Nothing can destroy a fun filled road trip easier than
spending 80% of it driving to your destination.
stressed from the long driving, your nerves are shot & everyone
is now grumpy. What a way to start a vacation!
- the week before
Pack & do laundry,
shop for trip; plan your route online & off. Nothing beats
old fashioned paper good maps!
- leave early
Plan for a 'night
before' departure if possible & stay in a cheap hotel along
- best planning tip
The easiest way to
plan a California trip is to start looking at your travel distances online. Web sites like Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, or MapQuest can help in determine your route, but whatever you do: DO NOT RELY on these printed (online) maps alone. If you hit the road with only a one page print out, without carrying any other types of regional maps you may be in for a frustrating or longer route, or miss everything by taking only freeways.
rule of thumb:
For every 2 hours of driving
time, Stay a minimum of one overnight!
This means if you are traveling from San Diego to Big
, on average it will take about 2-3 hours drive one way, which
means one single overnight stay (be it lodge, cabin or camping) is not unheard of.
But if you are planning to visit Mammoth from Los
, it is more like 4-6 hour drive & you better be spending
at least 2 or 3 nights up there to get your precious vested time worth.
This line of thought on prepration and planning helps you rest, relax and enjoy your time away from the city.
is the LEFT COAST, the west coast, a long state, a tall country & driving North-South routes can be very time consuming.
below for reference
to Yosemite is 8 hours worth of travel time.
Los Angeles to Shasta is a whopping 12 hours
varied routes: If you are planning a multiple stop trip or even
trying to get an exact route down, web sites like GoogleMaps and MapQuest may make you enter in several smaller towns along the way
to get an accurate or preferred highway. And if ya got plenty
of time to take the BackRoads
we highly recommend a California Benchmark Map.
There once was a couple from the OC, who headed east outta town with glee. As they climbed into the hills, beauty and sunset held many thrills. Ended up lost in the mountains, in the dark, finding a small town Julian, where luckily they were able to stop and ask for directions. DanaMite gave them some added advice: Make sure the next trip you have a real map, not just a one page print out from online. They spent their time frantically looking for Interstate 10 (the long way through the hills). Christmas Eve spent driving and mad, instead of by a fireplace & relaxing.
CAL TRANS HWY INFO:
All hours of the night & day you
can find the California Dept. of Transportation closing
roads & freeways. Just for peace of mind: Call ahead, especially
for mountain routes & snowy winter conditions.
Such is life in the
big city! Welcome to California hell traffic. Large urban areas
such as Los Angeles, San Diego & San Francisco Bay area traffic
is difficult to judge, so a visit various web sites a few days
in advance to check traffic patterns of local commuters. Plus
check out the Traffic Page for tips on easing your weekend get-a-way
up to minute traffic reports online - check it before you start your drive!