This is the longest road trip I’ve ever taken. It was five or so weeks long, in the middle of the most disastrous year for my country that I have experienced in my lifetime. Nevertheless, all the isolation and stagnation and whatever else that came with all of the madness was “driving” me insane, so it was time to get the hell out of Florida. What better time to do it? I couldn’t leave the country due to travel restrictions. Gas was cheap. Everyone was sick in my state. I had 20-something states I had never experienced. Florida is hot as Hades in July. So, I rented an SUV, filled it full of stuff, and hit the road! Here’s the route overview…
I knew I had to cover the states I’d never seen, as one of my goals was to see all 50 states. I looked around Google Maps and made note of where I had friends and family. I also Googled “what to see in (insert place),” and I already had a bunch of “want to go” locations flagged in Maps. That’s pretty much how I built the route.
It was a basically brand new Toyota RAV4 (4000-ish miles) that I got from Sixt for about $900 when all was said and done. I found it on Priceline for $100 cheaper than on the Sixt website, so I called the Sixt sales line to see if they could match that, and I had a few questions. I explained what I was planning on doing (putting about 10,000 miles on the car whilst traveling most of the United States) and wanted to see about oil changes, etc. They said it wouldn’t be a problem and we would work all that out…sounded great, until I was already in Vermont calling about how to go about the oil change that would be due soon, and they told me that there would be a $.50 per mile charge for travel outside of Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Clearly, I was not into the idea of paying $5000 extra for this trip (a.k.a., I was about to send a nuke their way). It took over a week of arguing with them, calling every day, getting them to review the initial call, and complete anxiety about how it would shake down before they finally “honored” the price (with a $50 surcharge just to needle me a bit). I got my way in the end, but I had to mention this, because it was hands down the worst part about my trip. Everyone I spoke with ranged from apathetic at best, to a big dummy in the middle, to a straight-up swindler. Enough griping…
That all said, the car was perfect for a solo traveler. I made a bed in the back, so I wouldn’t have to mess with tents when staying at campsites. I packed a hammock, a couple coolers, my inflatable kayak, a week’s worth of clothes, munchies, my Razor scoot scoot, laptop gear, and a few other random thangs.
- Hittin’ the road: Georgia and Tennesee
- First solo days: West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey
- New England Loop (4th of July!)
- Kentucky and the Natti
- Michigan and “Chicago”
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
- New Mexico
- Texas and Oklahoma
- Kansas and Missouri
- Mississippi, Alabama, Tally