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  1. Default Chicago, IL to Dover, DE in July

    Hi Everyone,

    Great website! My girlfriend and I are planning on heading to Dover, DE (~800 mi.) for a music fest on the 3rd weekend in July.

    Quick background on myself- I drive a LOT (both city driving and highway, however, I'm a complete amateur in terms of long-distance trips aside from a drive down to New Orleans in Aug. of '05. That trip was relatively easy, as we split it up among 4 college-aged guys and made it down about as non-stop as you can get. Other than that, we make regular trips to Lake Delton in WI, so I know that I can drive for 4+ hours with ease.

    The festival in DE is July 20-22. We are going to give ourselves Wednesday thru Monday (July 18-23). We (potentially) don't care for many of the bands that are playing on Sunday, so we are likely free to leave at whatever time necessary on Sunday to be back home and settled in on Monday.

    Of course, I'd like to think that we can do this non-stop, but I understand that it eventually gets un-safe, and we are better off spending the night somewhere in the middle along the way. In my mind, I think the trip will go something like -

    Leave at some point on Wed the 18th, take 80 E through Indiana and Ohio, onto 76 E into Pennsylvania, spend the night in Pittsburgh. I think that's about 460mi and about 8 hours of driving. Wake up as early as possible on the 19th, 70 E through the rest of Pennsylvania down into MD and through Baltimore and take whatever the recommended route is into Delaware.

    I am giving myself ample time to work on the route and the timing, but I appreciate any/all help and input from the experts. I guess my main questions are:

    1) Is that a decent rough-draft of a game plan?
    2) Is this a possible non-stop trip for two people? I think it would be about 400 miles and 7 hours each.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum (despite your poor choice of a username)!

    I think your rough draft with a stop in Pittsburgh is a reasonable plan.

    Driving non-stop would not be recommended. You could probably do it safely, since its just a one day trip, but it would really be counter productive. You'd end up likely being so tired for the rest of the weekend that you wouldn't be able to enjoy the festival. Keep in mind, that while one person can pretty easily drive 400 miles, its not a case of 1+1=2. The 400 miles as a passenger where you are just sitting for hours at a time also lead to fatigue.

    Another option that might work for you would be to hit the road in the early evening, and get 3-4 hours down the road - say to Toledo - and then plan a full day into Dover from there.

    If you're looking for an alternate route to change things up coming back, you could take I-68/I-79/I-70/I-65 back through Columbus and Indianapolis. It adds some miles, but it would save you on tolls.

    Speaking of tolls - make sure to bring your I-pass, as it will work in Indiana, and all EZ-Pass states farther east.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Welcome to the RTA Forum (despite your poor choice of a username)!
    ha!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Keep in mind, that while one person can pretty easily drive 400 miles, its not a case of 1+1=2. The 400 miles as a passenger where you are just sitting for hours at a time also lead to fatigue.
    Excellent point, I never even thought about this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Another option that might work for you would be to hit the road in the early evening, and get 3-4 hours down the road - say to Toledo - and then plan a full day into Dover from there.
    This is something I will deeply consider.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Speaking of tolls - make sure to bring your I-pass, as it will work in Indiana, and all EZ-Pass states farther east.
    Again, something I didn't even think about! Good to know that the I-Pass works elsewhere.

    Thanks for your tips, MM. I will likely be back with more questions and updates as the trip nears.

  4. Default

    Sorry for reviving an old thread, but we're inching closer to our trip date. We are still leaving at some point on Wednesday the 18th, and would like to spend as much as Thursday the 19th in Washington DC as possible. We will spend the night there, and will finish the journey into Dover early on Friday morning (~2 hours, I believe).

    So, any tips on making it from Chicago to DC as painlessly as possible, in a day?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    No apology needed for reviving the thread - we prefer it in fact.

    I would really recommend that you not try to drive to DC in one day. Its 700 miles, which is more than we suggest, but most importantly, when you're doing that much driving in a day, it typically leaves you pretty exhausted, where its unlikely you'd be in much of a position to enjoy your day in DC the following day.

    If you do, then you'll need to leave early in the day (you'll be looking at spending at least 13 hours on the road), and follow our general tips for speed runs. But I think you'd be much better off stopping a bit short - someplace like Hagerstown, where you're also likely to find more reasonable hotel rates, and finish off your drive into DC the next day. Or, if you can get on the road Tuesday evening, cover a few miles, then getting into DC wednesday night would be much more manageable.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Can you leave Tuesday evening? If so, I would, and drive the 4 hours to Toledo. There are tons of cheap chain hotels just off the Ohio Turnpike. Stop at the first rest area on the Ohio Turnpike and pick up a discount coupon book for the hotels. I got a room at the Super 8 there for $39 with a coupon last year. You can make it from Toledo to DC in about 8 hours or so.

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