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  1. Default Trying to decide about a road trip from Buffalo,NY to Bozeman, MT

    My husband and I have to go to Bozeman MT later this year for a wedding. We live in Buffalo NY. We are 49 and 51 yrs old.

    I'd like to consider driving there and he is leaning towards flying because he is hesitant to drive. The trip would take about 30 hours along the 90. I figured we would take 3 days to do it, driving around 10-12 hours the first two days and stopping in a hotel on those 2 nights and then arriving on the 3rd day.

    We have driven to VA before and the trip was about 9.5 hours and we weren't too tired out afterwards so I'm guessing the trip would be kind of similar each day but would take 3 days and might get a bit stressful towards the end. We would be staying there for 1 week and then would have to drive back.

    I thought it would be fun to drive through the different states and see the states along the way to get there. My husband feels that we might get too tired out with all the driving and might also have back pain. I am a bit resistant to flying and I figure an 8-hr flight with 1-2 stops wouldn't be a big picnic either.

    I could really use some input on how tiring it might be to drive and any other factors to consider before making our final decision.

    Some questions:

    Does driving get more tiring the more days in a row that you drive?
    How bad would a 29 hour trip be for 2 people driving over a 3-day period?
    Would the altitude start affecting us once we got near MT and make us even more tired?
    I'm not sure what else to ask....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    My husband and I are near your age. Honestly, we do several days in a row of 10-or-11 hour days. It's not much different than going to work every day. A few tips: stop at least every 2 hours for something -- either bathroom, eat, fuel, take a walk, shop, or whatever. Find a motel early in the day so that you get some choice in where you stay (and don't have to try several places before you find a vacancy), or make reservations. Enjoy a dip in the pool or hot tub if the motel has one. Try to keep the same schedule on the road as at home, for sleeping, so that you don't have to lose sleep at night.

    BTW, this is a 1900 mile drive that Mapquest tells you will take you 29 hours. That means 3 days of 633 miles each, or 4 days of less miles. Or compromise -- three days of 550 miles and the last day, 250 miles.

    Altitude doesn't usually bother someone until 10,000 ft or higher, unless one has medical issues, and usually gives you a headache.

    I'm one that prefers a long drive over a 3 day period than being crammed into a jet with 100 other people who are coughing and sneezing on me for 4 hours. We also prefer to have our own car rather than have to rent one.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    I don't know where you are getting your drive times from, but in the real world this trip is going to take you 3.5 days, as it's over 1900 miles. You will need to spend 3 nights on the road.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default On the Edge

    1900 miles really is right on the edge of what you can accomplish safely in three days. Note that professional long haul truckers are prohibited by law from driving more than 600 miles a day and you are proposing to do 635 for three days running. Having done it for one day really does not give you a real understanding of what it means to do it day after day. With two drivers trading off every few hours, you should be able to do it, especially westbound where you gain daylight as you go, but I would second a couple of suggestions you've already gotten. (1)Stop every few hours for a bit of exercise and to simply turn your 'driving/navigating' brain off. (2)Make reservations ahead of time. This will save precious time trying to find some place and will allow you to predetermine where to stop each night in the light of reason, rather than trying to "just go one more exit" when you're tired and not thinking clearly. I would suggest Beloit, WI and Presho, SD.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I'm going to look at it a bit differently than Buck - I think you should allow 4 days and do not make reservations. If things go well, you may get there a day early. If things do not go well, you have that extra day. Just because you felt okay after driving 9.5 hours in one day doesn't necessarily mean you can repeat it the next 2 days and still feel fine.

    You shouldn't have any problem finding hotels at Interstate exits.

    By the way, if you don't have an EZ-Pass, you may want to get one. It can be used on the toll roads in OH, IN, and IL.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Time for fun. [?]

    I thought it would be fun to drive through the different states and see the states along the way to get there.
    As road trip enthusiasts you are not going to get any regular members disagree with driving as opposed to flying. To class the drive as 'fun' though [other than the enjoyment of driving, which I'm not sure your hubby shares] I would try to find a little more time, or spend less of it at your destination, and take a different route out and back with a little time for making it a more relaxed affair. If you are driving from home then presumably you have to drive back. If you could spare 5 or 6 days, you could consider a little sight seeing on the way home such as Devils Tower, Mt Rushmore, Custer State park and Badlands NP for example.

  7. Default

    Thank you to all of those who responded. It has helped me to see that the drive would probably take longer than expected. I now see that it will take at least 3 full days and possibly one extra each way.

    I would love to drive but we are definitely going to be spending a week there and we have pets that we have to leave behind and will have to be cared for. I really didn't want to have to spend more than about a week and a half away from them and the house in general.

    So I guess now I am leaning a bit more towards flying even though I still would prefer to drive there. I guess it all depends how much extra time we would like to spend. I would love to fly one way and drive the other but that would entail renting a car which I believe would make the trip so much more expensive. We won't need to rent a vehicle while we are there because we will be staying with family who will have a vehicle.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I just checked rates for you for a 4 day 1 way rental in a random week in August. Buffalo to Bozeman is in the $800 to $900 range, Bozeman to Buffalo is in the $1700 range. You can figure around $400 in gas plus 3 hotel nights on top of that.

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