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GPT Phones, Mail, and Visitation Discussions Please post topics or discussions here that do not fit in the appropriate state or federal forums.

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  #1  
Old 12-11-2012, 02:36 PM
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Default Your preparation steps to visiting your man/LO?

I'm assuming that most of us have LO incarcerated out of the state that you live in. If this applies to you then what steps do you take to prepare to see him? Do you take a rental car? How much do you spend on hotels, food ect? Do you travel alone? How long do you visit him and when do you go back home? Any first timers out there planning on traveling? Any ladies out there that are pro's at traveling and would care to share advice?

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Old 12-11-2012, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mrsjuleo View Post
I'm assuming that most of us have LO incarcerated out of the state that you live in. If this applies to you then what steps do you take to prepare to see him? Do you take a rental car? How much do you spend on hotels, food ect? Do you travel alone? How long do you visit him and when do you go back home? Any first timers out there planning on traveling? Any ladies out there that are pro's at traveling and would care to share advice?

MrsJuleo
I don't live out of state but I do drive 4 1/2hrs each way once a week to see him! It is hard and I sometimes have someone that rides with me an we split the gas but not all the time! I also sometimes spend the weekend up there which is nice but it is all costly either way you look at it!
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:49 PM
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I've moved your thread to the General Prison Talk sub-forum for Phones, Mail, and Visitation Discussions
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:08 PM
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My honey and I are about 5 states and nearly 500 miles apart.. It usually takes about 6.5-7hrs driveway to driveway.. Usually when I go visit, i'll leave my house about midnight and drive through the night, so I'm at the prison first thing in the AM (i'd rather drive during the night, less traffic).. I usually drive by myself (which J always worries about), but trying to get everyone's schedules to align is complicated.. I try to get out to see him once a month or so, and will stay for 2-3days depending on when and whats going on.. Most of the time I'll take my own car, but its been acting up lately, so last time (around thanksgiving) I rented a car - really wasnt bad, shopped around on priceline, expedia, kayak, and other such sites and got a pretty good deal, about $15//day with unlimited miles. Thankfully, he has family about 15mins away from the prison, so I just crash with them while I'm visiting.. All in all, it usually (whether I take my gas loving SUV or rent a car) it costs about $200 roundtrip (gas, coffee, food), but lately, my lead foot is getting me in trouble, and the last two trips Ive come home with speeding tickets..
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsjuleo
I'm assuming that most of us have LO incarcerated out of the state that you live in. If this applies to you then what steps do you take to prepare to see him? Do you take a rental car? How much do you spend on hotels, food ect? Do you travel alone? How long do you visit him and when do you go back home? Any first timers out there planning on traveling? Any ladies out there that are pro's at traveling and would care to share advice?

MrsJuleo
Yes, my man is 1,000 miles away. I'm in Washington State and he is currently in Southern California (for one more day...then who knows where he will go...sigh). I fly Alaska Airlines because they have a good number of flights from Seattle to Los Angeles or surrounding airports at a good rate (usually under $250 round trip). Plus they have a good frequent flyer program and I have quite a few points. I can combine using miles and cash so my last three trips I paid $100 cash and 10,000 miles. I use Hertz and am a Gold plan member so again I get points and can get some discounts every few trips. In the LA area it's about $50 per day but I've gotten it cheaper too. This last week I was visiting for 5 days and my car was around $175. Where I save the most money is hotel. Usually when I travel for work, pleasure, etc I like to stay at pretty nice hotels like Hyatt. But when I visit him I usually stay at a Sleep Inn (Choice hotels). It's comfy enough and usually about $45 per night. Again, after a while you can earn enough points for discounts or free nights.

I also double check Kayak.com to make sure there isn't some super amazing deal that I overlooked. Oh, I forgot to mention that I'm also a AAA member so I get discounts that way as well...the annual membership has MORE than paid for itself with my travel discounts. Yes, I do travel alone and my man tells me to make sure I only stay in my hotel and don't talk to anyone. I usually fly from Seattle to LA early in the morning, then I have a 2-1/2 hour drive to the prison. So the first day I'm there it's about a 3 hour visit. How long I stay depends partly on my schedule and how many visit points he has. His prison gives them 42 points per month and each hour on weekdays counts at one point but on weekends and holidays it's three points per hour. The only consecutive weekdays are Thursday and Friday so I try to take advantage of that whenever possible. As far as food is concerned, I always take a few bottles of water, several cans of V8 juice and some protein shakes in my packed luggage. I will share a quesadilla with him from the vending machine during visits. After visit I usually hit a Starbucks on my way back to the motel for a mocha and a protein box (it has like grapes, cheese, an egg...) and then for dinner I drink a protein shake and V8 juice...or maybe I'll go to the nearby grocery store and get a yogurt and some fruit or something. I try to eat cheap and I usually don't have a very big appetite during visit days.

I think that's about it....if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer! I travel quite a bit for work and to visit my man. I was getting in to a good routine visiting him at Taft (I was going about once every two weeks for that last few months) but the day after tomorrow he will be done with his Federal sentence and then moved to some Immigration Detention Center so I'm not sure what will happen with visits then. Sigh.

