Resource: Realistic Travel Times

People who don’t live in California seem to think that everyone is within an hour from Disneyland. More than once I’ve had people contact me, telling me that they were going to be in LA, so maybe we can meet up for dinner.

Now, depending on where this person is in the LA Basin, drive times from San Jose (40 minutes south of San Francisco) can range from 5 1/2 hours to 6 1/2 hours.  People always seem to be shocked to learn how large California actually is.  

In fact, if you were to drive from the most southern large city, San Diego, north to the Oregon border, it would take you over 11 hours on a good day with no stops.


Google Can Be Your Friend

The point I am making, is that you need to research your travel times.  It is so easy to simply Google the directions from place to place. Google will even given you travel times for car, bus, bicycle, and walking.

Google Maps


But Google Won’t Tell Me

But sometimes Google won’t work. Maybe your characters are traveling on a private jet, or maybe your novel takes place in 1850.  Here are some fantastic resources to help you:

Travel by Private Jet

Driving Time Calculator

Sea Route and Distance Calculator


Need More Depth?

Travel Times in Pre-Industrial Society  (by foot, horse, boat, etc.)

A Writer’s Guide to Horses

Cartography Guild Distances


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Need a Map?

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 20,000+ MAPS MADE FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE BY NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

And, just for fun. Here is a tutorial on how to create your own fantasy map starting with a public domain map.

If you have other resources that you love to use, I would love to hear about them. Happy writing!

World_Map_1689

Do you have any resources you love to use? Please leave a comment. 🙂


Check out the resources and master lists in the Prompt Me Series here on Amazon.

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