Road Trip Recap- Part 2


Part 2 of my Cross Country Road Trip recap is going to focus on my specific itinerary from Orange County (FL) to Orange County (CA).

  • Day 1: Orlando, FL to Pensacola, FL6 Hours, 30 minutes/450 miles (I-75 to I-10)
  • Day 2: Pensacola, FL to Dallas, TX9 Hours, 45 minutes/650 miles (I-10 to 98 to 49 to I-20)
  • Day 3: Dallas, TX to Albuquerque, NM9 Hours, 30 minutes/645 miles (287 to I-40)
  • Day 4: Albuquerque, NM to Petrified Forest to Page, AZ- 3 Hours/211 miles (I-40); 3 Hours, 40 minutes/232 miles (I-40 to 89)
  • Day 5: Page, AZ to Grand Canyon, AZ2 Hours, 30 minutes/133 miles (89 to 64)
  • Day 6: Grand Canyon, AZ to Anaheim, CA7 Hours, 15 minutes/484 miles (64 to I-40 to I-15)
  • Day 7: Anaheim (no driving!)
  • Day 8: Anaheim, CA to Las Vegas, NV4 Hours/264 miles (I-15)
  • Day 9: Las Vegas, NV to Wickenburg, AZ3 Hours, 30 minutes/232 miles (I-515 to 93)
  • Day 10: Wickenburg, AZ to San Antonio, TX14 Hours, 30 minutes/1046 miles (60 to 303 to I-10)
  • Day 11: San Antonio, TX to New Orleans, LA8 Hours/543 miles (I-10)
  • Day 12: New Orleans (no driving!)
  • Day 13: New Orleans, LA to Orlando, FL9 Hours, 15 minutes/ 642 miles (I-10 to I-75)

The trip took 13 days, traveled across 9 states, and over 6000 miles. So how did we not only survive but actually enjoy our cross country road trip? I will go into a full set of tips and tricks we used to plan the trip in my next post, but here are a few of my essential lessons and recommendations for a long drive…

  • Plan your route! Leading up to our trip we mapped out every leg of the itinerary to make sure we knew we were never over-extending ourselves
  • Secure accommodations in advance. We went back and forth about reserving hotels in advance versus driving as far as we could and just finding what we could on the road but I am very glad we went with some advanced preparations. It made for a much saner trip and gave us a little bit of extra security knowing we had a reserved destination with a bed/shower after a long day of driving
  • Don’t forget time zones!  Driving across country means you will be driving through time zones and while most navigational apps will include time zones in the ETA, it is helpful to know when they will happen
  • Have things to look forward to and enjoy the journey. As much as I enjoyed the trip and the changing scenery I will also admit that there were periods where the long days of driving felt daunting. What made those drives much more palatable was knowing that we always had so many exciting destinations and things planned throughout the trip and not just at our final destination… from National Parks to an excursion to Las Vegas to see a Cirque Du Soleil show to Disneyland to a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert!

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