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    1. #1
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      taking a road trip, not what you'd expect edition

      There is a good chance that I will sign onto a permanent remote-work arrangement next week. The job is fine, but what's really appealing is being able to work wherever I want. The freedom has me considering all sorts of options, with a road/work trip at the forefront. Basically, I'd like to pack my car, grab my work laptop, and slowly make my way around the great U.S. of A.

      I see all sorts of road trip threads, but haven't come across a hybrid like this: I'm technically still on the clock (at least during the mornings when I'm on the phone), but want to post up in various places. Some immediate questions come to mind:
      • Where would I work? I need an internet connection, but coffee shops and the like may get tiresome. Coworking spaces look like a good international option, but I see very little in the USA
      • Where will I sleep? A tent with a good sleeping bag + pad is an obvious choice, given that I find safe campsites. My GTI wouldn't be the best place to sleep...
      • How should I maintain a healthy diet? I'd like to stretch this out over many weeks, and that's a lot of eating out. I'd try to be disciplined and avoid junk, but that can only last so long
      • Where should I go? Sight-seeing, automotive-related landmarks, River Rat Rallies...
      • How should this be managed during COVID? Is this even a good idea for later this summer?

      If this all works out, I will be a very lucky guy. I'd like to make this opportunity count. Thanks for the thoughts
      PFA:
      Last edited by kaz02a4; 06-25-2020 at 08:55 AM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Triumph View Post
      That's like a child saying, "I'm going to swing my fists and walk towards you, and if you get hit, it's your fault!"

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    3. #2
      Member HotCarlWeathers's Avatar
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      Get a standalone 4G hotspot for the trip. Verizon has the broadest coverage.

      There's a lot more coworking spaces out there than you'd think, but I would not doubt that many were the first to fall victim to the pandemic economy and WFH.
      I am not associated with Weber-Stephens wonderful American-made grilling products, nor with Guy Fieri or Martin's Famous Potato Rolls.

    4. #3
      1. Fast food restaurants, hotels, or like mentioned above a 4g hotspot

      2. Check out KOA, I didn't stay at one in my recent cross country trip but spoke to a guy that did. Basically a nationwide system of campgrounds for tent camping

      3. If you have space for a cooler, visit grocery stores and buy healthy. Personally, I was on the road for 3 weeks but I'm young and burned a ton of calories at my hike stops so I didn't put too much thought into my diet.

      4. I'm partial to national parks and national forest areas, but that ties into...

      5. There was an opening in many states, and now there's a spike in cases. When I went there was limited access at the national parks and I didn't even bother with cities. That being said most of the middle of the country is open, and very loose with their restrictions. Now certainly isn't the optimal time for visiting, but the travelling itself is a little easier.

    5. #4
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      That sounds amazing, but in practice I'm not sure it's a great idea. Pre-COVID I would travel 50%+ for work. Every single time, no matter how much I did or tried to avoid it, when I got back to the office I had a backlog.

      It's not a motivation thing, exactly, although having more interesting stuff to do than work does play into it. Every thing that you would do from an office, or even a home office, is going to be a little bit harder and take a little bit longer. Need to scan something? Going to have to track one down or set one up. Internet outage or weak signal? Might be helpless and unable to work for a bit. Different time zone? Uh-oh, that meeting is in 5 minutes!

      If you're really serious about this, best recommendation I can give you is to remove as much uncertainty and add as much consistency as you can. Working from different cafes is inconsistent. Maybe you have a folding table and a canopy to recreate the same work environment in different places. Accessing various Wi-Fis will be unreliable. An unlimited 4G (or maybe even 5G?) hotspot on a major network won't be as good as a land connection but more consistent than the alternatives. Same with power; I'd recommend investing in large power bank and solar panels that can keep it charged so that you don't have to guess where to get your next charge.

      Oh, and if the company is going to have web meetings, you'll definitely want to sort out a routine. Others are probably not going to appreciate seeing/hearing someone in a cafe or at a park consistently, it adds extra background chatter to an environment which is already subject to it.

      Good luck, if you can pull it off I will certainly be happy for you and maybe a little envious too!

    6. #5
      Senior Member UncleJB's Avatar
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      Someone that did a lot of road tripping was also working - maybe pawa? Cant remember but it seemed like he made it work.

