Help me get Ma to Philly
March 15, 2011 12:34 PM   Subscribe

Mom is moving from ABQ to Philly area. What is the best way to get herself, her car, and her two dogs cross-country?

So, my mom is considering these two options:

1) Drive cross country from ABQ to Philly. Disadvantages: A really long road trip over unfamiliar terrain.

2) Fly from ABQ to Philly. Disadvantages: Dogs freak out, how does she get her car from ABQ to Philly.

Bonus question: Mom's gonna rent a house until she gets the lay of the land and then will buy. Where is an affordable community (read: not terribly affluent) that is pretty close to the city but more small town-y than urban?

Angrycat and Mother of Angrycat thank you in advance!
posted by angrycat to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: 30 hours of driving.

Here is the route I would take if she drives.
posted by JayRwv at 12:42 PM on March 15, 2011

Do you want to spend a couple of days in the care with your mom? I'd suggest having a friend, or a relative drive out with her.

I'm guessing she has stuff she has to have moved. You could also ask the moving company to move her car, so all she would have to do is fly out. That would mean doing something about the dogs though. Either someone else could drive them out, or she could have them flown out as well. It can be stressful for dogs to fly, but not unbearable if you have her vet prescribe some ace for them.

In fact, with a move like that, I'd have her vet prescribe ace for them anyway. It's like doggy valium.
posted by TheBones at 12:43 PM on March 15, 2011

posted by jchaw at 12:49 PM on March 15, 2011

Having done the drive from California to Delaware (an hour from Philly), and many similarly-long drives- they're not that bad. The unfamiliar terrain really isn't an issue; for better or for worse, freeways are all quite similar, and the terrain is therefore shockingly familiar even if you've never been somewhere.

From personal experience both ways, I can say that having company for the drive helps an awful lot.
posted by JMOZ at 12:50 PM on March 15, 2011

I think that's a great opportunity to have a road-trip/vacation with your mom! I've also done some long distance driving (AZ/GA) and went on tons of road trips as a child. I love them, and don't feel like that kind of drive would be all that bad.
posted by Tooty McTootsalot at 12:54 PM on March 15, 2011

Here is the route I would take if she drives.

That's the correct route. It's boring as crap (read: flat with little to see) except for MO and PA. It's a two-day drive for someone who is good at long road trips. Adding two dogs, she'll probably want to space it out to three days. First stop around Joplin, MO or Springfield, MO. Second stop around Dayton, OH or Columbus, OH. All of those stops have ample numbers of hotels, so finding a dog-friendly hotel shouldn't be an issue.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:59 PM on March 15, 2011

You mention 2 dogs - how big are they, and how used are they to travel? A friend moving cross country decided to drive himself over several days but let his 20-lb dog travel by air because it hated car rides. My 120-lb lab was happy to be in a car for a long and had no trouble making the trip from Rye, NY to Nashville, TN (16 hours, with a few breaks) several years back.

Whatever she does, definitely have her talk to the vet about meds that may help, as TheBones suggested. Not just for the trip itself, but the adjustment before and after, too.
posted by southpaw at 12:59 PM on March 15, 2011

I don't see any nonstop flights between ABQ and PHL, so she and the dogs would have to change planes.

Amtrak looks like it takes 24 hours to get from ABQ to Chicago (via the 'Southwest Chief') and 24 more to get to 30th St Station (via the 'Cardinal') and while easier, would cost about the same as flying.

I vote for road trip, unless you think the car won't make it or are unsure of her ability to drive that much or handle the dogs. The folks above are correct in their choice of route and that she'll be driving on interstate highways 85% of the way - there's more chance of her getting dangerously bored from 4 hour stretches of doing nothing but sticking to the center lane than getting lost.

I'd recommend you fly out to her place, then drive back together. If not for family bonding, than to handle the dogs and take shifts driving. Bring a book on tape/CD/ipod or something else to listen to when you're tired of talking to each other and want something to keep your mind occupied.
posted by bartleby at 1:19 PM on March 15, 2011

Response by poster: aw thanks guys you are awesome

dogs are small (terriers? I should know but don't). They are great dogs but not entirely mellow.
posted by angrycat at 1:57 PM on March 15, 2011

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