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  1. Default Miami to Las Vegas (Via Memphis)

    Hello there

    I was hoping for some pointers on a route and time frame I have devised to get from Miami to Viva Las Vegas. We are a mixed group of 8 to 12 people aged between 28 - 31 all from London. We are planning this road trip for next March - arriving on Friday 12th for my friends 30th birthday.

    Basically we went to Vegas for his 25th and now we are returning 5 years later. Last time we flew into Houston and out of Vegas through New York. This time my friends want to add Miami to the list and hopefully Memphis to see Graceland (we have a couple of Elvis fans amongst our number). I'm hoping 8/9 days including stops will be sufficient in the two weeks we have. We are arriving on the 12th but my friends 30th is on the Wednesday 24th and his wish is to spend it in Vegas. We will require 2/3 car rentals.

    Our itinerary

    March 12th - Friday arrive in Miami
    Saturday / Sunday night - Miami

    Monday 15th - Drive to Daytona Beach for the night
    (Possibly spend a day here and a second night - I'm not sure....)

    Tuesday 16th - Drive to Atlanta
    Wednesday 17th - Drive to Nashville
    Thursday 18th - Drive to Memphis
    Friday 19th - Rest day in Memphis to see Graceland.
    Saturday 20th - Drive to Oklahoma
    Sunday 21st - Drive to Amarillo (Can you drive from Oklahoma to Flagstaff in one day?)
    Monday 22nd - Flagstaff
    Tuesday 23rd - Flagstaff to Las Vegas via the Grand Canyon

    Tuesday - Saturday (Las Vegas)

    I know very little of highway 40 apart from what I see on the map and it's difficult for me to comprehend the distances involved. Also depends on how fast and how direct the roads are.
    Any thoughts on our itinerary - too much incorporated perhaps, any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Rule of thumb - on Interstate highways, figure 500 to 600 miles a day. Anything more can be pushing it. Use Google Maps to plan out a route, and add 20% to its estimated drive times.

    Here are the rough drive times between your stops:

    Miami - Daytona: 4 hours
    Daytona - Atlanta: 8 hours
    Atlanta - Nashville: 4.5 hours
    Nashville - Memphis: 3.5 hours
    Memphis - Oklahoma City: 7.5 hours
    OKC - Amarillo: 4.5 hours
    Amarillo - Flagstaff: 10.5 hours
    Flagstaff - GC: 2 hours
    GC - Las Vegas: 5.5 hours plus delays at the dam

    I'd fiddle with your plans to use less time at some attractions and more at others. For example, you do not need a whole day and a half to see Graceland, but you need a lot more than a couple hours to see the Grand Canyon.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply

    I think we've now finalised the second part of our route but I'm still in two minds on which way to go from Miami to Memphis

    Route 1 (Original)

    Miami (Two nights)
    Daytona Beach (1 night)
    Atlanta (1 night)
    Nashville (1 night)
    Memphis (2 nights)

    Route 2

    Miami (Three nights) -
    Tallahassee (one night)
    New Orleans (one night)
    Memphis (Two nights)

    The second part of our trip is

    From Memphis.....

    Oklahoma City (1 night)
    Amarillo (1 night)
    Flagstaff (2 nights) - Full day to explore the Grand Canyon
    Las Vegas (4 nights)

    Between Miami to Memphis we're looking for the more interesting and scenic route as well as the culture.
    I'd like to see New Orleans but I'd also like to see Nashville. I'm also thinking Miami looks like a place that warrents the extra night. Our numbers are also dead keen on the quality of nightlife etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Amarillo to Flagstaff is quite a haul for one day. An option would be to stop in Holbrook - the Motel 6 there is very modern, large, well maintained, and inexpensive. Get an early start for the Grand Canyon the next morning and spend the next night in Williams. If you are at Holbrook and feel like you can drive another hour and a half, you could of course go all the way to Flagstaff.

    Yet another option is the day before - it's a short run from OKC to Amarillo - you could go farther to Tucumcari or Santa Rosa.

