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Old 07-14-2016, 10:41 AM
 
457 posts, read 507,190 times
Reputation: 399

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhapsodie2014 View Post
Hello......I thought I would ask how many people have driven across country, or even half the country. I am wanting to especially target females but absolutely want male input also.
I am looking for the most logical safety tips, to more subtle safety tips.....if anyone can add to this please let me now.

1. Map out trip
2. Make sure to arrive to motel/hotel at least an hour before dark
3. DO NOT DRIVE AT NIGHT.....
4. Make sure to have car super super inspected prior to leaving, even with this done...never know,,,,,,
5. Make sure AAA card is ACTIVE! and fullly covered.
6. Weapon......?? This question is very subjective.
7. Make sure to let friends and family (at both sides, where you came from and where you are going) know daily where you are....
8. Make sure your cell # does not go dead.
9. STAY OFF LONG DESOLATE ROADS....LIKE IN THE DESERT, SO YOU DO NOT FEEL LIKE YOU ARE ENTERING A STEPHEN KING MOVIE.
10. Have plenty of water....
11. Do not have luggage etc staked so high that other travelers can see that you look like you are traveling...as opposed to normal driver.....
12. Lastly, I am going to go to AAA as I am a member and ask them for best route from Los Angeles to northeast......mainly I am concerned with the best route to take from L.A. to Chicago....avoiding long desert roads.....want to travel the roads with many people on them.......nicely patrolled by police etc.


How to avoid being targeted??????????????

I am woman (middle aged) traveling alone. Traveling from west coast to east coast. I have done this before, coast to coast.....but I was not ALONE!! My car is an older car.....

Thank you for any input or first hand experience.....
I, too, am a middle-aged woman driving alone, but in addition I am a minority and have the problem of being singled out by the POLICE in various states for "driving while brown." "Driving while Indian." "Driving With Out of State Plates." "Driving While New Mexican." Etc,etc.

I would additionally like to know how to avoid THAT. Drive WITHOUT brown skin?! I'm a WOMAN, they ought to leave me alone with the bull**** pullovers and ridiculous "back of the book, no one in their right minds would know those tiny little bull**** laws even exist even a lawyer in THEIR state" crap. The last time I had to drive across the continent I had my law school alma mater window decal displayed PROMINENTLY in my back window. By now that one has burned off due to the hot desert sun; all I have on there now is one that says Alumni, Yale University.

I'm a woman, but I'm brown, so I want to stay the hell AWAY from where there are too many police. They see the skin colour before they see that I'm a WOMAN and a lawyer. I've driven across the continent more times than I'd like to remember over the last 25 years and I've been targeted more by the damn POLICE than by actual criminals. Always for the kind of bull**** things that they pull MINORITIES over for. The last time that happened I actually sent a Summons and Complaint to the courthouse in the jurisdiction where that happened, when I got to where I was going.

I looked at the cost of shipping my car from ABQ back to Boston and it's looking like more than I paid for the car!! What, do they charge MORE when the car is OLDER or what?? It's bad enough airfares are getting ridonkulous.

 
Old 07-14-2016, 10:49 AM
 
457 posts, read 507,190 times
Reputation: 399
Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
There are some big cities like St. Louis that are a whole lot easier if you drive through them at night. Stop in the rest areas that have other vehicles in them -- more than one or two, and stop at the truck stops, especially if you're driving through the night. You might actually be safer pulling into a busy truck stop or rest area to sleep a bit than some of the more sketchy motels.
Definitely. I won't stop at all if I can avoid it, in Missouri at all. And that's not just my "I'm from nice areas and think that everything in the South is dangerous for women..." well, it is. For ME. I'm brown, so I'd get "targeted" for more reasons than a white woman driving alone in a 24-year-old hatchback with all her luggage in it. I never go over the speed limit - my car is too old to do that comfortably without me really "getting the FEEL of the road" anyway. I don't speed, so that's why I said that when I get pulled over ANYWAY it's always for something so minute that it's really a "license plate profiling" issue. I try to stay the hell out of the South with this colour skin and get pulled over and harassed in places like Pennsylvania and New York. Unfortunately, going from the west coast or the Southwest to Boston - either New York/Pennsylvania or New Jersey/Maryland are unavoidable. I've looked at flying instead but then the cost of shipping the car was going to be twice what I even paid for the car!!
 
Old 07-14-2016, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Arizona
181 posts, read 111,286 times
Reputation: 734
Happy to see this thread has been resurrected.

I'll be driving from CT to AZ. I like to drive early in the morning as opposed to at night so plan to start each day around 4 or 5 and stop around 3 in the afternoon. Will be taking the southern route. The furthest I've ever driven by myself is about 300 miles so I'm a little nervous.