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Old 12-12-2012, 10:22 PM
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Yes, my man is 1,000 miles away. I'm in Washington State and he is currently in Southern California (for one more day...then who knows where he will go...sigh). I fly Alaska Airlines because they have a good number of flights from Seattle to Los Angeles or surrounding airports at a good rate (usually under $250 round trip). Plus they have a good frequent flyer program and I have quite a few points. I can combine using miles and cash so my last three trips I paid $100 cash and 10,000 miles. I use Hertz and am a Gold plan member so again I get points and can get some discounts every few trips. In the LA area it's about $50 per day but I've gotten it cheaper too. This last week I was visiting for 5 days and my car was around $175. Where I save the most money is hotel. Usually when I travel for work, pleasure, etc I like to stay at pretty nice hotels like Hyatt. But when I visit him I usually stay at a Sleep Inn (Choice hotels). It's comfy enough and usually about $45 per night. Again, after a while you can earn enough points for discounts or free nights.

I also double check Kayak.com to make sure there isn't some super amazing deal that I overlooked. Oh, I forgot to mention that I'm also a AAA member so I get discounts that way as well...the annual membership has MORE than paid for itself with my travel discounts. Yes, I do travel alone and my man tells me to make sure I only stay in my hotel and don't talk to anyone. I usually fly from Seattle to LA early in the morning, then I have a 2-1/2 hour drive to the prison. So the first day I'm there it's about a 3 hour visit. How long I stay depends partly on my schedule and how many visit points he has. His prison gives them 42 points per month and each hour on weekdays counts at one point but on weekends and holidays it's three points per hour. The only consecutive weekdays are Thursday and Friday so I try to take advantage of that whenever possible. As far as food is concerned, I always take a few bottles of water, several cans of V8 juice and some protein shakes in my packed luggage. I will share a quesadilla with him from the vending machine during visits. After visit I usually hit a Starbucks on my way back to the motel for a mocha and a protein box (it has like grapes, cheese, an egg...) and then for dinner I drink a protein shake and V8 juice...or maybe I'll go to the nearby grocery store and get a yogurt and some fruit or something. I try to eat cheap and I usually don't have a very big appetite during visit days.

I think that's about it....if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer! I travel quite a bit for work and to visit my man. I was getting in to a good routine visiting him at Taft (I was going about once every two weeks for that last few months) but the day after tomorrow he will be done with his Federal sentence and then moved to some Immigration Detention Center so I'm not sure what will happen with visits then. Sigh.

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Alright so my friend will be riding with me to see my LO (her sweetie is incarcerated as well). We will be driving about 8 hours away from our home state. I looked up on the fuelcostcalculatorAAA that the round trip will cost around 170 dollars. So since we will split the gas I'll pay around 85 dollars. Now I don't know how much I should factor in for the hotels, and for food. Would it be safe to assume that 250 bucks would cut it? This is my first time doing all this stuff and I am very unsure on what to expect.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:01 PM
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I was thinking while reading your post you have got to be driving like a bat out of hell if it only takes you 6.5 hours to cover 500 miled. My Fiance is 352 miles away and it takes me 6 hours even if I am also speeding.

To answer the question I don't visit alot any more because I drained myself out on this trip. I ride with my 4 kids, we stay at the Welcome Center for families visiting someone incarcerated. I sometimss leaave the day before and the visit is a little more stressfree because I am not rushing. If I don't leave the day before then I have to make sure to triple check my packing because usually I will forgot something or the kids will pack something they can not wear. When we get to town we usually end up at Wal-Mart if we are luckily just twice. The trip cost me $200.00 and a major migraine.

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Originally Posted by JAKLTS2798 View Post
My honey and I are about 5 states and nearly 500 miles apart.. It usually takes about 6.5-7hrs driveway to driveway.. Usually when I go visit, i'll leave my house about midnight and drive through the night, so I'm at the prison first thing in the AM (i'd rather drive during the night, less traffic).. I usually drive by myself (which J always worries about), but trying to get everyone's schedules to align is complicated.. I try to get out to see him once a month or so, and will stay for 2-3days depending on when and whats going on.. Most of the time I'll take my own car, but its been acting up lately, so last time (around thanksgiving) I rented a car - really wasnt bad, shopped around on priceline, expedia, kayak, and other such sites and got a pretty good deal, about $15//day with unlimited miles. Thankfully, he has family about 15mins away from the prison, so I just crash with them while I'm visiting.. All in all, it usually (whether I take my gas loving SUV or rent a car) it costs about $200 roundtrip (gas, coffee, food), but lately, my lead foot is getting me in trouble, and the last two trips Ive come home with speeding tickets..
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:36 PM
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Lol my husband is about 400 miles away and it Takes me 5-5.5 hours to drive there!!! Speed limit is 65 here and 75 there and I do not dare risk getting a ticket in another city let alone another state lol!! Wonder why your trip is so long?!!!

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Originally Posted by Klewis
I was thinking while reading your post you have got to be driving like a bat out of hell if it only takes you 6.5 hours to cover 500 miled. My Fiance is 352 miles away and it takes me 6 hours even if I am also speeding.

