Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1

    Default Early May Roadtrip: Chicago to LAX

    My boyfriend is moving to Los Angeles so we were planning on taking a 4-5 day road trip to drive him out there. We need to go through Columbia MO to pick up something from his brother but besides that, no necessary stops. We were hoping to take the Denver, Las Vegas route and stop in some of the national Parks for quick sight seeing. Any other must see places along that route? I realize that we're not leaving much time but trying to make the most out of the time we have.

    Thanks so much for any and all suggestions

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    Columbia to LA is 3 long days staying on the Interstates taking no sightseeing detours. How much more time than that can you take?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Time Management

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Just the driving portion of the trip you've outlined will take four solid 10-12 hour driving days. So you will absolutely need a fifth day to spend with your boyfriend's brother, in Denver and Las Vegas, and sightseeing any National Parks. And you can see that you could only devote an hour or two to each of those even if you add the fifth day. That is not to say that such a trip can't be enjoyable, only that you are going to have to manage your time exceedingly well. To that end, here are a few time management tips.

    First and foremost, do not make the mistake of thinking that you can push farther down the road one day so that you have more time on subsequent days for sightseeing, or the nearly identical mistake of trying to 'trade drivers' and expect to get some meaningful sleep in the car. Such efforts inevitably backfire and lead to you both just being tired, out of sorts, and simply not really enjoying the time you do have for out-of-the-car activities. High mileage, multiple day RoadTrips are all about pacing yourself so that you are always fresh, alert, and up for whatever the road brings you.

    Plan on getting a good night's sleep at the end of each day. Note that even with scheduling an hour to unwind, eight hours of sleep, and an hour to get ready in the morning, you are still leaving a full 14 hours a day for travel/sightseeing. Use all of it. I tend to prebook my rooms for this very reason. I can figure out beforehand the pace I need and where I should be stopping. having the rooms booked helps keep me on pace and means that I'm not wasting valuable road time looking for a place to stay, or the best price, or a clean, quiet room - It's just waiting for me. You may prefer to have the freedom of not being tied to a fixed itinerary, and that's fine. Just be aware of the tradeoffs involved.

    By the same token, consider how much time is wasted eating meals in a restaurant: finding one, waiting to be seated, waiting for service, waiting for the check, etc. And all the while, all you get to see is the inside of another chain restaurant. Instead, bring a cooler stocked with good food and drinks of your own choosing and use meal breaks to instead be outside at any of the many scenic venues just off the highway, getting a little exercise and a mental and physical break from just sitting and driving.

    So, you see what I mean about time management. It's all about making the best use of all the time you have available to you, and enjoying it all, rather than trying to fill a 5 pound sack with 10 pounds of potatoes. If you adopt the tips I've outlined , and add that all important fifth day, than you can start looking at spending a couple of hours each in places like Denver and Las Vegas as well as crossing the Continental Divide via Loveland Pass rather than going beneath it through the Eisenhower Tunnel, making the short detours to Arches and/or Zion National Parks, things like that.


  4. #4


    Great, thanks so much. I think youre right in that if we manage our time properly and have 5 days, we should be okay. We dont want to take very long breaks-just enough to stretch our legs, see some large rocks and press forward. I think the beauty of the trip will be spending time together before doing very long distance.

    Thanks again (I will now look like the knowledgeable one on the trip!)


Similar Threads

  1. Visalia, CA to Chicago IL in late Sept/Early Oct
    By jazierae in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 09-28-2011, 12:41 PM
  2. Chicago, IL to Oak Harbor, WA in early March
    By gregnow31 in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-10-2011, 10:00 PM
  3. Los Angeles to Chicago Early January Needs Advice Please
    By jao in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-27-2010, 02:14 PM
  4. Seattle to Chicago in Early October - any tips?
    By mteh in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-01-2010, 12:10 PM
  5. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-10-2010, 06:20 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name