    7. #6
      We traveled quite a bit before the Coronavirus shut down our plans for this year... But if you're working professionally in the mornings, on the road, just about any decent hotel (especially the better chains, Sheratons, Hiltons, Marriotts, and their like) has free wifi in their lobby areas (and places to plug in your electronics). Grab you a (usually free) cup of coffee and buy a muffin or a scone from their cafés and settle in their comfy leather seating areas for a couple of hours. We've never been bothered by anyone in all the times we've decided to do this bit of housekeeping while away from our offices, you don't have to sit in your vehicle, and it's a hell of a lot more pleasant than the local Starbucks or (shudder) McDonalds (which I confess, we've used in dire emergencies). Also for emergency use: Many hospital waiting rooms, although not an attractive option nowadays.


    8. #7
      I would go with a slightly bigger vehicle such as a minivan and fit it out with a police laptop stand in front and a bed in the back.





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    9. #8
      Member BlackMiata's Avatar
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      I get sleeping in a car can be uncomfortable. But now I'm curious, if its just yourself, has anyone ever removed the passenger seat and built a platform structure, for storage etc. that gives you a long flat area, when the rear seat is layed down, to sleep on? Front seats never lay flat enough, but replacing the front seat with a storage box of some nature would give you sufficient length with the back seat down to put it some sort of long narrow, rollupable mattress. Still would have the back seat for passengers when the need arises. Bolt the box to the seat rails and make it lockable for the laptop, etc.

    10. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by BlackMiata View Post
      I get sleeping in a car can be uncomfortable. But now I'm curious, if its just yourself, has anyone ever removed the passenger seat and built a platform structure, for storage etc. that gives you a long flat area, when the rear seat is layed down, to sleep on? Front seats never lay flat enough, but replacing the front seat with a storage box of some nature would give you sufficient length with the back seat down to put it some sort of long narrow, rollupable mattress. Still would have the back seat for passengers when the need arises. Bolt the box to the seat rails and make it lockable for the laptop, etc.
      I think pawa did exactly that with a MK6 in one of the road trip threads.

      Edit: Found it! https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthre...#post113368203
      Last edited by ghost03; 06-25-2020 at 01:30 PM.

    11. #10
      Member BlackMiata's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by ghost03 View Post
      Oh, and if the company is going to have web meetings, you'll definitely want to sort out a routine. Others are probably not going to appreciate seeing/hearing someone in a cafe or at a park consistently, it adds extra background chatter to an environment which is already subject to it.
      Just hang a nice background image behind the seat, put webcam on the dashboard and get this and you are all set for a web meeting.....

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    12. #11
      Senior Member chucchinchilla's Avatar
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      Buy a small travel trailer off of CL. Sleeping quarters, work space, clothes storage, food storage, and cooking area so you don't have to eat out all the time. Couple this with a Verizon hot spot and maybe even a solar panel to charge your devices and you'll have everything you need. Route I'd take is top of the country westbound, down the West coast, then lower part of the country eastbound, then back up the east coast (or vice versa). Yes it'll cost $ to buy but you could always sell it later then consider the difference the actual cost.

      Random example I found off the interschnitzel called the Droplet.
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      This forum is more and more of an embarrassment every day...

    13. #12
      Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by kaz02a4 View Post
      [*]Where should I go? Sight-seeing, automotive-related landmarks, River Rat Rallies...
      If you find yourself in SW KS, I'd be happy to take you on a run through the river in the taHoe. I should have a new transmission in it by the weekend.

      Chris
      | 20 Ram | 13 Altima | 00 Tahoe | 94 Integra GS-R | 74 SuperBeetle | 62 Ford Unibody |

    14. #13
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      taking a road trip, not what you'd expect edition

      This sounds like a lot of fun. However - I see that you’re from New York. Keep in mind that in some parts of the country, you *will not* have a reliable cell signal to use as a work laptop hotspot. Even though Verizon is the best at coverage in the boonies out west, it is still not perfect.

      If you plan ahead for this with coffee shops, whatever, you’ll be fine. But do not take this issue lightly, especially if you catch yourself needing to hit deadlines.
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    15. #14
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      TCL delivers, as I expected. Many thanks

      Okay, so to clarify a bit: my job wouldn't require me to travel within the USA to visit customers, etc. Unless I'm traveling out of the country to manufacturing facilities, the work will consist of emails and phone calls in the mornings. Notbadobama.jpeg. This pseudo-road trip travel is strictly for personal enjoyment, which means strictly my budget. If the deal goes through, I will see about work offering a phone plan + mobile hotspot as part of the contract. If so, I'm in great shape, and can stay more on the frugal side of things.

      You guys delivered tons of options for places to sleep. The Droplet is a wild idea; never even considered a small trailer (and I just installed a class 1 trailer hitch). Nice find, as well, ghost: I'll be referencing pawa's build to see what changes I can make on my MK7. That flat load floor would be tremendous, especially coupled with mosquito nets. Sleeping out of the GTI would be huge, as it doesn't limit me to specific campsites and packing away more of that kind of gear.

