Make sure that the belts have been replaced recently. Otherwise, it isn't that bad. Its the way that people and these numbskull truckers drive that makes it a headache. I do two cross country trips a year and have for years. More important, if you can't afford better then Motel 8, stay home. Motels these days are flea-bitten dumps and those cheaper then $60 a night are prostitute hangouts with sex parties and all kinds of riff raff. Leave at home anything that you cannot store out of sight.

I don't know what route you are taking but if it applies, watch out for smokies in Nebraska (they're everywhere from end to end and, from what I've observed, love to give out tickets). Happy trails.

Last edited by TwinbrookNine; 09-24-2013 at 09:17 AM..
 
Old 09-24-2013, 10:37 AM
 
11,210 posts, read 8,347,320 times
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btdt. I like truck stops. Well lit, lots of people (who are strong and chivalrous if need be). Plenty of parking away from the big trucks. Every amenity you need (including recorded books, a MUST for me, but stay away from boring ones, murder mysteries are best! DO NOT get ones read by author!!) Very well advertised along the road in advance.

I do NOT stop at rest stops unless it's the middle of the day and full of people.

Do NOT overdrink caffiene. It will make you stop every 20 minutes especially when you're tired. (keep an empty jar on hand just in case and plan how you'd use it inside the car if you have to)

Speaking of tired, it's just as dangerous to drive drowsy as it is to drive drunk so don't go over 8-10 hrs at a stretch. btdt, too. Hallucinations while driving are terrifying!

ETA: Go ahead and carry yourself like a truck-driver babe. Give suspicious strangers a "I'll kick your tailfeathers" kind of look RIGHT IN THE EYE, and keep walking with confidence. How you carry yourself often determines if you'll be a victim or not.

Don't travel with a bunch of cash.... You can get preloaded cash cards if need be.
 
Old 09-24-2013, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles/Massachusetts
342 posts, read 553,331 times
Reputation: 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by njkate View Post
O/P questions are all logical. For the most part a safe trip but that said a small percentage of female single travelers have disappeared from rest stops etc...better to be safe then find yourself in that small percentage
That is exactly what I mean......do not have to be in Somalia,,,,,,just avoid being targeted,,,,being at wrong place at wrong time...the desert especially scares me...long stretches of nothing,,,,,that is why I shall take many OPs advice and go to AAA to decide the best route out of LA
 
Old 09-24-2013, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles/Massachusetts
342 posts, read 553,331 times
Reputation: 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterseat View Post
btdt. I like truck stops. Well lit, lots of people (who are strong and chivalrous if need be). Plenty of parking away from the big trucks. Every amenity you need (including recorded books, a MUST for me, but stay away from boring ones, murder mysteries are best! DO NOT get ones read by author!!) Very well advertised along the road in advance.

I do NOT stop at rest stops unless it's the middle of the day and full of people.

Do NOT overdrink caffiene. It will make you stop every 20 minutes especially when you're tired. (keep an empty jar on hand just in case and plan how you'd use it inside the car if you have to)

Speaking of tired, it's just as dangerous to drive drowsy as it is to drive drunk so don't go over 8-10 hrs at a stretch. btdt, too. Hallucinations while driving are terrifying!

ETA: Go ahead and carry yourself like a truck-driver babe. Give suspicious strangers a "I'll kick your tailfeathers" kind of look RIGHT IN THE EYE, and keep walking with confidence. How you carry yourself often determines if you'll be a victim or not.

Don't travel with a bunch of cash.... You can get preloaded cash cards if need be.

Awesome reply......I did start to fall asleep at the wheel on way to San Fran....on the 101,,,,,I was swerving into other lane, luckily they have those lane divider bumps to WAKE YOU UP,,,,it is an easy thing to do and you do not even realize that you are falling asleep.
 
Old 09-24-2013, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles/Massachusetts
342 posts, read 553,331 times
Reputation: 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThugLyfe View Post
I've done New York to Alaska and everything in-between. Some thoughts...

Stick to interstates, don't drive at night, have AAA, cell phone and charger, map or preferably GPS - All things it sounds like you are hip to. Others include to refill gas tank liberally, sunglasses (preferably polarized which drastically reduce glare and eye fatigue), and to call your bank before you leave to inform them of your travel plans. I've been stuck in the middle of the desert at night at a gas station, my card being declined with no prior notice due to "suspicious purchases" namely gas along my route. Have plenty of good music and or audiobooks. Also, if you are unsure of your car and want to be on the safe side, depending on where you are, find a mechanic who specializes in "pre-purchase inspections". These are the ones to use because they dont have an interest in fixing your car, therefore will not be tempted to give you the business, so to speak. They do not do any repairs whatsoever. Only inspections. They are usually $100-$200 but well worth it. They go head to toe on the car and will tell you what's wrong now, what is about to go wrong and what's right! They are typically used for buying used cars but this is a great way to utilize them as well. Oh, I'm a guy, btw

Thanks ThugLyfe,,,,,,,I am actually going to print out some of these suggestions....I also experienced my CC being cancelled,,,,,they do this if you try and use card in a completely different location than you usually use and live,,,,,

Great advise folks!!
 
Old 09-24-2013, 12:48 PM
 
523 posts, read 585,848 times
Reputation: 260
Family of four, break down with Ford/Chevy. Cost are thousands dollar.
Stick with Toyota, no problems.
OC -> Alaska and back
OC -> Artic Circle and back
OC -> CO,MO,Chicago,Niagara Falls,NY,DC and back
Many other thousands miles trips
Tried everything, camping, Motel-6, expensive hotels, coupon hotels.. No problems.
Kids were happy from baby to pre-teen. DO not travel with teens.
 
Old 09-24-2013, 01:15 PM
 
218 posts, read 422,797 times
Reputation: 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by njkate View Post
O/P questions are all logical. For the most part a safe trip but that said a small percentage of female single travelers have disappeared from rest stops etc...better to be safe then find yourself in that small percentage
I agree these are all very sensible questions. I've traveled cross-country a few times myself alone and asked all of the same questions.

Plus, I had never actually driven in the mountains and had to do that with a fully packed X-terra for the first time when traveling cross-country. Was not prepared for the grades, fog at high elevations, et al. :O

I felt a lot safer/comfortable having the knowledge of what I needed to prepare and be prepared for rather than making the trip without it.
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