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  1. Default Reno to Nashville is this itinerary too ambitious?

    Hi all,

    newbie here.

    Hubby and I are moving to Clearwater Florida (via Nashville) in 9 days and need some input to find out if our cross country itinerary is too ambitious. Furniture is shipping separately but it costs too much money to ship the car so we have to drive it. :-(

    We are not really looking forward to it but are trying to approach it with a positive attitude.

    I've been reading threads in this forum for information and to help me decide the best route for our trip from Reno to Nashville. It's a great forum.

    We have 6 days to get to Clearwater but want to spend two nights in Nashville visiting family if possible. We will take turns driving and with our SUV will have an area in the back to stretch out and take turns napping if needed. It's going to be a blitz trip! We will prepare a cooler with healthy food and snacks. Eating on the road, plan on starting each driving day by 6-7am and ending by 7-8pm. Hope to stop every 3 hrs or so for a stretch and bathroom break but don't want to waste too much time.

    Using Mapquest 80 seems the best route from Reno through Nebraska then 29 to KS, 70 to St Louis, 64 and finally 24 to Nashville.

    My question is if the following drive times are too much to realistically expect us to handle:

    Reno to Rawlins WY (11 hours 22 minutes 808 miles). Book room in Rawlins that we can cancel by 6pm if we can't make it that far.

    Rawlins to Kansas City (11 hours 8 minutes 781 miles). Book room in KS that can be cancelled by 6pm

    KS to Nashville (8 hours 53 minutes 565 miles). Get to see my grandson!

    Then after resting in Nashville (hope to stay 2 nights) we will drive the final 11 hrs of the trip from Nashville to Clearwater which is 726 miles. Split this up into 7 hrs one day and 5 hrs the next.

    So what do you think? Is this too much?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default In a word, yes

    I'm sure that's not what you wanted to hear. I hope if you want to spend more time with your grandson that you can find a couple extra days for your trip.

    We generally recommend that people on multi-day roadtrips limit their driving to about 500-550 miles per day. Longer than that, particularly over multiple days, leads to fatigue, isn't much fun, and can be dangerous for you and those on the road around you.

    Experience has taught us that even if you only make the very brief types of stops you're describing for food/fuel and a bit of stretching every 3 hours or so, that you will likely average about 57mph in the west and closer to 53mph in the east. So you can expect 550 miles to take 9.5-10 hours on the road in the west and closer to 10.5 in the east.

    I expect you got your travel times from a mapping program. These basically assume that you will be driving those miles straight through without stopping. Not possible even if you had a gas tank big enough to travel that far.

    You have chosen the quickest route, so that's great. We just need to adjust the places to stop for the night.

    Night 1: Salt Lake City (520 miles)
    Night 2: Sidney NE (538 miles)
    Night 3: Kansas City (542 miles)
    Night 4: Nashville (557 miles)

    Tip - stay at the east side of the city to avoid early morning commuter traffic. Nothing worse than being in a hurry and having to drive through a city and being slowed down by traffic jams.

    The Nashville-Clearwater leg is good to drive over the two days you have planned but you will be on the road for more hours than your have estimated.

    I was actually sad to read the beginning of your post as you seem so disappointed to be driving cross-country. Gosh, all of us here love those kinds of opportunities. Even if you're not able to take the time to explore much along the way, just driving through the different states with the diverse scenery is really fun. I hope you will approach this trip with the sense of fun it deserves.

    Oh, you won't need to make reservations. Of course you can, if you feel more comfortable doing so but there are plenty of hotels in all of these locations. In fact, since you'll be on interstates, you will be hard-pressed to go very many miles without finding decent lodging choices.

    Please let us know if we can help you further. Enjoy your visit with your grandson and your new home!
    Last edited by PNW Judy; 06-05-2009 at 12:38 AM. Reason: tweaked comment

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default An adventure !

    Furniture is shipping separately but it costs too much money to ship the car so we have to drive it. :-(
    This is a wonderful opportunity to see some of the country and will be much more fun starting out with :-) and looking at it as a positive, especially with the joy of seeing your family on route and a new home at the end of your travels.
    If you can't find an extra day then I would follow Judy's suggestion and then leave your family in Nashville mid to late afternoon on day 2 instead of staying a second night and get 3 or 4 hours driving under your belt and continue to Clearwater the following day.