    This is what I meant about trying to divide up the time a little better. To me, there's really no reason to hard lock yourself into stops in Amarillo or Flagstaff, there's no notable "nightlife".

    If you are trying to figure the times on I-40, get the mileage and calculate time at 57 mph. This will account for needed fuel and relief stops.

    Speed limits on I-40 (rural, less near and through cities):

    TN, AR, OK, TX: 70 mph
    NM, AZ: 75 mph

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Good News and Bad News

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Let me give you the bad news first. With 8-12 people, this trip is going to be a fair bit slower than if you were making it alone or with just one friend. I assume that you'll be taking multiple cars and traveling in a convoy. That means every stop is going to take longer because it will take extra time to gather everyone up and get back in the saddle at the end of it. Meals will take longer as you'll have to wait on occasion for a table or 2 (or 3) to open up that can accommodate that many people, and you'll be putting a strain on the cook and wait staff. Even getting and paying for gas will take longer because you will be bringing your own line of people to each pump and cashier. Stops will also be more frequent since there's no way you can co-ordinate everyone's WC needs. I'd say if you can make 550 miles in a day you would be doing very well indeed, and your probably shouldn't count on much more than 500. Cutting back on the mileage will also help prevent frayed nerves. Plan on a good bit of time out of the cars at stops and plan on stops every few hours at state and local parks near your route for just that purpose. Also plan on changing drivers and who rides with whom fairly frequently, just so people don't get tired of the same companions and start to get on each others' nerves

    The good news is that the 'extra' stops don't have to be long and yet can still give you a better sense of the land you're traveling through than just roaring down the motorway. For example, rather than just taking I-40 from Nashville to Memphis, consider taking a much more scenic and relaxed route by using the Natchez Trace Parkway from Nashville to Tupelo, MS and then US-78 to Memphis. The Natchez Trace is as beautiful a road as you'll find in that neck of the woods, and Tupelo is the site of Elvis' birthplace, an added benefit for the King's fans among you.


  6. Default

    Thanks guys, you've given me a lot to think about. - but for every answer leads me on to more questions!!
    I thought I'd decided on the New Orleans route to Memphis but now I'm thinking going via Atlanta / Nashville !

    As for the second half of the trip, we arrive in Oklahoma City on a Friday night so realistically this will not be an early night ! Thats why I was thinking a relatively relaxed drive to Amarillo on the Saturday. A few of the number have their eye on the 72 oz steak challenge at the Great Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo so we must stop there for at least a late lunch!

    Holbrook looks a good alternative, the Wigwam hotel seems interesting but possibly a tourist trap. From late morning Saturday we don't have to be in Vegas until the Tuesday evening. Ideally I'd love to see Monument Valley as well as the Grand Canyon but studying the map it's probably not feasible especially with as you assumed correctly a three car convoy such as ours. Although I stand / hope to be corrected !

    I was planning to take a day trip from Flagstaff through a tour company to see the Grand Canyon but beginning in Holbrook and ending up in the evening at Williams would suggest making our own way to Canyon?

    All advise thus far really appreciated.

  7. Default

    Hi Joe,

    I am hoping to do the same trip with my 20/22 year old kids. Have you found out how much driving per day is involved? and how long realistically it will take. I am looking to go in September. Any info gratefully received

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Hand in hand.

    Hi, dizzy, Welcome to the RTA forums !

    Have you found out how much driving per day is involved? and how long realistically it will take.
    These two factors work side by side, and untill you answer one you can't work out the other.

    There is a time line guide on post two above regarding travel times, but generally speaking 55-57mph is an average travel time on main routes with short stops for gas, food and bathroom breaks etc. Our recommendation for multi day trips is no longer than 9-10 hours of travel which is 500-550 miles per day. Following the above route is around 2700 miles which would be 5 days travelling at that rate, add to that any sight seeing etc and you should be able to play around with the numbers to find out what is required.
    How long do you actually have for the trip ?

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