Vote of the week: How much time will you spend in the car on a roadtrip?
Published: September 23, 2010 at 10:52 PM
Did you go on a roadtrip? If you've been following the site, you likely know that we did, and it was a big one - seven weeks and 8,000 miles. But even though we covered a lot of miles on our trip, we didn't have that many long days within the car. We tried to break the trip into smaller chunks, with several days off the road in between our driving days as well.
Our roadtrip machine
I'm comfortable with epic stints behind the wheel - when I was in grad school, I once drove from Orlando to Houston in a single day, stopping only to gas up and hit drive-thrus at meal times. (Human "pit stops" were reserved for when the gas was pumping.) That was over 1,000 miles in a day - my personal best.
But with a wife and kids now, the family can't comfortably endure that much driving in one day. We stretched on this trip to make it from Cincinnati to Orlando in one go, but that was with a 5 am start for a 15-hour day. Most driving days, though, we were comfortable spending up to nine to 10 hours in the car, averaging between 600-700 miles.
How long are you, and your family, comfortable in the car on a single day during a roadtrip? That's our vote of the week.
I've offered the options below in miles, but it might be helpful to think of them in terms of hours. Let's figure that, with highway speeds and occasional stops for food and gas, that you might average a touch over 60 miles per hour. That would place the first option at up to four hours in the car, the second at about four-to-eight hours, the third at eight-to-12 hours and the over 750 miles option at more than 12 hours a day in the car.
Or, if you don't care for roadtrips, and are more comfortable on a plane or train for out-of-town trips, that's an option available to you as well.
Let's hear more detail in the comments. What's the longest you've spent in the car on a one-day haul? Got any funny or frustrating roadtrip stories? We'd love to hear them.