      A routine to eliminate uncertainty is a fantastic idea. With the right planning, I could certainly figure it out. Beefjerky, great call on the cooler + grocery stores. I would probably pick up some cutlery and cooking supplies to meal prep, and have the coolers available to keep things as fresh as possible. Above all, the food is probably what worries me the most...on the same topic, what about water? Just grab bottled water from places, or are there tips here besides a lifestraw?

      The real elephant in the room is COVID. If it continues the way it has been with case levels rising, I just don't think it would be wise to embark on a wandering journey across the country. Sure, there are ways to mitigate the risk, but is it still worth it? I need to weigh that if this deal goes through.

      Chris, I'll let you know when I make a pit stop in KS. I'll bring some beer from western NY, and will definitely not take my GTI through the river bed course
      Last edited by kaz02a4; 06-25-2020 at 04:31 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Triumph View Post
      That's like a child saying, "I'm going to swing my fists and walk towards you, and if you get hit, it's your fault!"

    16. #15
      Quote Originally Posted by kaz02a4 View Post
      Above all, the food is probably what worries me the most...on the same topic, what about water? Just grab bottled water from places, or are there tips here besides a lifestraw?
      I did my trip with no A/C and lots of hiking, so I picked up gallon jugs and disposed of them at truck stops. However, you could use one jug and stop at Whole Foods to refill, I'm not sure what other stores do that type of thing but they must be out there. Also the gallon jugs were useful for catching oil, which I changed in a grocery store parking lot. As far as filters go, if you'd like to splurge I'd visit and REI or similar camping store and get a real deal filter instead of a life straw, it would allow you to fill up a large container. MSR makes a good one.

    17. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by kaz02a4 View Post
      Above all, the food is probably what worries me the most...on the same topic, what about water? Just grab bottled water from places, or are there tips here besides a lifestraw?
      So long as you're not in and out of it often, a good cooler can keep ice for days, and it's relatively easy to find more when you need to change it out. In addition to meats or cheeses or whatever we'll usually put bottles or jugs of water in the cooler for when we want cold drinks, and then have a Nalgene bottle or equivalent to fill at potable sources found on the way. You'll lose ice cooling water down, but it's better than nothing. Some people will also drink the ice water when it melts...I'm not a huge fan of that because the ice touches whatever else you toss in the cooler. If you don't get a lifestraw I'd at least keep some tablets as an emergency backup. Drinking it tastes like crap afterward but water is probably the worst thing to run out of on the road.
      Quote Originally Posted by kaz02a4
      The real elephant in the room is COVID. If it continues the way it has been with case levels rising, I just don't think it would be wise to embark on a wandering journey across the country. Sure, there are ways to mitigate the risk, but is it still worth it? I need to weigh that if this deal goes through.
      Personally I won't leave the Northeast right now. That said, there's tons of great places relatively local. If you haven't spend much time in the ADKs, Green Mountains, or Berkshires, those would all be a great to spend some serious time in, although cell service will be spotty, and less COVID risk is definitely not zero COVID risk.

      Quote Originally Posted by kaz02a4
      . I'll bring some beer from western NY
      I'll award you +10 internet points if you take Genny Cream Ale. +100 internet points if he likes it.

    18. #17
      Senior Member LT1M21Stingray's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by ghost03 View Post
      I'll award you +10 internet points if you take Genny Cream Ale. +100 internet points if he likes it.
      Quote Originally Posted by Mk1Madness
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    19. #18
      Senior Member UncleJB's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by ghost03 View Post

      I'll award you +10 internet points if you take Genny Cream Ale. +100 internet points if he likes it.
      Whenever I was driving back to Montana from NH I would always stop around Rochester and get my buddy a couple thirty racks of Genny Lite. He loved that stuff and cherished it. It actually wasn't a bad beer. But he said NO cream ale - EVER.

    20. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by UncleJB View Post
      Whenever I was driving back to Montana from NH I would always stop around Rochester and get my buddy a couple thirty racks of Genny Lite. He loved that stuff and cherished it. It actually wasn't a bad beer. But he said NO cream ale - EVER.
      DIW for not bringing home cases of Red Lodge Ales. Boo!
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      Quote Originally Posted by Vee-Dubber-GLI View Post
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    21. #20
      Senior Member UncleJB's Avatar
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      Might also be worth researching what states are doing about out of state visitors. For instance unless you live in NH or VT, you can't stay in a Maine hotel unless you either A) self quarantine for 14 days, or B) show results of a negative COVID test within 72 hours before you go to Maine. I don't know that any other states are doing this but it could be a problem.

