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  1. Default Seattle to Cincinnati Relocation Road Trip July 09

    Hey guys,

    I was wondering if you could help me out with my Relocation Road Trip. My work is relocating me to Cincinnati, OH from Seattle, WA this July. Luckily they’re picking up the tab on this little road trip (mileage, lodging, and meals) that we’d like to do. The only stipulation is that we travel at least 350 miles a day and use the MapQuest route because that’s what they use to calculate mileage. This gives me roughly 7 days and 6 nights to get from Seattle to Cincinnati (approximately 2,350 miles).

    I’m looking for things to do on this drive and advice at where to stay if that’s at all possible. One main thing to consider, the trip will be my wife and I, as well as our 30-40lb. dog. So we’ll definitely need pet-friendly attractions and lodging. We’re not averse to taking small detours to see things or camping either. We're both 25 and we’ve been on long drives before (i.e. 15 hours a day) and are early to bed, early to risers so getting up before the sun comes up wouldn’t be a problem if we had to squeeze more out of a day than we have time for.

    Below I’ve sort of compiled a couple options that I’ve looked at. One is the “Shortest Time” on MapQuest while the other is “Shortest Distance” on MapQuest.

    1st Option - MapQuest Shortest Time
    I-90 E > US 212 > I-90 E > I-35 S > IA-27 S > I-380 S > I-80 E > I-74 E > I-75 S
    2,355 miles

    Seattle to Missoula, MT
    Missoula, MT to Billings, MT
    Billings, MT to Rapid City, SD
    Rapid City, SD to Sioux Falls, SD
    Sioux Falls, SD to Waterloo, IA or Cedar Rapids, IA
    Cedar Rapids, IA to Indianapolis, IN
    Indianapolis, IN to Cincinnati, OH

    2nd Option - MapQuest Shortest Distance
    US-2 E > I-90 E > MT-200 E > I-94 E > I-95 E > I-65 S > OLD US 421 S > I-74 E > I-75 S
    2,315 miles

    Seattle to Missoula, MT
    Missoula, MT to Billings, MT
    Billings, MT to Bismarck, ND
    Bismarck, ND to St. Cloud, MN
    St. Cloud, MN to Madison, WI or Rockford, IL
    Madison, WI or Rockford, IL to Cincinnati, OH

    These are just sample stops that we’ve looked into. We’d obviously prefer to stretch this thing out as long as we can.

    Any advice, help, or tips?

    Thanks so much!

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

    Default all things considered

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    350 miles a day is a very relaxed pace that should allow for plenty of sightseeing. If you are sticking to that basic route, I'd follow I-90 and spend some time in the Black Hills. That could be a nice place to spend a day or two just relaxing with great views, but since most of the land is national forest land or state parks, you won't have the pet restrictions that come with most national parks. That pace could also allow you to simply take some 2 lane roads if you wanted a different perspective on things.

    I'd also say that if you've got some other places you've always wanted to go, then I'd use this opportunity. While they want you to you the shortest route to factor how much time and money it should take, I'm guessing they are not going to actually be checking your every movement. So if for example, you wanted to go through Colorado instead, you still could, but you'd still have to get to your destination in the same amount of time, and you'd only be reimbursed for the miles that the direct route would require?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    For planning purposes, the entire Motel 6 chain is pet-friendly - they allow one well-behaved dog per room except where local ordinance prohibits it.

    Try running a routing in Google Maps and see what they come up with. I think they are a lot better than Mapquest.

    I just ran an Interstate-only routing with Microsoft Streets & Trips and came up with 2412 miles via 90, 29, 80, and 74. This would be pretty hard to stretch out to 7 days and 6 nights without some serious dilly-dallying. Done as a speed run, that's only 4 days and 3 nights.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Things to Check

    Before any further planning, you should get a few things straight with your employer. Let them know that you find the MapQuest route less than appealing but understand their reluctance to pay for anything longer. then say that you'd like to use the trip as a mini vacation so that you show up at your new location refreshed and ready to tackle your new assignment. Ask them if they would be comfortable reimbursing you on the basis of the MapQuest route and on the basis of taking 6 days to cover it (That's about 400 miles/day) and with a set per diem. That way they have a fixed 'cost' for your relocation (something they should like) and you have the freedom to make the trip by the route and at the pace you'd like (something you should like). That means that you'll probably have some additional out of pocket expenses for the move, but you'll still be getting a great RoadTrip vacation that will largely be subsidized!

    If you can work something like that out, and I think you should be able to, then I agree that the area to spend some extra time is from Yellowstone to the Badlands. That's some beautiful country that you may not be getting to again for a while. then I'd drop down through Kansas City and St. Louis for a couple of great cities en route. Going that way adds only a few hundred miles at most to the 'shortest' route, but would be much more enjoyable in my opinion. You could still make that drive in 6 days very comfortably, but if you have 1-3 more days, they could be very well spent seeing some of the sights along the way.


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