Author Topic: Driving from east coast to San Diego - experiences, advice?  (Read 340 times)

Offline marcia29

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Driving from east coast to San Diego - experiences, advice?
« on: February 19, 2020, 05:18:00 PM »
We are thinking about making a cross country drive from Florida to San Diego for the con. Wondering if anyone may have tried this mighty trek.  We would have to rent a van or motorhome perhaps, as we are working with a group of 7. Thoughts?  ::)
It is 2020, so...where's my flyin' car??!!

Offline JKingoftheNerds

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Re: Driving from east coast to San Diego - experiences, advice?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2020, 05:44:52 PM »
Oh man, I'd love to hear how it goes. I've thought about doing the same myself (only my point of origin would be NC), but it's just me going by myself to SDCC this year, and doing the drive alone, as a woman, is a bit intimidating. (Editing this post to clarify, it's not the driving that bothers me, I LOVE to drive long distances, it's the stopping in unknown places with no travel companions in tow.)

My best bit of advice I can give is to keep your driving portion at somewhere around 6-8 hours each day. I've done group road trips before and 8 hours is really the very maximum amount of time you can keep a group together in a vehicle (with breaks of course) before tempers start to fray.

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Re: Driving from east coast to San Diego - experiences, advice?
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Offline marcia29

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Re: Driving from east coast to San Diego - experiences, advice?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2020, 05:52:37 PM »
Thanks for the advice. Wouldn't it be cool if we could get an east to west coast caravan to the con? :)
It is 2020, so...where's my flyin' car??!!

Offline JKingoftheNerds

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Re: Driving from east coast to San Diego - experiences, advice?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2020, 06:10:09 PM »
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Thanks for the advice. Wouldn't it be cool if we could get an east to west coast caravan to the con? :)

Um. THAT WOULD BE AMAZING!

Offline mark

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Re: Driving from east coast to San Diego - experiences, advice?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2020, 06:44:32 PM »
Do you (roughly) know your route and what if any time you have for detours? People might have some suggestions based on where you are driving through.

Offline Quislings

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Re: Driving from east coast to San Diego - experiences, advice?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2020, 08:06:21 PM »
My honest thoughts are what kind of jobs do you all have that you can take that much time off? lol

I drove myself from Virginia to San Francisco on a cross country move over the course of about a week (week and a half with stops and visits with friends and less than 8 hours of driving most days) and if there are going to be seven of you, I vote for a motorhome so you guys can have some space while on the road and you can rent camping spaces along the way or stop in Walmart parking lots or whatever to rest. Someone would have to be ready to drive a vehicle that big though and it limits where you could realistically stop for food/gas/whatever.
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Offline marcia29

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Re: Driving from east coast to San Diego - experiences, advice?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2020, 09:06:56 PM »
We would be traveling from Jacksonville, Florida via 10 west for as far as we can go, and then...? Not sure about afterward,  to go straight into SanDiego.

I wish Amtrak still ran from Jacksonville through New Orleans, but after Hurricane Katrina that has not been reopened.  >:(

Once I took the train across country from LA to Jacksonville, Fl, and it was superfun! It was during The MLB World Series and I watched it on my little tv, and relaxed the whole way.

As for time off- We use this time as our vacation, so we can at least take some extra days to get out there and may need to fly back.  My son drives big rigs, and I am fearless as  driver.

Last year we all flew and let me say there are a few in our group who REALLY had difficulty with the flying... I mean almost to the point of...get me off this plane now! Yikes! We barely made it. :-X

It is 2020, so...where's my flyin' car??!!

Offline TardisMom

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Re: Driving from east coast to San Diego - experiences, advice?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2020, 09:28:22 AM »
You'd take the I-10 to Tucson, then north of Tucson take the I-8 to San Diego.

My concern would be the heat.  It will be HOT in Texas and Arizona and probably everywhere else in late July.  I guess if you live in Florida you're used to that, but I'd rather do a long trip like this in cooler weather.  My 2 cents :)

Offline Mel

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Re: Driving from east coast to San Diego - experiences, advice?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2020, 09:53:03 PM »
It'll be horribly hot. A rented minivan would accommodate 7. Everyone is going to be too tired to drive back. You'd need at least 4 days to do it.

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Offline chachime45

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Re: Driving from east coast to San Diego - experiences, advice?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2020, 02:40:01 PM »
I did this exact trip in 2017 ... I loved it!

It can be pretty pricey and takes a while but I plan on doing it again someday. I took three family members and my main outline was to not drive more than 9 hours in a single day, and everybody got to pick a destination along the main route. I chose New Orleans (for obvious reasons), my son picked San Antonio, my daughter Roswell N.M. and my wife the Grand Canyon. I threw in a couple of days in Las Vegas for good measure and then five in San Diego for Comic Con.

It was pretty easy to map out and I reserved hotels all along the way. The plan was to hustle from spot to spot with minimal stopping to smell roses or anything else. I didn't want to drive back so I rented a car one-way ... hard to do for under $1,000. A friend got me a discount, though. Four one-way plane tickets back from SD was around $800 total. I also got my wife a plane ticket to Flagstaff, AZ since she wanted to skip most of the drive and join us for the Grand Canyon.

Hotels were anywhere from $75 a night (Vegas) to $320 a night (Grand Canyon). For SD I went with an early bird.

Day 1 (9 hour drive) from Jacksonville Beach to New Orleans. Stayed two nights ... very fun!

Day 3 (9 hour drive) from NO to San Antonio. Got there early afternoon, ate a fantastic meal and explored Riverwalk. Next day woke up early and went to Alamo.

Day 4 (9 hour drive) from SA to Roswell. And that was it for the long drives ... short hops the rest of the way. Spent night in Roswell and checked out all the UFO stuff the next day. My son met up with a friend of us from high school who was going into the Army and they drove ahead of us to Albuquerque that day. He was 19 then and went to his first strip club in Albuquerque N.M. at 1 in the afternoon. Some lessons you just have to learn for yourself. My daughter and I drove up later that day (3 hour drive) and we stayed at a dusty Holiday Inn.

Day 6 (6 hour drive) from Albuquerque to Grand Canyon. Ate lunch at the chicken place from Breaking Bad, which is actually a cheap burrito joint. Picked up my wife in Flagstaff and we got to our hotel kind of late in the day.

Day 7 Grand Canyon. Wow!

Day 8 (5 hours) GC to Las Vegas. Ate like a caveman at Aria buffet, saw a show, stayed two nights. Always fun there.

Day 10 (5 hours) LV to San Diego. And Comic Con!

Got my car to the rental place with 10 minutes to spare. Took an Uber to the beach (The trip started and ended with our feet in an ocean).

Total cost including Comic Con was around $9,000 although I'm not really sure. It is far easier and cheaper to just fly out but this was one of the best experiences we have had as a family.


Offline marcia29

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Re: Driving from east coast to San Diego - experiences, advice?
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2020, 10:29:59 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login  WOW...how about that??  What a great trip you had with your family!  I showed this to my son, and he really likes this idea.  I thank you so much for your detail about your side trips, where you stayed, etc.  And...especially that this was a very memorable trip for your entire family.  I am going to see if we all can work out that much time on vacation and see if something similar is possible.

Superfun!!! :)
It is 2020, so...where's my flyin' car??!!