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danidee27 Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.

go on a road trip with no predetermined destination
A question about this goal: Hmm... so how far or long does the trip have to be to count as a "road trip"? March 29th, 2011 08:12


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Hi! in my case i had a backpack and was ready for 2 weeks :)

you can perhaps go for 2 days and it should still count :)

danidee27 Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.

I would love to be able to do that!

And that’s my preconceived “idea of a road trip.” Unfortunately, two weeks is way out of the question for me with work.

Where did you end up going? was my trip.. i started in hyderabad and went anti-clockwise to do a full circle back to hyderabad :)

I like to put a far away destination in my GPS, and then hit “stay off highways” or “max speed 40” and see where it takes me. I never get to that destination (it usually takes to long cause I stop wherever I want) – but it’s a great trip. Letting the GPS tell you where to go is cool, and feeling free to turn off to a different direction whenever you want is the best!

My best “no destination” started in boston along Route 20 (now my most favorite road ever). I took 20 all the way to cleveland (3 days), took off to Nashville to visit an ex-boyfriend from 15 years ago who called while I was on my trip (he found me on facebook), and ended with some baseball games in Cincinnati and cleveland. I ended up gone a week. I had only 2 sets of clothes with me, and came home with an entire call full (seriously – full) of antiques from different states (Kentucky was a gold mine!), and a head full of amazing memories.

I think as long as you are going somewhere new that you can count anything further than an hour or so from your home a road trip as long as you have the right mentality. Overnight is not required.

danidee27 Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.

I like this answer. That’s what I was thinking too. I just didn’t want to mark it as done if it doesn’t meet the standard of the goal. But, I guess as long as it feels like you’re far enough out to call it a road trip, it is!

kitklein Re-organizing my workspace

You can camp in your own back yard or (as with me) take a “trip” to Graceland or Beale St, Memphis TN and see the most amazing things. Open your eyes and you will find that the world is a wonderous place.

Kelly_does_Life is procrastinating

I’m going to say that you have to cross a border of some kind…. municipal boarders are OK, State or provincial borders are better…. Country lines are best! :)

danidee27 Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.

Country lines are out of the question. No time and no passport!

State lines seemed a stretch… until you mentioned it and I Googled it. It’s only a 4 hr drive for me to be in another state.

I’m worried this will take the “predetermined” part out of it, though, since I’m in Florida and there’s only one way to go. I’d be going to Georgia, but I guess it would be ok if I didn’t decide on a city.? :)

I seem to agree with thatsmary. It’s more mentality than time. It depends on the goal, as well. If you’re doing it to escape and retreat from your normal day-to-day, I think you need at least 2 overnights. This includes one day to get started, and one full day where you wake up in one unfamiliar place and have the whole day ahead of you to chart your own course. After that, there’s an expectation that you’re headed back to reality and it’s hard not to start thinking about what you have to do when you get back.

If you’re looking to explore new territory, on the other hand, I’ve actually taken that kind of road trip in a single day without leaving the city I’m in! I just pick a part of the city to get “lost” in.

danidee27 Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.

I’m going for a little bit of both. “Exploring new territory while being out on my own in a new place” sounds like my goal for it.

Well for me the longer the further,
the better. I have traveled a good
distance across America doing this
and found out many interesting things about this country. But many
times i have a point to arrive at.
Really it could be any distance.
Most important is how adventurous are you and is there something you want to discover about your world or yourself.

danidee27 Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.

I’ve never really gone on a trip on my own. Actually, I’ve never really gone more than an hour and a half from home on my home if not to go visit someone.

I just want to enjoy my independence and alone time and see what I come across on my way. :)

Chrissy Morin is working

I’d say at least an hour because that way you are out of your own “hood”. and about to experience something new and it’s time to listen to sing really loud with a couple of CD’s with the windows open tooling down the freeway with your favorite roadtrip crew.

danidee27 Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.

Oh, yes. Good driving music is a must!

danidee27 Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.

Also, to those of you who’ve done this and feel like sharing… what was your “destination?” what was the coolest thing you saw along the way?

kitklein Re-organizing my workspace

The hand of the gods in a summer sunset, Angels flying over the mountains in spring (fireflies really close up), the wonder of a lonely woman begging for money with soul filled eyes, munching on a mustard packet in downtown Philadelphia. Getting a flat tire and asking for help for hours, only to be helped by a toothless Harley Davidson Rider who was a bit older than Jesus, not quite as old as God. The wonder of the guilt of a Amish Church during a 4 hour sermon on a hot summer Sunday in Lancaster PA. Watching the wind in a lot valley in Idaho where no others came within 100 miles of me. Being able to express all this and know that I could right volumes and never reach the end. But most of all, sitting by a lake in Georgia, watching the sun go down and knowing for a fact that there is something greater than all of us out there. Call it what you will, but revel in the wonder.

