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  1. Default Detroit to Orange County, CA

    We are driving from Detroit to Orange County, CA this Thursday. We will take the I-80, I-70, I-15 route and want to do this in 5 days. We want to spend 1 day in Vegas for rest and relaxation.

    Question 1: What stopping points would you recommend before Vegas with consideration for food, refuel and bathroom stops as we only want to do 8 hours or so of driving per day? We prefer good, safe, solid middle class neighborhoods along the I-80 and I-70 with decent selection of newer hotels (3 stars or better) at reasonable rates.

    Question 2: Is there any hotel in Las Vegas along the strip that has self parking? We are taking a lot of personal belongings with us in our car and prefer not to use valet parking.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by rtafan; 09-25-2012 at 10:01 AM.

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

    Default as a guide

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    With a goal of keeping your driving down to 8-9 hours a day, you're looking at driving 500 miles a day. That means 4 full days to get to Vegas.

    Good spots to stop would include Iowa City, North Platte NE, and Grand Junction Co. All of those should have many hotel options to pick from.

    If you wanted to push a little harder, you could get to Vegas in 3.5 days, stopping around Des Moines, Sterling/Fort Morgan CO, and Richfield Utah, but that would mean drives of closer to 10 hours.

    I believe that all - or at least nearly all - of the major strip hotels have self parking ramps. I've never used valet parking during my trips there, although its been several years since I've been there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default A Comfortable Fit

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You will need four full, but relaxed, eight hour driving days (NB: as Michael noted, that means more like 9-10 hours total time) to get from Detroit to Orange County, leaving you exactly one day in Las Vegas. Your overnight stops would be roughly: Des Moines IA, Sterling CO, and Richfield UT. For your Des Moines stop I would suggest that if you will be leaving town on a weekday you push just a bit farther on this your first day and get through the city and bed down in the western suburbs so that you don't have to fight your way through the city during morning rush hour. But if you'll be in Des Moines on a Friday or Saturday night, then you can pull up short on the east side of town. For Sterling and Richfield, your choices will be much more limited, but these are the largest towns in their respective areas and there will be several options for lodging near the Interstate exits.

    As for Las Vegas, the Strip is some very expensive real estate, and so the hotels along it tend to be high end establishments. You can find much more budget friendly but still nice (2-3 star) establishments just off it especially in the areas just northwest of McCarran Airport.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    If you are looking for a decent deal in LV, you need to start looking now for casino/hotels offering rooms at a "giveaway" rate and prebook. A few years ago, I was able to get a room at Bally's for $39 booking a week in advance. It was a great room, free self-parking in an attached garage, but quite a hike to the room, which was on the 14th floor. You pretty much have to go through the casino from one side to the other to get from the garage to the elevators, which is a major hassle with a lot of luggage. NOTHING is free in casino hotels - $10+ wifi, no coffeemaker in the room, etc. I had to go downstairs to a kiosk to get a $3 cup of coffee in the morning. I learned my lesson and now I travel with my own 4 cup coffeemaker.

    The other option is off-Strip near the airport, as Buck suggested. This may be less hassles.

    4 days to LV and 1 day there eats up your 5 days. It's at least 5 hours from LV to LA - so you will need 6 days. I like Michael's first recommendation for overnights. The cities are small enough where you won't have traffic issues, safety at the Interstate exits will be good, and big enough where there will be a selection of hotels near the exits from budget all the way to premium without paying "downtown" rates.

    Being that your overnight stops are going to be brief, will you actually be able to take advantage of the amenities of a 3 star or better hotel?

    Okay - we normally don't recommend specific chains or hotels, but here's some examples:

    Iowa City - 3 star Clarion, rates starting at $85. 2 star Travelodge, rates starting at $58.
    North Platte - no 3 star, but several 2.5 star starting at $85 and a couple 2 stars starting at $53.
    Grand Junction - several 3 stars starting at $69, a bunch of 2.5's and 2's.
    Las Vegas - I see the Homewood by the airport is 3 star and starts at $74.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Okay - we normally don't recommend specific chains or hotels, but here's some examples:

    North Platte - no 3 star, but several 2.5 star starting at $85 and a couple 2 stars starting at $53.
    Is there any alternative to North Platte? It seems to be in the middle of nowhere. We prefer an area with good access to groceries stores (for stocking up on bottled water, snacks, etc.) and restaurants so we have something to do in the evening before hitting the sack. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    North Platte is a city of 25,000 people, and is basically the largest city in Western Nebraska.

    Based on just a quick look, it appears to have 3 Grocery Stores, a specialty foods store, and a Super Walmart. I'm also sure it has plenty of restaurants to choose from. If you want much more than that, you're going to have to seriously rework your trip so you stop in Lincoln or Denver, which are both roughly 250 miles away.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    Default

    There are PLENTY of services in North Platte. A Super Walmart will have everything you need and will probably be open 24 hours. There will be quite a few local and chain restaurants, plenty of fast food and pizza joints, etc. It may be "in the middle of nowhere" but it's a commercial center that serves the rural areas for many miles around. Just ask at the hotel desk for restaurant recommendations and directions to Walmart! Heck - you can get water and snacks at gas stations and "travel centers" (truck stops).

    You could say the same thing about Joplin - we "only" have a 50k population, and suffered through a destructive tornado last year - but we have everything you would ever want for an overnight stop here. We are the largest city within 75 miles and I hardly EVER have to head to the "big city" to find anything I need or want.

  8. Default

    For the hotels before Vegas, would you recommend pre-book or just walk-in at the last minute for best rates? For pre-book, which travel site would you recommend or just deal with the hotel directly? Thanks!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    I don't think you'd need to make reservations, its pretty unlikely you'd find a place that is full this time of year.

    But you may want to prebook just so you can easily comparison shop, and have the piece of mind of knowing exactly where you'll be at the end of the day - rather than trying to find a place after a long day on the road. I don't think you'll be surprised to know that we recommend our own site for making reservations - you shop using the form on the right side of this page, and even link to a blind bid option via priceline.

    If you'll have a computer/internet access on the road, you can also consider searching for reservations when you are ready to stop for the night.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    The disadvantage of prebooking is if something changes - you can't make it that far that night or decide to go farther. I hate to steer you away from this site, but what I usually do is use my phone to look for hotels when I'm at the point where I feel I need to stop - I have the hotels.com app on my Android. If you are a member you can book through the app - I'm not a member so I just use it to compare rates and see who has rooms available. I seldom have to rate haggle - my AARP discount is usually as good as an advance booking rate.

    You may prefer to be more structured - if so, you may want to prebook. Just make sure you are aware of the cancellation policies.

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