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  1. Default June Seattle to Chicago

    I am hoping to drive from Seattle to the Chicago area mid June to visit family. The guys will stay home and it will just be me and my 15 year old daughter. From planning on Streets & Trips I think I can do it okay in 3 nights 4 days. We are in no hurry and I have never driven more than 6 hours at one time in my life so don't want to push it. 3 questions:
    1.) Should we take 90 all the way or hop on 94 in Montana. We could even take one way there and the other back.
    2.) My daughter will have a WA state driver's permit. Do I have to check all 6 other states to see if she is legal to drive in them?
    3.) I would take precautions such as having AAA and extra gas in-case. We would stay in pre-designated nicer hotels and B&B's. We'd be pretty safe right?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default safety etc

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Personally, I would take I-90 one direction and I-94 the other, or I might even use I-80 all the way to Utah for one of the legs, just to change it up.

    I-90 and I-94 are pretty similar in travel times, and there are things to see along both. I-90 has the Devils Tower, Mt. Rushmore, the Black Hills, and Badlands all very close, while I-94 has Teddy Roosevelt NP and goes through Minneapolis. I-94 is a little shorter, but I think I-90 might be just a touch faster. 4 Days should be fine, but you might want to give yourself an extra day in case you find you don't like driving 8-10 hours a day. You could always use that extra time to do more exploring along the way.

    I think that your daughter should be able to drive without any problems, but I'm not 100% sure. You might want to ask her driving instructor. I know I drove across statelines when I had my permit.

    AAA is a good idea, but bringing extra gas is not. Not only is that a safety concern, but you and everything else would end up smelling like gasoline by the time you reached your destination. Start looking for a gas station when you get near a 1/4 tank and you shouldn't ever have a problem running out of gas.

    Here are some other good ideas about safety.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Unless you have a gas guzzling vehicle with a tiny gas tank, you will have no problem maintaining enough gas for safety. Just use common sense in remote areas and don't let the tank drop too low.

    When I travel, I usually stay at chain motels at Interstate exits away from large cities. Those are almost always quite safe, and also more affordable than city hotels. You can usually tell what the place is like with a quick cruise around the parking lot - if it looks dirty or run down, move on down the road.

    Your daughter may not be legal in all states due to her age. Some states are picky about that. Many years ago, I got my license in NJ, and their age was 17. I could not legally drive in NY till I was 18.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Hi Michelle,

    You and your daughter will be fine. As a senior female and solo traveller, I never had any cause to be concerned for my safety, doing that trip in 2001.

    If you do the I-90, may I give a couple of suggestions.

    1. Take a detour through Lovell and the Big Horn Mountains. Turn off I-90 onto highway 310 (in my old atlas it is exit 434) to Lovell and then onto Alt 14 to Daytona. A steep, but very scenic road. It is at the top of this road that I was confronted with a Moose standing there, right in front of my car, and no way was he going to let me through, till he was ready. I was sooooo stunned that I did not even get out my camera. It was late in the afternoon and lots of wildlife around. Wonderful!! If you have the time (and energy) take the short walk to the Medicine Wheel. I stayed at a cheap motel in Daytona, but Sheridan (on I-90) is just a few miles further on.

    2. Leave yourself a little time to see the Corn Palace in Mitchell SD. It really is worth seeing, both inside and out. And you will be there longer than you anticipate - so much to see, but Mitchell is a nice place.

    Enjoy the trip and drive safely.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Yeah!! I meant to add....

    Since you are a member of AAA make sure you get lots of detailed maps of all the states you will traverse, as well as the major urban centres you will visit.

    Nothing like a good map to help you get lost! LOL

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