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  1. Default Alternate route From Chicago to Vegas!

    Hi, I am looking for an alternate route from Chicago, IL to Vegas and Back. Im am turning 21 next year and plan on traveling Mid-June . I want to get ot Vegas as soon as possible with maybe one night stay somewhere to sleep if driving there straight for two people is two much. The farthest we have driven is to Cincinnati from Chicago, so im not sure if we can handle it.... then were going to meet up with the rest of our friends and fam in Vegas for 4 days and road trip back but we dont really wwant to take route 66. That is the only route i can find online. After Vegas we want to go to Los Angeles for 2 days... then to the Grand Canyon.... and we want to stop in Dallas and Memphis for sure before ending up back in chicago.... need suggestions on stops, and good things to see or visit. we can take two weeks of total from work. were pretty open to anything, ill be 21 and my boyfriend is 25.... would renting be worth it, or sould we drive our car.
    thanks,
    adrianna

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Never even touches Route 66

    Quote Originally Posted by AandBTrvel View Post
    but we dont really wwant to take route 66. That is the only route i can find online.
    The fastest and shortest possible route between Chicago and Las Vegas is this one (basically I-70 to I-15) It never touches any part of Route 66. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! It's 1800 miles and the fastest you can drive this (safely) is three days at 11 hours per day.
    After Vegas we want to go to Los Angeles for 2 days... then to the Grand Canyon.... and we want to stop in Dallas and Memphis for sure before ending up back in chicago...
    How long are you planning to spend on this leg? It sounds like you'll need 4-5 days to do this.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Driving from Chicago to Vegas is a full 3 day drive. Trying to do it in 2 days is unsafe, and straight through is just insane. This is a 25 hour drive NOT counting fuel, food, and rest stops. It's 1750 miles. Chicago to Cincy is a simple 300 mile drive doable in 5 hours, I've driven from Chicago to Cincy and back in 1 day but I wouldn't even try to go from Chicago to Vegas in 2 days. That would be a bad start for your vacation, you would waste at least a day in Vegas recovering and wouldn't be able to enjoy it.

    With 2 weeks total, that's pretty tight trying to spend 4 days in Vegas and 2 days in LA. This only gives you 4 days to go from LA to Chicago *and* see what you want to see. A road trip is no fun if all you are doing is driving long hours just to get to your next night's stop.

    Fastest route is either I-88 or I-80 out of Chicago, I-80 to I-76 in western Nebraska, I-76 to Denver, I-70 to I-15 in Utah, then I-15 to Vegas. Suggested overnight stops would be around Kearney, NE and Grand Junction, CO.

    Take your own car unless it's an old beater or it gets terrible gas mileage. Rental surcharges for under 25 year old drivers are expensive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default You Get What You 'Pay' For

    I'm in full agreement with the previous two posters. This is a three day drive each way between Chicago and Las Vegas. But still, with 16 days (assuming '2 weeks' means three weekends) you can make a nice trip of it I think. You just have to realize that having a great trip will cost you the time for a reasonable drive as well as the dollars for gas/food/lodging. I'd recommend that you take a variation on Mark's suggested route out. Leave Saturday morning on I-80 to western Nebraska (enjoying the sights along the old Oregon Trail), then I-76 to Denver and I-70 across the Rockies. Then as you take I-15 into Las Vegas, if you have time you can make a quick stop at Zion National Park. At three days for this leg, you get you into Vegas a day 'late' (Monday evening) but you'll have something to talk about other than what the inside of your car looks like and it still leaves you with three days with friends and family. This would be a good time to recall Ben Franklin's adage "After three days, fish and guests start to smell".

    On day 7 of your trip, drive to L.A. and spend a couple of days there, then on day 10, make the drive to the Grand Canyon and spend a day there. That leaves you 5 days to get home. A route from the Grand Canyon through Dallas and Memphis is around 2000 miles, so 4 days of driving, leaving you a day's worth of time (total) to spend seeing whatever you want in those two cities, and still get home on Sunday night.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default more than maps and math

    Quote Originally Posted by AandBTrvel View Post
    road trip back but we dont really wwant to take route 66. That is the only route i can find online.
    In addition to the previous comments, which I completely agree with, especially about the amount of time you need to make this trip, I would also encourage you to think about how you are approaching this trip.

    There is never just one route to get between any two places. Yes, Route 66 was a popular and direct route to get between Chicago and the southwest (it technically doesn't exist anymore, since being decommissioned 2 decades ago), but a roadtrip isn't a math problem where there is only one right answer. If you pull out an atlas you'll see thousands of roads between Chicago and Vegas, and any combination of them could be used. In fact, the ability to choose between a number of different possibilities is one of the key differences that makes a roadtrip unique from traveling by by plane, bus, or train, where you can only pick your route based on a specific schedule that someone else has designed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Very true, but the OP has expressed a desire to get to LV as quickly as possible, which just about rules out sightseeing and this is where taking the shortest and most direct route, staying on Interstate highways, comes into play. Perhaps if time permits, sightseeing would be possible on the return trip.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default certainly

    An no one said that taking a direct Interstate Route is a bad idea. The time available is one of the elements that can help determine which route will be best for a particular trip. The OP also is expressing interest in stopping at other places like LA, Grand Canyon, Dallas, and Memphis. Those too will also play a roll in which route would be the best choice.

    The point is on a road trip, there is never an "only route" like when the OP said the only route they could find is route 66. There are many choices, and many factors that can help make the best decision, but there is never a one and only option.

  8. Default Thanks

    Thanks this was a lot of help...
    I understand that there are countless ways to get to one place and back.... that is why i posted :) Besides Cincinnatti Ive never actually planned a road trip(i dont really count that though)... Figuered you guys could help me out internet searches would just give me the same info...
    besides this site what are some good web sites to help with planning? I found one that lists off beat spots alog the way which was pretty cool, Roadsideamerica.com, are there anyother interesting sites?
    Well thanks for all the help. :)
    ~Adrianna

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Help us to help you.

    Hi Adrianna,

    Have you had any more thoughts on your Routes and travel times that have been mentioned?
    I am sure there will be more help available here but it would be an idea to share your thoughts and possibly post an outline plan up and then we could possibly recommend places within your schedule.
    With 14 days I would be looking at 6 days travelling from Chicago to Vegas and back and with 4 days in Vegas and 4 days to L/A and G/C pretty much takes your time up but allows time to make stops in Dallas and Memphis e.t.c.

    Is L/A a "must do" this trip? It would free up a lot more time elsewhere in your travels.
    If so what are your interests?

    I hope you have a great trip!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default look around

    I'd suggest you look around this site some more, because I have a feeling you haven't used this site to its full potential yet. There are dozens of articles in the planning section that can help you find your footing there. If you look there, you'll also find our "best of the Web" section, which has tons of links to other sites of interest to roadtrippers.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-01-2009 at 09:33 PM. Reason: added the link to the Web resources section

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