My concern is I'll be traveling with two dogs so motel choices will be limited and from past experience know that pet friendly motels aren't always the nicest places to stay. I'm considering staying at campgrounds and sleeping in the car. It's a 2010 Escape with just under 50,000 miles, in excellent condition. It's not huge but I'm small, wouldn't have trouble sleeping in it. Trip will be in September so not as many people camping but I'm guessing places won't be totally deserted. Thoughts?

I looked into shipping the car, price wasn't bed at all, about $500, but the cost to fly the dogs was ridiculous.
 
Old 07-15-2016, 03:07 AM
 
6,981 posts, read 4,453,355 times
Reputation: 5141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sibay View Post
Happy to see this thread has been resurrected.

I'll be driving from CT to AZ. I like to drive early in the morning as opposed to at night so plan to start each day around 4 or 5 and stop around 3 in the afternoon. Will be taking the southern route. The furthest I've ever driven by myself is about 300 miles so I'm a little nervous.

My concern is I'll be traveling with two dogs so motel choices will be limited and from past experience know that pet friendly motels aren't always the nicest places to stay. I'm considering staying at campgrounds and sleeping in the car. It's a 2010 Escape with just under 50,000 miles, in excellent condition. It's not huge but I'm small, wouldn't have trouble sleeping in it. Trip will be in September so not as many people camping but I'm guessing places won't be totally deserted. Thoughts?

I looked into shipping the car, price wasn't bed at all, about $500, but the cost to fly the dogs was ridiculous.
i know this is a crazy idea, but why not start a gofund me page for the dogs to get across the country, show some cute pics of them and ask if anyone can donate anything, even 50 cents or a dollar so you dont have to drive alone with them and sleep in the car, how much would you need to make the decision to fly?

i've done cross country drives a couple times, i got on the road by 8 am, drove all day and checked into a hotel at night and started the drive the next day....i would suggest though that after a few days, you might want to pick a spot to stay over a full day to get your strength back, i found that after a few days the sleep from 10pm to 8am just wasn't enough after a few days, i needed a full day to unwind....i don't remember if i did that, you want to make sure you're fully rested, those dogs are counting on you to keep them safe.
 
Old 07-15-2016, 06:42 AM
 
965 posts, read 507,390 times
Reputation: 1895
I think OP list was very comprehensive.

I have been driving cross country for 30 years I am a woman in my 50s, I have driven with small children, or solo. But I do always have a dog with me. I have had lots of friend offer to drive with me, because they are worried about me, but I always refuse.
It is me time, to zone out through the move, relax, and work everything through I my head A good road trip is so special, even with mishaps. Now I don't even turn on the radio if I can help it, no music, turn off the phone, and always look for a place to stop where the dogs can play.
The only real change is I can't drive for 16 hours at a time now

I have slept parked between trucks at a truck stop many times, and under the sign at hotels numerous times, well lit and felt safe. Oh and the white noise from the trucks helps drown out noise that might otherwise keep me up.

I use rest stops all the time, and just don't go in if there is only one other car there. If there are multiples or none I will stop, this is at night. During the day unless I get a creepy feeling I am ok with whatever.

# Follow your GUT! I have swerved out of places without even stopping, and after fully parking a moving van and just looking at the hotel door in Chatanooga, TN I went back in and asked for a refund. I just felt creeped out.... But creeped out enough even bone tired that I knew I had to find another place.
Read "The gift of fear" a great book, about following your gut.

I have dealt with license plate profiling when driving through UT. I am super pink, not brown (and I know it IS a thing to be pulled over per color) but a California plate and a tie died t-shirt got me stopped.
Lol then when I said I was going to my Grandmothers 90th birthday party I swear he almost handed me back my papers right then. I had a rental car, or I might not have been let go so easily, I had a beat up old Toyotaat home in CA.
Penny1969 do you have bumper stickers? I think sometimes when they are looking any place, they do target out of state older cars, especially with anything noticeable, bumper stickers, luggage, etc...

Not using Gps or radio (unless stormy) I sometimes end up re-routing for flooded areas, construction, etc... So I always have a new atlas with me. That way I am alway able to change routes along the way due to weather too. I just plan ahead, and don't stress.

Always have my trusty cooler, a gallon of water, my pillows, a sleeping bag, snacks to feed an army, and fruit and veggies, since they are hard to come by on the road.

Now I normally stay at a hotel, body needs a bed so I try to plan out for one a bit further than I think I will need, just to push myself a little longer 30 miles maybe. If I start out tired I choose a closer hotel, also depending on when I want to arrive the next day.

Driving at night is best through the dessert for me, Unless there will just be more of it to come the next day! I can't sleep through another day.

Now wondering how OPs trip went. Wondering also if there is a thread about the joys of a cross country trip? I love doing it, the only stress involved ime now is getting packed. Once I am on the road I am free!

