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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Beaufort, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    1

    Default Military moving to naval station great lakes, il from Parris island, sc

    We are moving our family to naval stations great lakes, il from Parris island, sc. It will be mid January we will have two kids, two dogs, a U haul pulling a car and then my car following. Any hints on the best route? We have 6 days to get there and want to make it fun. Has anyone tried pet hotels? Any advice will be appreciated! Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Margin to Spare

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    With your caravan, gas costs and straight and level roads become the primary criteria in determining the best route, so you'll want one that follows the Interstates and is as short as possible. That would be I-95 up to I-26 to Asheville. From there, I-40 to Knoxville and I-75 to Lexington, followed by a short jog on I-64 to Louisville and I-65 to Gary. You'd then finish up with your favorite(?) route through or around Chicago, I-90/94, I-294, or I-335. You really don't want to do that last bit at anywhere near either the morning or evening rush hour, and I think that even though it is a toll route and the truck/car combo will be relatively expensive I would choose I-294, the Tri-State Tollway.

    The good news is that you have lots of time. A single passenger car would have no trouble making the trip in two days. Your combo will take a bit longer, but you still have considerable leeway. You might want to use that time to make frequent short stops at parks near your main route to let your kids and menagerie get some fresh air and exercise (and give mom and dad a sanity break). Besides such short stops, you might also want to look at major venues such as Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Although your rig will be a bit slow, it can manage the main park road.) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Motel 6, Super 8, Red Roof, La Quinta, and some other chains have a pet-friendly policy, but it is always best to check with the individual location to determine their policy as well as any fees that may apply.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    Do you have a way to communicate between the two vehicles? A set of family radios, once popular, have served us well in such situations. Two cell phones are nice, but they always take longer to dial...and in most states, Bluetooth or other hands-free device is the law.

    With 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 vehicles, you'll be able to split up the kids -- one rides with Dad, the other with Mom. Depending on your situation with the U-Haul, you may not be able to split up the animals. Years back (40+ years), my parents moved us across country, and we kids switched back and forth at each rest area or lunch stop. The family dog, however, always rode with the same driver because of space considerations. Switching back and forth between parents allowed some one-on-one time with the parent and child -- always a plus!



    Donna


    Donna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Your total cash tolls on I-294 with that rig and the car are going to be in the $15 range if I read the toll calculator correctly, and without transponders you will have some delays at each toll plaza during busy times - there aren't very many cash lanes any more.

    Take I-65 to I-80/94 to I-294. I do not recommend you go anywhere near I-90/Chicago Skyway or downtown Chicago with that caravan. I-294 ends northwest of Chicago and merges back into I-94, which you will take to the Buckley Road (IL-137) exit to get to Great Lakes.

    After you arrive, I'd recommend you get an I-Pass transponder for both cars. Transponder tolls are 1/2 the cost of cash tolls and you have dedicated lanes where you don't even have to slow down at most plazas.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I'd agree that I-294 would be the best bet for getting around Chicago, unless you are arriving well after peak hours - say between 10pm and 5am. If you do end up reaching the city late at night, then I might head through downtown on I-94 to save on some of the tolls. An Ipass will be one of the first things you'll want to get once you are in IL, and in fact, you might want to get one at the first Oasis you see at on the tollways start saving right away on the tolls for the trailing car.

    I'd also agree with Donna that communication besides cell phones would be helpful. I'd consider either getting a couple of CB radios or a couple of the nicer walkie talkie radios that have a range of at least a few miles.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    There is an oasis right after you enter 294, before the first toll plaza. It will cost you $50 - $10 deposit and $40 tolls preloaded. You can add a second transponder to the same account for the second car at any time. Your account can be managed online, and you have to allow automatic replenishment when the balance gets down to $10 with a credit or debit card. License plate number for the car it's in must be provided. You won't be able to get one for the rental truck.

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