    Have a great journey !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    A few notes:

    At Lincoln, NE, use NE-2 to I-29, this cuts off quite a few miles.
    Take the I-435 bypass around the NE side of KC. Spend the night in the eastern suburbs.
    I-64 is closed through STL for reconstruction. Take I-270 north of the city to I-255 to get to I-64.

  5. Default Feedback appreciated

    Thanks for the input folks. I really appreciate the honest advice. And thanks for noting the positives of a trip like this as moving can be a stressful time and I was letting the idea of driving almost 3000 miles stress me out. If I change my outlook on the trip and avoid traveling 800+ miles a day it won't be as bad.

    We would love to sightsee along the way but with the tight schedule I'm not sure we will have much time. I think my mover will need an extra day or two also but need to confirm. We are loading the moving van pm of the 13th and are planning to leave Reno early on the 14th. We will follow 80 across the country and the mover will go to Vegas/So Cal area(I used Uship and he has to drop off of a motorcyle) then he will travel across the southern US with the plan of being in Clearwater by noon on the 19th. I think if it's too much for us to drive it's also too much for him to drive - maybe not. I figure he'll be calling our cell on the 17th or 18th to say he can't get there by noon on the 19th! Unfortunately our condo in Clearwater does not allow Sat/Sun move in so then we would have to wait until the 22nd to move in.

    I'm going to try and slow down the travel time. My start date for a new job isn't set in stone yet (tentative the 22nd) and if able I will try to delay it by a week. That would also allow us to stop in Denver to spend a little time with family there - we were going to skip Denver as it's not on our planned fastest route across the country but if I can delay start of work we can take an extra day or two, stop in Denver to visit with other family (hubby's sister and her family) and make the trip a little better.

    I was afraid the schedule we were planning was too much and needed feedback to confirm. If I can't get my start date for work extended we will likely take 80 straight across (skip Denver) and only stay one night in Nashville.

    I have an additional question - if we don't make reservations for a room do they charge more for the room if you drop in say at 8pm to book a room for that night? We like Hampton Inn (HI) for the comfortable beds, free breakfast, and hot tubs to soak in! Figure the comfortable bed and whirlpool will be worth the few extra dollars HI charges over other mid-level hotels such as Holiday Inn Express and Comfort Inn, especially after spending all those hours in the car. HI allows cancellations without penalties if done by 6pm but I'm not sure if they charge more for drop-ins. Cost is a concern and right now most rooms with HI are $99-119/night but I would imagine that would increase the closer we get to the travel dates.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Happy days !

    Hi Cheryl,

    Yay, that's more like it !

    I can't give you a direct answer to your lodging query, usually it's a supply and demand type thing, you always seem to get a better deal if they are quiet but maybe someone can offer advice on this. I would recommend researching possible stop overs though and make a note of Motels/Hotels you like the look of and then you would have the option of calling a couple each day on route to see what offers they can come up with for the night, it beats driving around looking and not knowing.

    This list of places to relax just off Interstate might also come in handy to stretch the legs.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Dropins shouldn't be significantly more than advance reservation, if any more at all. You mentioned grandson - if you have a AARP card you should be able to get a discount.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default room rates

    Hotel rooms aren't usually like airline reservations where the price changes on a day by day or hour by hour basis. You're not going to pay more at 8pm than you would at 2pm.

    Typically, motels will list their room rates and leave them alone. They may certainly go up on the weekends or based on seasonal demand, but once the rate for a day is set, it usually stays there. Now sometimes, you can get a discount with an internet rate, but you're talking about a 10% difference or so off the rack rate, and you can get a similar walk up price with a AAA or AARP discount.

    But there are also lots of discounts that you can get by walking up. Roadside coupon books can offer great deals on walkup rates, and if you are comforable negotiating, you can simply ask if they can give you a better deal for taking a room that would be otherwise empty!

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