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  1. Default Driving from Miami to LA the second week of December

    Hi everyone.

    I'm going to drive by myself from Miami to LA aprox in Dec 18, and I want to do it in the less time possible, but off course I some advices.
    What about the better route to do it?
    I know the I-10 it's the shorter route but I heard the I-40 is safer. which one should I take?
    Is it possible to do this trip in three days?
    Where I should stop at night?
    I have a very reliable car, but what else should I have in consideration before starting my trip?
    What's the cheapest way to do this trip?

    Thanks for all your help.

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

    Default if safety is at all a concern

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If safety is at all a concern of yours, you would not attempt this in 3 days, in fact, you wouldn't even attempt it in 4. This trip is more than 2700 miles and you need a minimum of 5 days on the road to do this safely - frankly, even that is on the high end of what's safe since you are a solo driver. That also is assuming perfect weather conditions, you'd even even more time if you hit bad weather, which is certainly a possibility for a trip in mid december.

    That is far more of a concern safety wise than I-10 vs. I-40. Since I-10 is the shortest route by about 50 miles, and your goal is to do this trip as quick as possible, then that would be the first choice. It also stays at a far lower elevation than I-40, which could be a help. However, having said that, you can certainly see snow and ice on I-10, and your best bet would be to watch the forecasts. If you are on the road and see poor conditions expected for I-10, the short detour up to I-40 could be worth it if conditions look clear there.

    If you stick to I-10, rough stopping points that you should be aiming for are: Marianna FL, Beaumont TX, Fort Stockton TX, and Tucson AZ. Most of those drives are already pushing 600 miles and are really the maximum you should consider driving on a single day during a multi-day trip.

  3. Default

    ok. Thank you for you advise.
    So if I understood correctly I should plan to be on the road for at least five days and the best route to take is the I-10, because it's shorter and because stays at a far lower elevation.
    Something else I should take in consideration?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    As I mentioned, also keep an eye on the forecasts and the conditions during the time of your trip. "Best" is always subject to the conditions, and you can't know those until you are actually looking at the data that's only available as you are on the road.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    As far as the "cheapest way to do this trip", here are some suggestions. We also have an entire forum called "Saving Money on the Trip". But in a nutshell:

    * Do some research about the overnight stops. Look around and don't be too stubborn to cut 20 miles one day or add 20 miles, to get a better price on an overnight. Use the coupon books that are at rest areas, truck stops, and now online, to find good spots. My husband recently came across the country solo. He chose some of the mid-class hotels and paid $65/average per night, but he could have spent $50 or less.

    * Carry a cooler in your car filled with drinks and refrigerated snacks, and the makings for breakfast and lunches. Those fast-food places will be cheap, but they won't fill you and they WILL add calories! We also carry a bag with other types of snacks. That means less money spent in expensive vending machines and convenience stores.

    * If you're a coffee drinker, bring your own travel mug. You can make a cup in the motel room (most of them still have a maker in the room or in the breakfast room). For a refill on the road, having your own cup saves up to 50c per cup.

    * For a meal out on the road, consider a sit-down place that is NOT a chain. The prices are often better, the food is usually better too. Ask at the motel, what's good that's local and not expensive.


  6. #6


    I don't see much difference with I 10 or 40 and in December I would stay as far south as I could. Now if you can fall asleep most anytime like on a flight or watching TV sitting up I would stick with Midwest Michael and push only at 5 to 600 miles a day. I most always drive up to 1,200 miles alone or as the only driver and have no problem in good size/riding/quiet car or SUV. I can only sleep in a bed even on 15 hours flights overseas if I can't get business class I am awake for the entire time. If you are in a pony/sports/hard riding/noisy car cut it down no matter how you can stay awake. Book your hotels at a set mileage on Price line, you can save money. You can average 60 mph with gas stops, faster restaurants or good sandwiches and snacks from home.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default advice that kills

    Please do not listen to anyone who tells you that you can safely drive 1200 miles a day under any circumstance. Even doing it once is very dangerous, but at the end of that distance you'd still have 2 thousand miles to go and you'd be so exhausted that you'd be in no condition to continue the rest of your trip the next day.

    Also don't fall victim to the idea that just because you aren't asleep that you are a safe driver. Being on the road for hours upon hours has makes you very suseptible to "zoning out" and other distractions that can and do result in serious crashes.

    The fact is that professional drivers are limited by law to about 600 miles a day - and there is some strong evidence that even that is too much. Trying to drive more than that day after day has been proven to kill, and thousands of people every year lose their lives because they foolishly think that the laws of biology don't apply to them. Its a game of russian roulette with very real victims.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Hear! hear!!

    Driving a motor vehicle takes 100% concentration, 100% of the time. The fact that after an extended period of any activity focus decrease, is not in dispute. As Michael states, there are very good reasons why professionals are restricted in time and distance they may cover in any given 24 hour period. Few drivers on the road are better drivers than the professionals. And those who are, have the sense to limit their activity to maintain optimum focus.


  9. Default

    thanks to all. I'm listening.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Well, right now is a time that stresses the importance on keeping up to date with current conditions. Right now, a snowstorm has closed I-10 through the entire state of NM and it's in pretty bad shape in western TX and eastern AZ.

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