Thursday, October 13, 2011

final stats & thoughts

Last road trip-related post for now, I promise. In case you're interested less in pictures and more in numbers, here are some road trip stats. (And a few thoughts, if you're considering undertaking one of your own)

  • Total miles driven: 2879
  • Miles/day: ~411
  • Gas stops/day: 1.5
  • Non-gas stops/day: 3
  • Cups of coffee/day: 3.5
  • Gallons of gas purchased:~111
  • Average MPG: 28.9
  • Traffic tickets: NONE!

A few observations:
  • We were surprised by: how long it actually takes for landscapes to change across the country, the variety of reactions we got when we told people we were driving across the country, how well things went despite our general lack of pre-planning 
  • We were disappointed by: the lack of gas station variety in the Southwest, how difficult it can be to find scenic things right off of I-40, how bad our gambling luck was in Vegas

And finally, a few tips: 
  • unless you're trying to get somewhere quickly (which kind of defeats the purpose), aim for no more than 6 hours of driving a day, and split it evenly
  • make sure you have at least one buddy to split the driving with, and who can take pictures and hand over snacks while you're driving
  • speaking of buddies, pick one (or more) who you can stand spending several consecutive days with in a confined space {note, this is by far the most important part to get right!}
  • stay with family or friends along the way if you can--it breaks up the monotony of hotels and gives you something to look forward to
  • pack a case or two of water, and buy snacks at the grocery--we spent maybe $15/each at the grocery before we left, and probably saved twice that much by not buying stuff at gas stations (if you're driving through a mostly dry state like, say, Arkansas, pack a bottle of wine, too)
  • don't do too much research/planning in advance, it's more fun that way! 
  • embrace the role of cheesy tourist--go to the outlandish, ridiculous places, take a million pictures, and own it
  • pick a destination you're excited about, otherwise that much driving will feel like a job, not a vacation

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