To answer the question I don't visit alot any more because I drained myself out on this trip. I ride with my 4 kids, we stay at the Welcome Center for families visiting someone incarcerated. I sometimss leaave the day before and the visit is a little more stressfree because I am not rushing. If I don't leave the day before then I have to make sure to triple check my packing because usually I will forgot something or the kids will pack something they can not wear. When we get to town we usually end up at Wal-Mart if we are luckily just twice. The trip cost me $200.00 and a major migraine.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:42 PM
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When I go visit my honey I usually pack the day before just to make sure I remember EVERYTHING and of course I always over pack. Take atleast two extra outfits for sure because EVERYTIME I'm out there I shop at Ross and walk out with something new lol. If I drive by myself I rent a car usually around $150 and the gas round trip is $120 the drive is roughly 5 hours one way. I'm in southern Cali and he's I'm Arizona :-(. The hotel is usually about $60 a night I either stay at Comfort Inn Mainstay Inn and Suites both are nice and comfortable and CLEAN!! I spend about $100 on food in visiting and maybe $20 good wise when I'm not visiting for the whole trip!! If I don't go alone I go with my two other wifeys which I love because we've all grown sooo close so usually we go together and work out weekends and we don't rent a car but we split all costs and split driving :-) I love going with them and splitting costs but sometimes it's nice to get away on my own and chill in the room by myself with my thoughts!
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:58 PM
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My boyfriend is about 3.5 hours away from me. I normally take the train up there because my SUV sucks up so much gas. A round trip for me cost $150-$200 depending on how early I get my ticket. (VIA rails) I love the train I get to relax, nap, go online because they have wifi.

I have friends that live in the city where his prison is, so I have somewhere to stay and I get to go out after my visit. I normally will do two visits for 6 hours or sometimes I'll just have one visit.

If this is your first visit make sure everything you bring and wear to the prison is clean, so you don't have any trouble getting in.

I hope you have a great visit
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:30 PM
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I go through a lot of small towns were the speed limit is 35 and we stop once or twice to let the kids stretch or get something to drink. Other then that the speed limit is 70. I can make it in 5 hours but that has caused me to get a speeding ticket and my Fiance' was not happy at all about it.

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Lol my husband is about 400 miles away and it Takes me 5-5.5 hours to drive there!!! Speed limit is 65 here and 75 there and I do not dare risk getting a ticket in another city let alone another state lol!! Wonder why your trip is so long?!!!
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:13 PM
JAKLTS2798 JAKLTS2798 is offline
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I was thinking while reading your post you have got to be driving like a bat out of hell if it only takes you 6.5 hours to cover 500 miled. My Fiance is 352 miles away and it takes me 6 hours even if I am also speeding.
I take the interstates all the whole way from FL to TX, so the speed limit is 70MPH most of the way (with the exception of a stretch in LA, and then TX where its posted at 75, but if you dont drive 80+ you'll get run over.. And since its only me in the car, I can usually go the entire trip with only a stop or two (though I did make it home once in 6hrs flat, no stops, and yeah i sped alot that trip home -- it was a bad visit )
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:16 PM
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When I go visit my honey I usually pack the day before just to make sure I remember EVERYTHING and of course I always over pack. Take atleast two extra outfits for sure because EVERYTIME I'm out there I shop at Ross and walk out with something new lol.
oh yeah, extra clothes! I always bring a back up outfit, just in case the CO on duty that morning has ANY issue with anything I'm wearing.. (never had an issue, but my luck, the first time I dont bring extra, Ill get turned away from something silly.. Plus, the extra clothes help - i've lent sweaters and shirts to other visitors who have been turned away for dress code.. (hate to see someone not be able to see their LO over something little or silly)..
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:05 PM
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My man is only 2 and half hours away so I guess I'm lucky! I usually leave at 11 and get the 11.57 train up to Ford (visits start at 2), as its an open prison (low security) so a prisoner actually picks us up from the station and drives us in a mini bus to the prison. I'm very thankful it's as easy as it is to be honest
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:10 AM
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I would suggest everyone keep tabs on different hotels/rental cars/etc loyalty programs so you can accrue benefits... I did a lot of travel for work and my GF does as well... We would use the points for free hotel nights/weekends and/or free car rental days. It really comes in handy. Even if you aren't traveling for work, if you are renting a car once or twice a month and/or staying in a local hotel (like an inexpensive Hampton Inn) it won't be long until you accrue points for a free night or free car rental day. With Hilton, they operate Hampton Hotels & Hilton Garden Inns (inexpensive yet quality places to stay while traveling), and you can earn a free night after 4 stays or 10 nights with certain promotions... and my third rental with Avis was free for a weekend rental... I also get a lot of email promotions for $19 car rentals on the weekend and special pricing from hotels because I joined their loyalty or membership rewards program. I also cash in my Amex points for hotel stays and gas cards, which always help me cutting expenses.

Just my friendly $0.02

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***For due diligence and full disclosure, I do not work for any of the aforementioned companies and are not promoting one brand over another and was merely reiterating my personal experiences*** :-)

Last edited by cbritt; 12-18-2012 at 03:11 AM.. Reason: Clarifying full disclosure
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