      And even though you aren't in NYC you people in other states might see your plates and assume things...especially if you have the orange ones, those stand out like a sore thumb.

    22. #21
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      Quote Originally Posted by UncleJB View Post
      Whenever I was driving back to Montana from NH I would always stop around Rochester and get my buddy a couple thirty racks of Genny Lite. He loved that stuff and cherished it. It actually wasn't a bad beer. But he said NO cream ale - EVER.
      Haha it's probably the most polarizing beer I know. I love it, but despite my best efforts I've only ever managed to convince two people that weren't from Upstate NY to love it too. Even my wife has been here for almost 15 years now won't touch it.

    23. #22
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      Quote Originally Posted by ghost03 View Post
      So long as you're not in and out of it often, a good cooler can keep ice for days, and it's relatively easy to find more when you need to change it out. In addition to meats or cheeses or whatever we'll usually put bottles or jugs of water in the cooler for when we want cold drinks, and then have a Nalgene bottle or equivalent to fill at potable sources found on the way. You'll lose ice cooling water down, but it's better than nothing. Some people will also drink the ice water when it melts...I'm not a huge fan of that because the ice touches whatever else you toss in the cooler. If you don't get a lifestraw I'd at least keep some tablets as an emergency backup. Drinking it tastes like crap afterward but water is probably the worst thing to run out of on the road.

      Personally I won't leave the Northeast right now. That said, there's tons of great places relatively local. If you haven't spend much time in the ADKs, Green Mountains, or Berkshires, those would all be a great to spend some serious time in, although cell service will be spotty, and less COVID risk is definitely not zero COVID risk.

      I'll award you +10 internet points if you take Genny Cream Ale. +100 internet points if he likes it.
      Good call on both the cooler and the water purification tablets. I was planning on investing in a nice cooler anyway, so this is more of a reason to.

      Regarding the actual travel plans, I've decided to keep it within NYS for now. My family has a cabin in the ADKs, so I'll start there and explore the entire park. It will be safer, just as adventurous, and prep me for this actual road trip. I like this idea of scaling it back and starting small while COVID does its thing. Also, I should have good news tomorrow about the job, so fingers crossed!

      Quote Originally Posted by UncleJB View Post
      Whenever I was driving back to Montana from NH I would always stop around Rochester and get my buddy a couple thirty racks of Genny Lite. He loved that stuff and cherished it. It actually wasn't a bad beer. But he said NO cream ale - EVER.
      Genny Cream Ale is a wonderful beverage (your buddy is WRONG lol), but I am partial to their Kolsch. Maybe I'll bring Chris a sampler of Genny...
      Quote Originally Posted by Triumph View Post
      That's like a child saying, "I'm going to swing my fists and walk towards you, and if you get hit, it's your fault!"

    24. #23
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      How remote are you thinking? Anywhere in the Adirondacks you're only a couple hours from a grocery store, right? Any even semi formal campground with a toilet will have water if you need a refill. Otherwise, a couple gallons ought to be enough for a few days at a time, right?

      If I were doing it, I'd be aiming for somewhere with a shower at least every couple days, unless you're going full overland rig. Refill water, get ice and groceries, go out for another couple days.

      If all calls will be in the morning, maybe you do that, drive toward the boonies for a couple hours, check network, and either camp or turn back. But again, unless you're trailblazing, someone in a visitor's booth is at the end of the phone to tell you if service is available. And I'm assuming you aren't trailblazing in a golf.

    25. #24
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      Quote Originally Posted by gotcha640 View Post
      Everywhere in the Adirondacks you're a couple hours from a grocery store, right?
      FTFY

      Slightly serious; obviously the bigger towns like Old Forge or Lake Placid have grocery stores, and a lot of smaller ones have convenience stores of various levels. But they're naturally a bit more expensive and the big supermarkets we're used to are all pretty well outside the park. My parents live north of Old Forge; "going to Utica" means taking a cooler and going to the supermarket 1.5 hrs away to get all the things they can't locally.

    26. #25
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      I guess I'm not clear on the time and long term.

      Sell house/drop apartment/move in to car for 6 months plus? Absolutely need a trailer to be comfortable, and need a solid plan to make it profitable.

      A week or three at a time, more like a long drawn out vacation? Sure, spend a little more at out of town grocery stores, spend the money on real camp sites, buy t-shirts as you go.

      Not sure of OPs situation, but we have our summer vacation money, our gas money, and looking at our winter vacation money burning holes in our pockets. My wife has been due for a new car, but we've put less than 1000 miles on the cars since February, so no need right now. I'd be happy to spend the money on a road trip, but I live in Houston and I don't even want to look out the window in the afternoons it's so hot and gross outside.

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