Hello all. First time poster here. Wanted to share an upcoming trip I am taking with my family next month.
Chicago, IL to South Hill, VA. It's a trip that we have taken three times (round trip) before in the last year and a half. I live in the Chicago area (don't ask why) with my wife and baby son, and my parents live in VA. We used to fly when visiting them in the past, but with the hassle that flying has become, we decided to suck it up last year and make the trip on the road. SO glad we did. I've always loved taking road trips, since I was old enough to drive by myself. Some of the longest trips I have made have been from Newport News, VA to Philadelphia, PA; Philadelphia, PA to Chicago, IL; Chicago, IL to Broken Arrow, OK; Chicago, IL to Minneapolis, MN; and of course, Chicago, IL to southside VA. I've never been any farther west than OK, so I'm useless when it comes to the western side of the country (lol).
Anyway, this time there will be a big first for us. It will be the first time our baby son will accompany us (he'll be 6 mo. by the time we hit the road) on such a long trip, so we gearing towards making this particular trip as fast as (safely) possible. We normally like to take some scenic routes and make small tourist stops along the way, but this time it's a straight up highway run, for the baby's benefit. This trip is a bit over 800 miles, and we always do it in one single run. Before any of you scold me for that, I am very experienced with multiple hours behind the wheel, and have been told by other road trippers I know that I have excellent "driving stamina", as does my father. Must run in the family ;) Besides, we stop every few hours for a break, and the wife takes the wheel now and then on top of that, so I can rest from focusing on the road.
*However, of course if the baby shows signs of fatigue and doesn't want to be in the car anymore, even after a nice break, we'll grab a room for the night. I think we'll be OK, though. The little guy's already proven himself on local/regional multi-hour car rides.
OK so, my outbound route plan is as follows:
From Chicagoland, I-65 S to Louisville, KY, where we ill pick up I-64 E, taking it all all the way into western VA. From there, we will take I-81 S a bit until we can take route 60 to route 501, which we will take to Lynchburg, VA. There we will pick up route 460 E all the way to Blackstone, VA. Blackstone to my parents house is but 30 minutes.
On the way back to Chicago, it will be a bit different. We will be going through Asheville, NC to visit some friends and check out the local real estate market (we want to move to Asheville within a few years).
So from South Hill, VA, we will be taking I-85 S to I-40 W, which we will be taking all the way to Asheville. We'll be staying the night there, so the trip back will actually be over 2 days. Anyway, the next morning: from Asheville, we will be taking I-40 W to Knoxville, TN, where we will get on I-75N, taking it to Lexington, KY. From there it's back on 64 W, following the same route back to Chicago that we initially set out on.
Any advice in regards to quicker routes, or criticism/comments in general, is welcome. Sorry for the long read.