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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Birmingham, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    6

    Default 17 days enough time for this round trip?

    Hi,

    This is my first forum post, having only just discovered such a forum existed. I'm from the UK and have a trip planned at the end of August.

    I am flying into Orlando (4 nights), then driving to NOLA (2 nights), on to Memphis (2 nights), then on to Nashville (3 nights) before setting off back to Orlando to finish with a 5 night stay before flying back to the UK.

    According to google the two trips at the start and end of my journey are 10 & over 11 hours respectively. Whilst I have driven in the USA on a couple of occassions, the longest distance I have driven is Orlando to the Keys and was wondering if these times are reasonable for the distances involved or would it be better to adjust my itinerary?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome!

    Re-examine Google - you should add 20% to its predicted drive times, computers never get delayed by traffic or construction, never have to stop for fuel or to go to the bathroom or eat.

    We recommend that you do not try to drive more than 550 miles a day, assuming Interstate highways from point to point.

    Orlando to NOLA is 640 miles, that would be pushing it, a realistic drive time would be 12 hours. NOLA to Memphis is 400 miles, no problem, about 7.5 hours. Memphis to Nashville is an easy 220 miles, about 4 hours. Nashville to Orlando is 700 miles, that's a real haul, about 13.5 hours.

    I'd set aside one extra day at the beginning and at the end so you don't wear yourself out. You could plan on stops halfway and get off the beaten track and see some sights instead of slogging down the highway from dawn to dusk. Between Orlando and NOLA, there are a lot of things to see along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and from Nashville to Orlando you could do some exploring in the Great Smoky Mountains.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Birmingham, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Thanks for the reply.

    I should have stated in my OP that I will be sharing some of the driving on the two long legs of the journey with my other half.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Doesn't make a lot of difference.

    Having 2 people in the car doesn't help that much. When you get further into the trip you will need to both stay awake and keep alert so that the driver isn't left to cope on their own without someone keeping an eye on them. Yes, it can be done but it's a really long day and beyond what we would regard as comfortable, or more importantly safe. As you have time at your destination[s], I would consider stopping a couple of hours earlier and finishing the trip next morning. Not only will you arrive safely, you will be more refreshed and in more of a mood to go out and have fun. As glc mentioned , Google drive times do not live up to reality. A computer program does not have to deal with 'real world' scenario's.

    The US is huge and distances are deceiving, so to put it into perspective, 700 miles would be like driving from Birmingham to Dundee...........and then back again in the same day. Would you, if you didn't really have to take the risk ? You have the time [plenty of it] so make the most of it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Birmingham, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Many thanks for the reply. It has been most helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Birmingham, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Guys,

    Just another quick question. How hot are your cops on speed limits on the interstate.

    I ask because in the UK the limit is 70mph, however you are very unlikely to get stopped unless you are doing over 85mph.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Don't count on it.

    It depends greatly on where you are, and which side of the bed the cop got out of that morning. lol

    I have been pulled up for exceeding the speed limit, though I did not get a ticket, but recently we had another visitor report on this forum that they were stopped and fined for being not that far over. Why not just set the cruise control, and enjoy your surroundings... something which is very hard to do at 85mph... or even 70mph. You are after all, on a holiday, travelling through an area and over roads which you may never see again. Make the most of every mile.

    Enjoy the road!

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Agreed.

    Even at a few miles an hour over the limit you run the risk of being stopped, perhaps sometimes as an excuse to see who you are and where your headed with 'out of state plates' [when applicable]. Even if you don't get a ticket the time lost going through the paper work would eat into any time gained. A lot of people tend to report travelling at a few MPH over with no problem, but travelling at 80 mph plus in a 70 mph limit is bound to get you into trouble if caught in the act. You have the other factor to consider, that if you are speeding 'a litte' for long periods of time [for instance over a 700 mile day] you increase your chances of being caught.

    Be careful in towns, many I encountered [in the Southwest though] were wide 4 lane roads with 25mph speed limits which would typically be a 40mph limit in the UK. Travelling at that speed after many miles at highway speeds felt as though you had stopped and this is where I noticed the local sherrif with his speed gun more than anywhere else.

    Even if your lodgings are booked, you could most likely juggle things a bit without extra charges and not have to worry about long day's rushing along Interstate as previously mentioned. Why not try and adjust your time in Orlando where in total you have 9 nights and spend 2 or 3 more on the road. Of course it is your trip and your call to make but were here to make suggestions and try and help you to get the most out of your trip.

    Enjoy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Birmingham, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Once again thanks for the replies.

    I'm not planning on 'racing' everywhere. The question about speed was more for information. Its been some years since I drove in the US and I know the police back then were very strict so I just wondered if things had become a little more 'relaxed'.

    Lifey, I sure intend just having a relaxing time & Dave,we are already looking at adjustments here & there after taking on the help received.

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

    Default You are welcome.

    Its been some years since I drove in the US and I know the police back then were very strict
    Best bit if advice I can offer, is to simply keep that in mind ! LOL.

    Lifey, I sure intend just having a relaxing time & Dave,we are already looking at adjustments here & there after taking on the help received
    Pleased to hear it, I'm sure you will have a great trip !

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