Most interesting thing I’ve stumbled upon was a Castle in the middle of a National Forest in Colorado. Stained glass, all stone walls, wood floors, amazing, and totally free to explore. But, my recommendation for starting this is to get some CDs, a bottle of water, a sandwich, an atlas for return trip, and a coin. The coin is the most important. Get in your car, drive until you come to a worthy intersection, flip the coin, go left or right, whichever wins. I feel chance really brings out the “no predetermined destination” part out in a trip. Quite a few of the craziest nights of my life came from driving around with a coin. And if you stumble upon something cool, stop, I’m sort of against road trips that don’t have things along the way. Many people take these big trips and have nothing really interesting to say about it. Also, this can all be done on a Saturday. I say state borders or anything doesn’t matter, just being in territory you don’t know is what it’s about, and finding something cool, be it on the road or about yourself. Hopefully you enjoy this and get addicted, because it’s lots of fun. Okay, my rant is done. Good luck.


Anything you want counts as long as you feel that it does. It’s your goal- you don’t have to fit into the boundaries of other people who have done it or want to do it.

When I did this (at least for the entry I posted here: we had a general idea of some places we wanted to visit but mainly kept things very flexible. What was the coolest thing we saw? Impossible to say. I would say that the most unexpected pleasures for me were Bandelier National Monument and Mesa Verde National Park- I enjoyed both of those places much more than I expected to. As long as you keep yourself open to possibilities, you’ll enjoy yourself!

I would say at least 3 days…

One day to just drive off as far as you want to go… just make distance, and flip a coin on the crossroads (just like NotebookJones said)... and then 2 days to take a different loop back…. take the backroads…

I felt the fun part about the roadtrip is the total lack of a timetable and no specific destination… only one timeline to keep in mind: can I reach a sleeping destination before dark. And obviously the final leg that takes you home again.

The fun part about the overnight is that the first drink you take after parking for the night is really good… it has an odd feel of satisfaction to it… and in that place you take that drink, you get to talk to people who think you’re crazy just for dropping in their town… and then next day, eat breakfast in the next town…

I did a crazy thing in 2003… my boss told me to take up all my accumulated overtime… so I booked a ticket to Sydney, bought a car downunder and litterally drove around the entire Australian continent and then some….

36,000 km in 4 months time… it is already a couple of years ago, but I can still talk for hours about that trip…

if you’re interested: I have an incredebly boring set of pics here:

kitklein Re-organizing my workspace

My answer is dependent on the reason for the “road trip”. In my youth, I mounted my Harley Davidson with no destination, starting in Barrington NJ and wound up in Southern California about 10 days later and met LOT of people. As I aged, I found that getting on a horse and riding unknown trails, or even getting in my jeep and picking a highway, traveling for 2 hours, and stopping to visit shops in a town of 663 population or an unknown river or lake can have the same effect. It is never really the destination .. it is the journey and who you meet on the way. This is a very famous quote that is attributed, by the younger generation, to Katherine Janeway of Star Trek Voyager. But it is much older and has been stated many times. Don Williams (American Poet 1968), Greg Anderson (American Author 1964) and many others. So enjoy the journey and let the destination be filled with wonder.

Barb Sing along with me...

I think it’s up to YOU what a road trip is. :P

For me, it has to be at least overnight to be a “real” road trip and not a long drive. But we used to road-trip a lot. With the price of gas…hmmm.

ohnomarie too much to do too little time

I don’t nessasarily feel like a road trip should have any real length, time, or destination stamped on it to make it a true road trip. I believe it all has to do with your mindset when first embarking on the trip itself. If you tell yourself, “Hey, I’m going to drive to the state line and back again just to clear my head,” then you’ve gone on a road trip.

I think its all mental. However long it takes you to feel like you’ve hit the mark or reached your goal, is how long a road trip should be.

A road trip can mean all sorts of things to different people, finding out what it means to you is part of your own journey.

Watching the sunset in Georgia while on the open road was one of my highlights, for sure :)

Recently went on two different road trips with no predetermined schedule.
1. San Antonio to Memphis to Nashville to Washington DC, to Gettysberg to Niagra Falls to Toronto to Quebec to Maine to Vermont to Hartford to Boston to New York City. 16 days.

2. Sacramento to Napa to San Francisco, to Monterey to Half Moon Bay to LA to Venice Beach to Palm Springs to Scottsdale to Tucson to Tombstone to El Paso to Marathon Tx to San Antonio. We figured original on about a 1 week trip but we took our time and went 15 days.

as long as you want it to be….

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