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  1. Default Ottawa, ON to New Orleans, Louisiana

    Planning a road trip this summer from Ottawa to New Orleans. Basically I want to know where NOT to stop, stay or linger on my way and there. Female going with a female and just want to be prepared. Will likely be staying in cheaper motels on the way, probably stop in Nashville for a few days. May stay in or outside Detroit if I get tired driving to Nashville as that's a 15 hour stretch. Detroit scares me some, maybe better alternative? Any chains of motels to stick with? Just safety questions really. Oh, and any must-sees along the way!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Safety issues.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The thing to remember, and a common theme here at RTA, is that every place is someones hometown, places that they live, go to work and raise families quite safely. A lot of these places have certain areas that are not so desirable to be in, but more often than not you would have to search them out in order to find them, they are not found in tourist and business areas. All you have to do is use the 'built in radar' you use at home, your instincts. If something doesn't feel right it often isn't so just move on. Simply put, I do not know of one place in the USA where you could not find a safe place to stay.

    I think your safety is far more at risk when thinking you can drive to Nashville in "a 15 hour stretch". Fifteen hours is a long time behind the wheel and a tired/drowsey driver is a similar risk to a drunk driver. More importantly, you can not get to Nashville in 15 hours, it's a 2 day drive requiring a good nights sleep in between. I understand you acknowledged you may stop on the way, but for planning purposes you need to.

    You could get as far as Toledo on day 1, or you would have the option of heading to Syracuse and I90 to Cleveland as a mid-way point.

    Any of the major chains will offer you a safe place to sleep for the night, but you should read reviews on individual properties where you wish to stay and compare prices to suit your budget. You can get an idea by looking at the RTA hotel browser to the right of this page.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Safety Redux

    I wholeheartedly agree with each of the points that Dave made. The most glaringly unsafe part of your proposed trip was your thinking of the drive from Ottawa to Nashville as "a 15 hour stretch". At over a thousand miles, that is a full two days. Don't even consider it in terms of hours. You will "get tired". The problem with any plan that relies on driving until you get tired is that as you get tired your judgement gets impaired, and relying on that impaired judgement to make life and death decisions is inherently unsafe.

    And there's no need for it. Ottawa to New Orleans is a three day drive. Your planning should account for that. And Detroit is actually out of your way. Dave's suggestion of coming south to Syracuse then using I-90 to the Cleveland area and I-71/I-65 south from there is the way to go. Your overnight stops would then be somewhere in the Cleveland area, and Nashville if you plan to spend some time there, otherwise Columbia TN just south of Nashville would make a bit more sense as you'd likely find lower cost lodgings, it would more evenly spread out the driving, and you wouldn't have to deal with Nashville's rush hour the next morning.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Also, the quicker you get into the US and the later you leave it, the lower your gas costs will be.

    I *WILL* address safety specifically in Detroit. I would NOT recommend staying in the city of Detroit without having some good local information, the inner city (well, what's left of it anyway) is no place for a tourist to go near.

    The most efficient route from Ottawa to NO is 416 to 401 to I-81/I-90/I-271/I-71/I-65/I-59. Appropriate overnight stops are Cleveland (eastern suburbs) and Nashville. I-90 is a toll road in NY, it will cost you $9.65 cash each way.

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