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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Bloomington, Indiana, United States

    Default Bloomington, IN to Anaheim, CA and back again

    Hey everyone, I stumbled across these forums when I was doing some research for the trip and it looks like you guys really know your road trips, and as someone who's very rarely driven somewhere it takes more than a day to get to I figured I could use some advice. So, here's what I'm planning with some friends right now. We'd be leaving sometime in late July and driving to Anaheim, CA for Vidcon 2013 which is August 1st-4th next year. Google is telling me it's about a 33 hour trip to get there on the I-40 W route (
    Unless anyone has a better suggestion than that we'll probably be taking Google's advice most of the way there. On the return trip we were thinking of going up through Colorado and checking out some of the national parks there. So I guess we might do something like the I-70 E route. I'd say we can probably spare about two weeks counting the time spent at Vidcon for the trip so that bares the questions of how to use that time. The goal is to get there relatively quickly but not really take it to the extreme of trying to get there as fast as possible and neglecting the roadside attraction/landmark/random cool stuff part of the road trip. After Vidcon on the return journey we'll probably be more open towards lingering and taking in various places, but again, we do want some of that on the way there.
    The next big question would be where and when to sleep. We'll definitely have a hotel in Anaheim, but en route what would you recommend? Camping? Finding somewhere to park and sleeping in the car? Hotel(s)? Simply trading off between sleeping and driving all night (there will be 3 or 4 of us going)? In a related note, assuming we don't keep going all night, how much driving would you recommend for a day on the road?
    If there's anything I should have asked but didn't or any general advice feel free to add that in too, it will all be extremely helpful. One last note, what with gas and hotel costs in Anaheim it would be good to keep additional costs down wherever possible with exceptions like being willing to pay extra for a hotel if it means no bed bugs and a bit more for dinner so it's a local restaurant instead of fast food.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    We recommend that driving days be kept down to no more than 600 miles. This is 10 to 12 hours in the car when you account for food, bathroom, and fuel stops. Bloomington to Anaheim via fastest route is about 2050 miles. This makes it a 3.5 day trip. Fastest route is IN-46 to Terre Haute, then I-70/I-44/I-40/I-15. I would plan on overnights around Joplin MO, Santa Rosa NM, and Kingman AZ. All 3 towns have reasonably priced hotels. With 3 or 4 of you, sleeping in the car is not a good option at all, nor is driving straight through. With a pace like this, you would have a bit of time each day to check out roadside attractions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Real world driving.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Computers, they are fortunate enoungh not to have to eat, sleep, go to the bathroom nor face human factors such as construction and congestion delays, unfortunately they can't drive either ! The fact is that a journey of over 2000 miles can't be calculated in hours, it needs to be days. When you factor in all these considerations it is going to take 3 x12 hour days to get to your destination and we would usually recommend a 3.5 day journey to keep things safe and sane. So with your 4 days in Anaheim and 6 -7 days of travel that will leave you 3 or 4 days to 'play with'. Taking a different route out and back is the best idea and I40 one way and I70 the other makes sense, and both take about the same amount of time.

    If you were to take 4 days to get there, you could spend a little time at the Grand canyon and a few short stops along the way, Gateway Arch St Loius, Cadilac Ranch near Amarillo and maybe check out a few route 66 towns. On the way back you have many National Parks such as Zion and Arches in Utah, RMNP in Colorado, with many other attractions along the way such as Colorado National Monument.

    You will not get a good nights sleep in a car, especially with friends and luggage all bunched up and especially not after having been in it for a large part of the day, people can fall out when they don't get proper est and a break from each other and their habits ! You can usually get cheap rooms near Interstate and if you find some with breakfast included it will help set you up for the day. Camping is an option but you will have to allow time for setting up and breaking down each night and room for all the gear.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Bloomington, Indiana, United States


    Hey! Thanks for the welcomes and the information. A few more questions...
    According to Google again we'll run into tolls at least once along the route. I assume when coming into California or Anaheim? How much are these likely to cost?
    Also on the return trip what locations would you recommend stopping for the night?
    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Your tolls will actually be in Oklahoma. Its $8 to get from Missouri to OK City, and then a couple bucks more if you use the toll roads to bypass downtown.

    Going back via I-70, your stopping points could be Richfield, UT; Limon CO; and Kansas City. But you can certainly adjust those based on other places you might want to stop and see.

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