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  1. #1

    Default Christmas Trip from Sunny Orlando to Sunny Las Vegas

    So, my husband thinks I'm nuts. I'll start with that. I am looking at driving from Orlando to Las Vegas to spend Christmas with family. My husband is a truck driver. He would meet us there. I'm not the least bit nervous... I think I have gone totally bonkers considering I would be making the 4 day long trek with a 4 and 5 year old.
    Any suggestions? Any tips? It's been quite a while since I've driven that far.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There's nothing wrong or bonkers about driving cross country by itself, but trying to to Orlando to Vegas in 4 days with 1 driver and 2 small kids is a little crazy. Its just not much time. You'll need to be in the car 10 hours every day, which just doesn't leave much time left over to make stops so they can get out some energy and enjoy the trip, rather than taking their extra energy out on you and each other!

    For comparison sake, 4 days is the fastest your husband would be allowed to make this trip, and he doesn't have to deal with kids in the process!

    If at all possible, I would recommend trying to take at least an extra day, so you can make at least one or two fun stops each day you are on the road. Also keep in mind, it is entirely possible that you could run into some winter weather on this trip, so you might also need that extra day just to deal with snow or ice.

  3. #3


    To make this trip in four days, you would have to do 575 miles a day if you took the shortest route. That's alot of miles for one day but to do it four days in a row is just not sensible - especially with two children and the possibility of winter weather for a great deal of the way.

    You could lessen the chances of winter weather by taking I-10 all the way to Phoenix but this would add another 115 miles to the trip.

    You need to allow at least five days and preferably six.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You could lessen the chances of winter weather by taking I-10 all the way to Phoenix
    That's just not true. Conditions are constantly changing and you have to keep abreast of them. If there is bad weather on I-10, Texas is notoriously unprepared to combat it.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    That's just not true. Conditions are constantly changing and you have to keep abreast of them. If there is bad weather on I-10, Texas is notoriously unprepared to combat it.
    There is a difference between "lessen" and "eliminate." Certainly you cannot eliminate the possibility of winter weather by using I-10 but it is fact that the chances of severe winter weather in Houston, San Antonio or El Paso are lesser than the chances of severe winter weather in Amarillo, Albuquerque or Flagstaff.

  6. #6


    I think you can make it, just take a DVD player for kids and lots of food stuffs for kids.
    Just enjoy driving and don't rush, you can make it,
    Use I10-Phoenix-Vegas, thats your best bet

    By the way, I am also starting same trip in opposite direction (from Phoenix -KeyWest)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I've got to say, while bringing a DVD player or other electronic entertainment isn't by itself a bad thing, way too many people use such devices to essentially "drug" their kids and get them to forget that they are in a roadtrip. A roadtrip can and should offer countless unique opportunities for your kids could have to see, learn, and experience new things, but that doesn't happen when kids are just staring at a screen all day. Mind you, even there after a day or two, your kids are likely going to be bored and taking that out on each other.

    If you are going to take DVD players and other electronic toys, I would strongly encourage you to put some significant limits on how much they can be used. For us, it was basically one movie a day, unless it after dark, when it could come out again. Here are some other great ideas to have fun as a family without staring at a tv screen.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    If this were me making this trip with young kids, I'd take it in no less than 5 days. We just did a trip this summer with two young children, and it took us 20% longer than our usual time on that leg. They have to go potty about every hour, or you need to get them a drink, a snack, let them stretch their legs and run (not easy at rest areas, you might want to find a park or something).

    We raised our kids without a TV in a car or our travel trailer for years. We sang. We listened to tapes (sorry, 80s & 90s in a car with a cassette player) of ALL kinds, not just kids' songs, though hubby got tired of Disney and Mary Rice Hopkins. We played car bingo with those cardboard game cars that showed things like billboards, railroad crossing signs, speed limit signs, etc. (The prizes varied, but usually fun things like getting to choose something later.) As they got older, we played the Alphabet game, and that always varied too. We encouraged them to take naps in the car if they wanted to, and always tried to find a motel with a pool (at least, when we traveled in the summer), playground, or (when they were teens) a store nearby where we could all walk our feet off. We loved finding a motel whose backyard was the city park, or a state rest area that had playground equipment. Also, each of our girls could pack a backpack that had some of their small toys. When they were young, I'd bring out one toy at a time. As they got older, they were allowed to choose their one. For the motel, they were allowed to bring crayons and a color book or drawing paper. They also kept journals "like Mom" as they grew older, though who knows what has happened to theirs. (I still have all mine.)

    If you are going I-10 up to I-20 to I-40, your first stop could be Mobile, AL, and the next one would be around Tyler, TX, east of Dallas. That section between Hattiesburg, MS and Jackson is most 4-lane. The third night would be Vega, TX, just west of Amarillo -- small town, but there's a Comfort Inn and another motel. The fourth night would be in Holbrook, AZ (and you could drive through a little bit of Petrified Forest NP and show them some petrified wood), and the next day you'd be in LV. The last day would be your shortest -- all days around 450-500 miles, the final day just under 400.


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