Last edited by simplepeace; 07-15-2016 at 06:46 AM.. Reason: Add
 
Old 07-15-2016, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,055 posts, read 6,007,041 times
Reputation: 9437
Yeah, I'd like to hear from the OP, as well.

This is a great thread with lots of good tips.

I'll just add that attitude is everything, as well. You have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to make the trip. It's already got plenty of potential problems, so don't add to them by second-guessing yourself. Once you've made the decision, prepare as best you can and then do it!
 
Old 07-15-2016, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
14,685 posts, read 8,468,648 times
Reputation: 29357
Quote:
Originally Posted by penny1969 View Post
I, too, am a middle-aged woman driving alone, but in addition I am a minority and have the problem of being singled out by the POLICE in various states for "driving while brown." "Driving while Indian." "Driving With Out of State Plates." "Driving While New Mexican." Etc,etc.

I would additionally like to know how to avoid THAT. Drive WITHOUT brown skin?! I'm a WOMAN, they ought to leave me alone with the bull**** pullovers and ridiculous "back of the book, no one in their right minds would know those tiny little bull**** laws even exist even a lawyer in THEIR state" crap. The last time I had to drive across the continent I had my law school alma mater window decal displayed PROMINENTLY in my back window. By now that one has burned off due to the hot desert sun; all I have on there now is one that says Alumni, Yale University.

I'm a woman, but I'm brown, so I want to stay the hell AWAY from where there are too many police. They see the skin colour before they see that I'm a WOMAN and a lawyer. I've driven across the continent more times than I'd like to remember over the last 25 years and I've been targeted more by the damn POLICE than by actual criminals. Always for the kind of bull**** things that they pull MINORITIES over for. The last time that happened I actually sent a Summons and Complaint to the courthouse in the jurisdiction where that happened, when I got to where I was going.
I think you might be exaggerating your difficulties. I have never had a problem with that and I am a nearly middle aged Indian woman myself. I even live in Texas. Imagine that. The key to not getting pulled over is to drive legally. The few times I've gotten tickets, (and I've had a few,) I deserved them. When I got pulled over, I acted courteous and respectful to the police. If you are courteous to them, they will be to you.

The stories you hear in the news are newsworthy because they are rare. People don't understand the majority of news stories comprise uncommon, strange events that don't happen every day. That is how they grab our attention and make us keep reading. If news stories discuss Nancy Jenkins of Omaha buying $50 in groceries from Walmart last Tuesday, we wouldn't bother reading.
 
Old 07-20-2016, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Currently traveling through NC
611 posts, read 329,939 times
Reputation: 1903
Quote:
Originally Posted by wall st kid View Post
i know this is a crazy idea, but why not start a gofund me page for the dogs to get across the country, show some cute pics of them and ask if anyone can donate anything, even 50 cents or a dollar so you dont have to drive alone with them and sleep in the car, how much would you need to make the decision to fly?
Why not I guess, sounds about standard for gofundme these days , asking for funds to transport dogs.
 
Old 07-22-2016, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Arizona
181 posts, read 111,286 times
Reputation: 734
Quote:
Originally Posted by wall st kid View Post
i know this is a crazy idea, but why not start a gofund me page for the dogs to get across the country, show some cute pics of them and ask if anyone can donate anything, even 50 cents or a dollar so you dont have to drive alone with them and sleep in the car, how much would you need to make the decision to fly?
I think I'll leave GoFundMe for people who really need it....or for when I want to take a cruise. (jk)

I can afford to ship the dogs it just annoys me having to pay so much for the crates. I'm also a little leery about something happening to them in transit, there aren't any direct flights from here to Phoenix. I know people ship dogs all the time...just me being paranoid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wall st kid View Post
i found that after a few days the sleep from 10pm to 8am just wasn't enough after a few days, i needed a full day to unwind....i don't remember if i did that, you want to make sure you're fully rested, those dogs are counting on you to keep them safe.
If I drive I'll be counting on the dogs to keep me safe.
 
Old 07-24-2016, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,929 posts, read 8,390,690 times
Reputation: 15495
Even the title of this thread is overwrought and overly dramatic. People are acting as if a cross country drive is as dangerous as exploring central Africa 200 years ago. We simply don't have gangs of mauraders ambushing people at water holes along the interstates.

The reality is that driving cross.country takes nothing more than a reasonably reliable vehicle, some cash or a credit card for food and fuel, and a few minutes to plan a route. An AAA membership is a reasonable precaution, but it minimizes inconvenience more than danger.

Most people carry cell phones, that will get you assistance if you need. Traveling with animals? There are websites that list animal friendly hotels. La Quinta Inns accept pets and are widespread.
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