We were two women ~ above our an initial cross-country roadway trip. Us did that — we logged practically 3,000 miles, simply my daughter Gabi and also me. The entirety adventure felt so wildly American, spontaneous and independent. So below I am, with a blog short article on just how to journey from NY to LA in 5 days.

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Gabi mapped the end a simple, direct route because that our journey, which us made in July. Us stuck to major highways, surrounded by big rigs hauling all kinds of stuff from one finish of America come the other.


Tractor trailers loomed over our 12-year-old Toyota. Every one of us chugged past fields filled through cows, corn and also electricity-generating wind turbines. We saw mountains, sandy landscapes and also every type of highway rest stop — including some with washer/dryers and also showers.

We likewise learned that driving rapid is legal, v speed boundaries ranging approximately 80 mph. The totality trip price us a small over $1,000, consisting of gas, lodgings and meals.


Our itinerary from new York took us to Interstate-80 in new Jersey. I-80 is the country’s second-longest interstate highway, running coast-to-coast. That’s why it’s so renowned with commercial truckers. Us traveled through them v Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming and also Utah.

Once us hit Salt Lake City, us exited onto Interstate-15 for Nevada and also Arizona. The last component of the trip was the toughest. I actually acquired a little scared in the blistering, 107-degree warmth of California’s windy, endless Mojave desert. Never ever seen anything prefer it. Wow.


How to journey from NY come LA in 5 days

According to Google Maps, it’s possible to make this whole trek in 41 hours straight. However we want our sanity and also sleep. We made the first and critical day our longest drives, 10 hrs straight per day; adrenalin kept us going.

Here’s where we stopped overnight, including our miles, hours and also lodging expenses:

New York –> Ann Arbor, MI. — 10 hours, 630 miles

Ann Arbor –> Des Moines, Iowa   8 hours, 557 miles

Des Moines –> Cheyenne, WY. — 9 hours, 629 miles

Cheyenne –> Salt Lake City, Utah. — 7 hours, 441 miles

Salt Lake City –> Los Angeles, CA. — 10 hours, 688 miles

Breakout of ours costs 

As for our expenses:

$265.07 because that gas$346.43 for three one-night Airbnb stays* + one night in ~ a hotel (Marriott Courtyard, $123.43)$385.55 for mealsmiscellaneous tolls**

*Airbnb per-night charges were $73 in Iowaa, $89 in Wyoming and $56 in Utah.

**Tolls not included. Ours EZ Pass operated in many states. We never ever paid any tolls with coins or bills.

Our tips because that newbies

Car care is critical. If you’re control your very own car, have it extensively check-out and also serviced prior to heading out. This leads to a few more tips:

Thank kindness we had the vehicle manual handy. Once unfamiliar icons lit increase the dashboard, us looked them as much as assess if we were in trouble. (We weren’t.)Many components of the nation do not have actually gas stations v mechanics. The end west, it appears that gas stations only sell gas and also junk food. When we necessary an oil change in Salt Lake City, we realized we required to go to a Jiffy Lube.

Bring a GPS. Uneven you like reading document maps or have limitless cellular data, a gps is a must. Us bought a $119 Garmin for at best Buy that offered us well. When we passed with stretches the farm country with no cabinet service, we were yes, really happy to have our GPS.

Gas is the optimal priority. Prices for continuous unleaded were all over the map, from $2.05 in Idaho to $3.79 in California. For many of ours highway driving, remainder stops were plentiful — other than in the Mojave Desert. Here’s what to do if you drive v that sewage sandscape:

Always have actually at the very least a quarter tank the gas. Remainder stations can be scarce.At the very least twice, us passed indicators saying “rest stop ahead.” yet they lied. The stops to be either demolished or closed.Stay top top the highway. Once, once we googled because that gas stations, the find took united state off the highway top top a dirt road to nowhere.

Rest stops vary widely. Pennsylvania remainder stops are little and dull and only precious visiting if you’re desperate because that a toilet. ~ above the other hand, Ohio’s contemporary rest stops look like room ships packed with gift shops, rapid food options and even Panera Bread. In between, was every little thing else — indigenous dank and dirty, come super-modern, trucker-friendly locations with couches, washer/dryers and complimentary showers.

Eat great food. Given the unpredictable nature of rest stops, ns was glad us packed our own snacks — nuts, chips, crackers, water, etc. For meals, Gabi searched for restaurants on Google Maps and TripAdvisor.com, when I seen Yelp.com. Us ate well. Favourite meals consisted of home-made pretzels, artisanal sandwiches, pho and also vegan avocado toast.


Audio publications make great company.

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ns wasn’t certain my daughter would gain listening to a book. But even though we discovered “The Help” annoying, it’s a long novel the passed the time and gave us lot to speak about. Our second book was “The 4 Agreements: A Practical guide to personal Freedom.” that was just two CDs-long. We played the a pair of times once we were bored and found the inspiring.

What next

I’m for this reason proud that we know exactly how to journey from NY come LA in 5 days. Personally, the expedition took me to the next level as an live independence woman and also explorer. Road trips room fun. I can’t wait to do another one. (P.S. — If you desire to know how to make this overland journey in 3.5, 7 or 14 days, examine out this July 2017 post on Thrillest.com.)