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  1. Default Seeking Suggestions for December/New Year Road Trip across South East (Start/End: MD)

    Hey All,
    My wife and I are planning an to road trip across the South East US. We live in MD and were initially planning a cross-country drive (to San. Francisco), but I don't think 10 days is enough time to really enjoy it. We've hence settled on the south east. I will probably be doing the bulk of the driving. lol

    Some Details:
    Leaving: Dec 26, 2013
    Home: Jan 4, 2014
    10 days available for travel.

    We were planning to drive in a some what circle (or strictly unique path) and visit about 4 cities (staying roughly about 2 or 3 nights in each.) So far, we are definitely going to the following:

    New Orleans (would like to be there for New Years)
    Savannah, GA/Charlestown, SC (can't decide)

    Any other suggestions?

    I'm thinking of something like the following:
    MD -> Suggestion 1 (2 nights - 12/26-28) -> Suggestion 2 (2 nights 12/28-30) -> New Orleans (12/30-1/1 or 1/2) -> Savannah/Charlestown (whatever is left)

    Ideally, the travel shouldn't be more than 12 hrs between each destination.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Randmness; 12-13-2013 at 09:17 AM.

  2. #2

    Default

    I hate to rain on your parade, but you need more days. If you visit four cities and spend 2 or 3 nights in each, that's 8 to 12 nights right there. You're looking at over 2,600 miles of driving (Hagerstown to New Orleans round trip) meaning you would use a minimum of five days just driving.

    Both are interesting cities to visit but betwen Charleston and Savannah, I would choose Charleston but that is a personal preference. You should research what there is to see and do in each and choose one or the other based on your interests.

  3. Default

    I wasn't sure if 4 cities was a little over zealous, but I don't think it's ridiculous. The plan was to spend 2 nights in most of the places (or effectively 1 full day) and 3 nights in New Orleans and possibly Savannah/Charlestown. The schedule is pretty flexible with room to add a day or two (11 or 12 days of travel.)

    Initially, I was kind of thinking of:
    MD to Chicago = 10-11 hrs (2-3 nights)
    Chicago to Nashville = 7-8 hrs (2 nights)
    Nashville to New Orleans = 8-9 hrs (3 nights)
    New Orleans to Savannah/Charleston = 9-10 hrs (2-3 nights)
    Savannah/Charleston to MD = 9-10 hrs
    About 3000 miles total (~43 hrs driving.)

    The first two destinations are flexible (and could even become just 1 destination.) By going straight to Nashville (skipping Chicago), that's around 2500 miles (~36 hrs.) Just kind of looking for suggestions/alternatives.
    Last edited by Randmness; 12-13-2013 at 12:05 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    You can't look at the driving between cities in the terms of hours, you have to look at it in the terms of days. 36 hours (2500 miles) is not a day and a half, it's 4 to 5 days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default A little more about what GLC is referring to

    To recap and explain the logic of how we look at driving days around here.

    Without a police escort -- it is unrealistic to expect to be able to average much faster than 55 MPH on any road east of the Mississippi River over the course of a day's travel. This is an average speed that allows for traffic slowdowns, construction, fuel and food breaks. It assumes that a driver will be traveling at or slightly above the posted speed limit for any highway driven on a given day for the entire time they are driving.

    That being said, even if you were to drive around 70 mph for most of the day, your average speed would still only be about 55 mph to any of the cities you've listed above. Traveling 8-10 hours per day -- the maximum you can expect to cover would be 600 miles. Most of us, who are semi-professional roadtrippers, try and keep our daily mileage below 500 miles.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Yeah, it looks like Mark and GLC beat me too it, but the travel time estimates you've got listed just aren't realistic in the real world where you have to stop and slow down for things like traffic, gas, food, and restrooms. You would have to average more than 70 miles per hour for your calculated drive times to work, and as they said that's just not possible.

    I certainly would leave off Chicago for this trip. From "Maryland" you're looking at roughly 700 miles, which is about 13-14 hours of real world driving, which is the kind of distance that is going to leave you too exhausted to enjoy the city, much less enjoy the thought of getting back in the car for another 500 mile drive to Nashville just 2 days later. Use that time to explore places much closer to the rest of your route - perhaps Memphis, Atlanta, or explore both Savannah and Charleston. Or maybe better yet, use the time to take a less speed run approach to your drives, so you can actually enjoy and explore the things you'll find along the way.

    Also keep in mind, even in the southeast, weather certainly could play a factor in your trip. It would not be surprising at all to see a storm that delays your travels - and remember, in this part of the country, just a little snow or ice can shut down the region.

  7. Default

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I understand that travel days are effectively one day lost. I think we are going to scrap Chicago from the list, and just hit Nashville, New Orleans, and Savannah over the 10-11 day stretch.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Save Chicago for a warm weather trip. It can be brutal there this time of year, a lot colder than you are used to in MD. I lived there for 35 years, and I remember one Christmas I had to go to the airport to pick someone up on Christmas Eve morning, and it was about -25 F. That kind of cold is rare, but 0 is routine, not exceptional. I have also been through an entire month of January where it never got up to 32, and a whole week where it never got above 0.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Save Chicago for a warm weather trip. It can be brutal there this time of year, a lot colder than you are used to in MD. I lived there for 35 years, and I remember one Christmas I had to go to the airport to pick someone up on Christmas Eve morning, and it was about -25 F. That kind of cold is rare, but 0 is routine, not exceptional. I have also been through an entire month of January where it never got up to 32, and a whole week where it never got above 0.
    I can only imagine. It gets chilly here in MD (21046 to be exact), but pales in comparison to anything in the midwest.

    We've scratched off the idea of Chicago. We plan to hit Savannah (12/26-12/29); followed by New Orleans (12/29-1/1.) On 1/1, we plan to head back home, stopping somewhere for a two or three nights. I was thinking about Nashville, but does anyone have any other recommendations for somewhere about midway between MD and New Orleans, LA.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    You are just on the edge for making it a 2 day trip from NO to your home. The fastest route doesn't go through Nashville, and the exact halfway point is Knoxville. If you want to make it a 3 day drive, then Nashville is doable in a day from NO, you can spend most of the next day in Nashville, then move on to Knoxville for the night.

    As far as cities go I like Nashville, it IS home to country music and has a lot of attractions.

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