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Cross Country Trip: OK To Drive Instead Of Fly? PDF Print E-mail

Q: My spouse and I are considering driving round trip from San Francisco to visit relatives in Cleveland. If we fly, with parking, security and plane changes, it would take at least 14 hours each way, and cost for two is $3,000 or more round trip.

If we drive straight through, our cost for gas and food will be about $500 total. Taking turns at the wheel, we hope to make the drive in about 20 hours each way. When much younger, we did cross-country driving several times, but are now in our late 60s. Is it a good idea at our age?  MRMcL, San Francisco CA

A: Why not? We know people in their 80s who still do this kind of trip. To make sure your health is OK, get a medical and eye check-up before you go. Also take your car in for a check-up. If you both drive, set a schedule of four-hour shifts. Take a blanket and pillow so one can sack out on the back seat while the other drives.

Stay on major highways, and try to make your schedule so that you’re going through big city areas late at night, instead of during drive times of 6-9 am and 4-6 pm. When on gas and pit stops, get out of the car and do some light leg and arm exercises. And  ... have an enjoyable, safe road trip!


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