U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-26-2011, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Ventura, CA
6 posts, read 23,673 times
Reputation: 11

Advertisements

Hi all,

I am planning on taking a solo road trip in September of this year from Southern California (LA) making major stops in Salt Lake City, Colorado Springs, and Flagstaff. This will be my first solo road trip and am seeking out advice as I plan for the trip.

I'm a 23-year-old female and have taken road trips before (longest having gone from California to Florida and back in 3 weeks) but this will be my first trip alone. After having already told my family about my plans (and having received my fair share of, "You're going on a road trip...alone? Uh, really?" responses), I am equally nervous and excited. After reading various blogs and websites, I feel like I have a pretty good idea of how/what I need to plan for the trip but it's always best getting direct responses from people who have made a similar trip.

Here are the details:

- I will be driving in my 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor (SUV) which will have approximately 115k miles at that point. I plan on getting a check up before I leave in September (oil, air filter, tires, etc.), as well as bringing along an emergency kit.

- I have friends in Salt Lake, Colorado Springs, and Flagstaff and will be staying with them in those areas for a couple days at a time. However, I do want to see Zion National Park (as well as some of the other nature/adventure attractions on the way to Salt Lake) and plan on staying in St. George (my first stop), Grand Junction, and Albuquerque and possibly another stop as well, depending on a few things. I've never been to Utah and have spent minimal time in the other states so, needless to say, I am wide open for suggestions. I don't plan on camping (figured with my lack of experience it may not be safe) but am planning on staying in cheap hotels when needed.

- My goals for the trip? Day hiking, site seeing (I'm bringing along my camera), (possibly) a river rafting experience (never been), and last but not least, I want to do a few brewery tours. I'm a huge craft beer fan and would love to try out some of the local brew in the cities I'll be visiting.

- As of right now, I plan on 10-14 days (give or take) depending on my hosts' schedules and any special events that may come up. I have overestimated all the numbers to be safe:
> 3,000 miles total - about 6 hours of driving per day on average
> $850 for gas (18 mpg @ about $5/gallon)
> $100 for food/water (when I'm alone)
> $150 for food/drinks/etc. when visiting friends
> $200 for lodging (~ $50 per night for 4 nights alone)

Total: $1,300 + 25% for incidentals and emergencies ($325) = $1,625 (Wow, seeing that number did NOT make me feel good...)

The cost doesn't include preparation for the trip (hiking boots, emergency & first aid kit, car check up) or special events - concerts, national park fees, museums, rental gear, etc.

Does that seem reasonable?

Also, I definitely plan to bring a GPS, maps, plenty of mix CDs, a few books, and emergency information/tools. I don't plan on sleeping on the side of the road, traveling off the beaten path at night, or going on extensive hiking adventures in completely desolate areas. I don't plan on spending the amount listed above but I know it's safe to assume that one's plan doesn't always go the way you think so it's good to prepare for unforeseen costs.

I am still continuing to research so any advice/tips/suggestions are GREATLY appreciated. Also, for any of you female road trippers out there, I'd be exceptionally interested in hearing about your trips/experiences, since being a young adult female and planning a trip like this is a little...unpopular? I want to be safe and do it right, but most importantly, have fun.

Thanks so much!

Jessica
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-26-2011, 04:03 PM
 
Location: SW France
14,808 posts, read 15,072,503 times
Reputation: 28174
It sounds great. I hope that you have a wonderful time. Seems like you have thought this out well.

One thing- inform your credit card company that you will be travelling in case they put a block on your card if they see unusual purchasing patterns.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2011, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
9,509 posts, read 12,554,377 times
Reputation: 14880
Your plan sounds great. I would allocate more than $50 a night for lodging.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2011, 02:21 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,230 posts, read 18,550,998 times
Reputation: 10201
I would think 75-100 a night for hotel, You need to plan $ for admissions, gifts, you may need to pre=book the rafting trip they fill up. Have set check-in with someone as you go along. If you go hiking alone (not recomanded) make sure you have a charged cell phone. and lots of water.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2011, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,950,392 times
Reputation: 2313
Security advice from a very paranoid Dad. I have two daughters who both made solo trips shortly after college graduation. I wasn't real happy about it but parental dictatorships tend to terminate (unfortunately). They did have a great time and my sleepless nights were for naught, but there are always the downside possibilities.

First, cheaper motels tend to be in scruffy areas which ups the risk probability factor. I insisted and subsidized their stays in Holiday Inns or similar national brand motels which tend to be in better areas than the El Cheapos.

Second, tell no stranger, however wonderfully intriguing the chap may be, that you meet at the brew taster pub or elsewhere, that you are traveling alone - EVER. The reason you're alone is that your local cousin got tied up and you will be checking in with him later. It also doesn't hurt to fake a cellphone call to the cousin while you're chatting with the stranger.

Also, don't allow anyone to buy you a drink that you don't see poured and delivered to you without any distraction - NONE. A simple hand passed over your drink with evil intent and you could have a problem - be totally aware of the possibility and pay attention. The obvious, don't go pub crawling with a stranger and avoid being his passenger.

Third - make it a point to talk with the park folks at any destinations you do solo stops at - in the course of asking their advice about trail conditions, etc., let them know where you're hiking and timeline. (I really dislike the idea of solo hiking.) Preferably, go with a park tour rather than by yourself.

Fourth - minimum emergency gear. A whistle, compressed air power horn (trust me, if you ever meet a bear you'll want one and they work quite well on humans as well), as well as the usual hiking stuff.

Fifth - roadside emergencies - truckers can be your best friends, be extra cautious if a single male car type stops to help. Be aware that cellphones may not work in some areas.

