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Old 05-05-2016, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,177 posts, read 2,914,734 times
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I am thinking of taking a lot of a year to drive through the USA and parts of Canada. I have a new and reliable car, enough assets to afford the trip, and I want to see our beautiful nation from coast to coast.

Because none of the significant people in my life are able to take that much time away from work, I will be doing a lot of the trip by myself. That does not bother me because I am very independent, sensible and I like my own company LOL.

My question to you good folks is this: have any of you done a trip like this? Did it seem too much driving after a while? Was it more expensive than you anticipated? Did you have the fun you thought you would have? Do you think it would be safe for a single woman to be on the road alone for such a long trip?

I have always wanted to do a trip like this. I am just not sure it will be in reality the way I have imagined it. Any comments or advice would be most welcome.
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,292 posts, read 4,148,032 times
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A single woman blessed with an average amount of intelligence and common sense will face no significant safety issues on a trip like this.

As for the rest: I think it helps going in if you keep the itinerary flexible, and give yourself permission to end the trip and go home if you are becoming bored, tired, or overwhelmed by all the traveling. It's when the endeavor becomes a type of marathon you feel you MUST finish or else that problems start happening.

Pack up you car, get on the road, and go have some fun!
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:28 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,750 posts, read 54,390,602 times
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I did that with a friend at age 19, in 1971. We only took 2-1/2 months, but did a total of 18,000 miles, and hit 44 states, plus several Canadian cities including Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto. We mostly did camping, but stayed with friends, fiends of friends or relatives here and there. It was an amazing experience that I would highly recommend. I did it in a 1964 Buick Skylark Wagon with 80k miles on it, and other than a failed universal joint and a turn signal switch breaking, had no car trouble. Of course, gas was 25-30 cents a gallon then. There is a lot of history to experience all over but especially in your area and the civil war battlefield sites. I did all the driving, and tried to keep it to 8 hours or less a day, quite manageable at that age. As for your safety, trouble comes from being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you will be in a lot of places over a lot of time. I would really suggest that anyone, male or female, do this with at least one other person. If you really want to do it alone, get a permit to carry, or at least have some pepper spray.
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,292 posts, read 4,148,032 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
If you really want to do it alone, get a permit to carry....
Don't even think about it!

There is no carry permit that is universally recognized in all 48 states of the continental US. And if you're caught carrying without the proper permit for that particular state, you could be looking at a felony-sized load of trouble! (And in some states, the proper permit is all but impossible to get in any case.). And this is assuming you're competent enough with a handgun to safely carry in the first place, which you probably are not.

Don't even think about taking a handgun into Canada. Pepper spray can be a problem in some parts of Canada, too, so be sure to check the laws for that part of Canada first before you try to bring any in.

Take a cell phone, a reasonable amount of cash, a backup credit card or two, and plenty of common sense, and you'll be fine. And be sure to have your car regularly serviced at the recommended intervals during the trip; it's the best way to avoid a breakdown.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,527 posts, read 47,687,050 times
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Op if you decide to do the trip one thing for sure before you set out is to call your credit card provider(s) and let them know your plans, otherwise they may put a stop on your card thinking it was stolen when you're far away from home. That happened to me one time traveling across the country. I was in a small town getting gas and all of a sudden my card was declined. Had to pay cash from my emergency stack.
After I called the card company to get it re-instated they told me to let them know in advance that I'd be traveling all over and they would note that in my file so I wouldn't be inconvenienced or embarrassed anymore.
As far as traveling alone, go for it, just be aware of your surroundings. Enjoy.
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,318 posts, read 21,872,221 times
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stick to the blue highways and avoid the interstates for a truly more memorable experience
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,955 posts, read 22,099,030 times
Reputation: 10687
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlightAttendant View Post
I am thinking of taking a lot of a year to drive through the USA and parts of Canada. I have a new and reliable car, enough assets to afford the trip, and I want to see our beautiful nation from coast to coast.

Because none of the significant people in my life are able to take that much time away from work, I will be doing a lot of the trip by myself. That does not bother me because I am very independent, sensible and I like my own company LOL.

My question to you good folks is this: have any of you done a trip like this? Did it seem too much driving after a while? Was it more expensive than you anticipated? Did you have the fun you thought you would have? Do you think it would be safe for a single woman to be on the road alone for such a long trip?

I have always wanted to do a trip like this. I am just not sure it will be in reality the way I have imagined it. Any comments or advice would be most welcome.
Sounds like a blast to me! When you start looking into the Utah portion of your trip, I would love to give you some suggestions. I'm a native Utahn who loves to travel and who loves her home state. If you decide to take me up on my offer, though, I would suggest you start your thread on the Utah forum and I check it out every day. I'd probably forget to look in the travel forum for your thread.
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:04 AM
 
2,542 posts, read 5,990,071 times
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Go for it! I haven't traveled alone, but I have traveled a lot with just me and my sons, including a cross country trip with a toddler and being pregnant.

I love it. There is so much to see and learn. I camp almost exclusively, making it a lot cheaper. I second the blue highways.

My boys and I had an amazing trip last summer. First, we found ourselves in Des Moines, IA with time to kill. Who goes on vacation to Des Moines?! But we had fun and discovered a new challenge we want to do: visit all the state capitol buildings. My friend urged us to visit the Iowa one and take the (free) tour. It helps that it is one of the top two most beautiful capitols. But we learned so much about Iowa history and culture. Seriously, less than one hour of your time and you learn so much!

After Iowa, we followed the Lewis and Clark trail. There were so many beautiful spaces, usually found on dirt roads. A dirt road crossing SD, with rolling prairies, horses, and wildflowers. Crossing the Missouri on one of the last free cable ferries in the US. Standing at the top of the Lemhi Pass, completely alone, a riot of wildflowers cascading down the mountains.

This year, we will be going coast to coast. I wanted to do a complete circumnavigation of the country, but time won't allow it.
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Seattle
1,531 posts, read 1,311,621 times
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I've done trips (in this country and overseas) that lasted a few months. I don't think there's anything especially difficult about it, but at some point "travel fatigue" may set in, so the first thing I'd do is not make some kind of specific schedule. Maybe after 90 days you've had a belly full of airB&Bs or Motel 6s, or you can't stand one more day of road food. So give yourself permission to change the whole plan. A year is a long time.

You might want to look at a couple of connecting themes, or events/activities that you might want to dig deep into. Maybe music - Zydeco, blues and rockabilly along the Mississippi, Latino music in the southwest, indie rock on the coasts. Or various festivals and events - state fairs, for example, or major rodeos, or film festivals... things to allow comparisons and personal growth. Start a blog.

And remember that you can park your car for a week at most airports for a hundred bucks or less, and fly home for a couple hundred, so you can be with people for Thanksgiving or graduations.

Do your research on the weather, the seasons, and what's going on in various parts of the country at given times. You don't want to be in Death Valley in August or Glacier National Park in November. Or if you do, know what you're in for.

It could be a real blast. I envy you.
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Old 05-06-2016, 01:09 PM
 
34,358 posts, read 41,436,735 times
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We did that once took 3 months after about 6 weeks i was experiencing travel fatigue and just wanted to be home got sick of crowded tourist spots, grand scenery became just another scenic view in fact it all became a blur,well that was some years ago,we now focus on a general region of North America rather than to take in the whole thing at one time and we try not to do more than a months traveling every summer,Last year we did a wonderful trip down Americas East coast,the year before a memorable trip across Canada,upcoming trip will be Canadas Atlantic provinces.
Anyhow thats just my preferences hope to get a trip report with pics of your epic adventure.
PS recommended reading=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Highways
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