USA coast to coast! At least as from Hillsborough, North Carolina to Newport Beach, California: 2513 miles as the crow flies as pictured. Obviously it’s quite a bit longer if you go via New Orleans, Houston, Marfa and anywhere that strikes your fancy as we did. New York to San Francisco is a cool alternative, and if you want to keep things really simple you could get on US Route 50 at Ocean City, Maryland and get off it around 3000 miles later at West Sacramento, California. To collect T-shirts with I got my kicks on them, fridge magnets, mugs and baseball caps, take Route 66.
Road trips have a way of unravelling and taking longer than anticipated (I refer you to Vanishing Point; Rain Man; Planes, Trains & Automobiles and Midnight Run) and really, that’s the point. I didn’t really do much planning, and took it a day at a time, and stretched it out to 3 weeks, but if you want to be more organised about it, take a look at Tripit.com. And bear in mind that, while the freeways are good and straight, the speed limits are surprisingly low and the cops are plentiful as we are about to find out on the way to Big Sur . . .
Something else worth considering is that if you are hiring a car (or an RV) you will be charged extra for dropping it off at a different depot. And, if you are coming to the USA from overseas, unless you have a great travel agent or skill for online booking, you’ll also pay extra for flying into one airport and out of another. To keep the international flight costs down – if you need them – you could always pick it up at A drop it off at B (for a surcharge) and then fly back to A to connect with your international flight. In my case, as we aren’t short of time, we’re driving back – although as I’m now some days into that I have to say it does feel like driving back, always with one eye on the clock asking if there’s enough time.