Sixth - arrange a daily call checking with friends/family, whoever - to let them know where you are, plan to be the next day - every day. DO NOT fail to do this - one of my daughters did and I was on my way to the airport when she finally checked in. We had a few serious words about that gaffe.

Your probabilities of having a wonderful time are excellent. Just be cautious and know that young solo females are targets for the bad guys. Keep that on the front screen of your radar and have a wonderful trip (Zion is incredible!!!)

(I am really, really glad I'm beyond this situation. In my next life, daughters will be homebound until they are married off to acceptable guardians.)
PS - if you meet Mr Wonderful and are going to hang out with him, take a cellphone pic and send it to a friend.)

Last edited by Pilgrim21784; 05-30-2011 at 05:06 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-31-2011, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 78,567,741 times
Reputation: 36332
Just go. Nothing will happen to you. There are no big cracks opening up in the earth to swallow you up. Take at least $500 in cash, in case of emergency, nobody will steal it. My wife has been traveling all over this country (and others) alone for almost 40 years, and my stepdaughters followed in her footsteps, and made new ones of their own. The stories she has to tell are mostly about nice people who were there to help her if she ever needed them.

Stay off the interstate highways, you'll go through all the towns instead, and in between, you can pull off and stop wherever you please and smell the air without diesel fumes and listen to the silence.

If you're worried about security, to go a sporting goods store and buy a can of pepper spray. You won't need it, but it will give you comfort knowing you have it.

Look in your road atlas for a National Forest campground (Indicated by little green tents), and sleep in your car one night (or out on the picnic table), and look at the stars, and listen to the tree frogs, and smell the pine. There are some NF campgrounds around Austin, Nevada, which can be transcendental places to spend a night. There's no electricity, so they'll be dark, unlike crowded and brightly lit and noisy state parks.

Don't tell your about this adventurous change in plans, they'll go ballistic.

Last edited by jtur88; 05-31-2011 at 11:39 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-01-2011, 03:22 AM
 
81 posts, read 325,126 times
Reputation: 94
i said it in another thread, i'll say it again, arches national park is a must see. you can drive through it easily with multiple stops and some hiking excursions in a day. also in the moab area, dead horse point is worth a look.
austin, nevada will be off your path most likely, but it might be worth adjusting your route to include it. my wife and i drove across nevada on highway 50, billed as the loneliest road in america, which includes austin. you can participate in a "game" of sorts when travelling this road. stop at the visitor center at the beginning of the route, you can pick up a "passport" that you get stamped at each town on the way. when complete, you mail it in and the state of nevada sends you a congratulation letter from the governer's office and a "survival certificate". my wife thought it was cute and fun, and i'll admit, it was fun stopping in all the small towns.
there are koa kampgrounds and similar places all over the place and you can save a lot of money if you are capable and willing to sleep in a tent or your car. these types of places are cheap, reasonably secure and offer toilets and showers. people tend to look out for each other in these places, and you might even make some new friends. we slept in the car at one of these places in ely, nevada, wish i could give you the name, but it slips my mind.
otherwise pilgrim gives you some pretty solid advice.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-07-2011, 11:33 AM
 
76 posts, read 228,180 times
Reputation: 49
Zion is a great park, especially if you are an active, not a passive visitor. There are several really great trails, ranging from pleasant strolls to super-strenuous work-outs to absolutely terrifying ("The Chains" - OMG, still not sure I'm over it).

Use the Google and you can easily find hotels for less than $75/night.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2011, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Clovis Strong, NM
3,376 posts, read 5,287,070 times
Reputation: 2004
Seems like your trip-planning is already up to par.

As a truck-driver that regularly hauls the 15-to-70-and back, most of this drag is relatively safe for the most part.
Quiet trips, no erratic drivers, and most importantly, the noticeable lack of miscreants "thumbing it" or begging for money in the truck-stop parking lots.

The way I see it, if the truck-stop parking lots are quiet and sane along the 15, 70, and 6 routes, you shouldn't have anything to worry about in the small towns you happen to be staying in.

Speaking of Zion Nat'l Park, it's been awhile since I was last routed down the US89.
All other truckers I talked to hated it for its desolation, but they fail to see the beauty in the red-rock cliffs and other natural formations that dot this particular area.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2011, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Australia
8,260 posts, read 3,046,899 times
Reputation: 39693
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
<snip>
Stay off the interstate highways, you'll go through all the towns instead, and in between, you can pull off and stop wherever you please and smell the air without diesel fumes and listen to the silence.
^ This. There are almost always non-interstate highways that connect A to B - might take a little longer, but there'll be less traffic and a more than adequate choice of Ma 'n Pa type eateries and motels which are cheaper (and often nicer) than the fast food joints and bland boring motels clustered around the Interstate exits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wuds View Post
i said it in another thread, i'll say it again, arches national park is a must see. you can drive through it easily with multiple stops and some hiking excursions in a day. also in the moab area, dead horse point is worth a look.
<snip>
there are koa kampgrounds and similar places all over the place and you can save a lot of money if you are capable and willing to sleep in a tent or your car. these types of places are cheap, reasonably secure and offer toilets and showers. people tend to look out for each other in these places, and you might even make some new friends. we slept in the car at one of these places in ely, nevada, wish i could give you the name, but it slips my mind. otherwise pilgrim gives you some pretty solid advice.
^ And this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTaMove View Post
Zion is a great park, especially if you are an active, not a passive visitor.
<snip>
Use the Google and you can easily find hotels for less than $75/night.
^ And this. When we went to Zion we were definitely passive visitors! Maybe that was why we liked Bryce better. We also loved Canyonlands.

Except for his comments about cheaper motels, I agree with most of Pilgrim's advice.

Just use your commonsense and you'll have a wonderful time!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top