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  1. Default CT to Marco Island, FL

    Mom driving with 3 teens (sharing driving with 19yr old daughter). Want to leave on a Weds afternoon and arrive Friday late afternoon/evening. Would like to drive 6-8 hrs first day, 8+ hrs day two, and whatever it takes on day 3! Two hotel stays. Would like to avoid congested city traffic, esp. NYC, Balt, DC. Some suggest a more western route than I-95, especially the Northern part. Concerned also about not too experienced younger driver. Please advise!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    If this were me, I'd head west on I-84 to Scranton, PA, where you'd catch I-81 south. Take that into VA, where you'll find I-77 south. That will take you to I-95 through SC and GA. In FL, take I-4 over to I-75 and down.

    Sections of I-81 will be perfect to give teenaged driver a little bit more experience, as will some of I-77 (according to my husband; I've never had any personal experience with it).



    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default West is the way to go.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    'Some' are quite right. The more western route is the way to go. I-84 out of CT and I-81 from there. Those are actually very pleasant interstates to drive.

    It will land you into Atlanta, which I assume you will want to avoid. I will leave it up to one of the others to guide you around it.

    Lucky teenagers!

    Have a safe trip.

    Lifey

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

    Default

    I-77 to I-26 to I-95 will keep you out of Atlanta.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default But That Comes With a Price - And the Wrong Lesson Taught

    Normally, I would highly endorse the I-84/I-81/I-77/etc. route south, especially if you want to give a new driver some relatively stress free freeway experience. But there is a price to pay for the scenery and ease of driving along that route. It is 120 miles longer than the more direct route down I-91/I-95 (assuming a Hartford starting point). And that makes it right around 1550 miles or three full days of driving if you maintain a steady and safe pace. You can not leave on Wednesday afternoon and arrive late Friday afternoon. That's only two days and a little bit and would mean that you'd have to average about 700 miles a day. That is not going to happen. Note that professional drivers are limited by law to no more than 600 miles a day for safety reasons. Having a second driver does NOT mean that you can cover more miles. In fact, the opposite is usually true because the more people you have the more frequently you have to stop and the longer each of those stops takes. And there is no way to get any meaningful rest while sitting in a moving car.

    The last thing you should be teaching your young driver daughter is that it is OK to push one's limits beyond what is reasonable and try to operate heavy machinery farther than one should, thus endangering not only herself but everyone sharing the road with you and her. As I said, you need three full days for this drive. Even the I-95 route, at over 1400 miles, requires far more than the two days that is all you apparently have available. My advice is simple: Find the extra time or don't make the trip.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-30-2014 at 07:08 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    In other words, leave Wednesday morning. 3 equally spaced legs on the inland route will put your overnights at Staunton VA and Savannah GA.

  7. Default

    Thank you for ALL your replies. We are doing the 84-81-26-95-295-10-301-24-75 (phew!) route. Suggested by my parents who have driven it minimum 2x yr for past 20 years. My husband thinks the straight 95s is way to go, but he also knows we should avoid nyc/Balt/dc. He also likes to drive at night, which I do not! As much as I would like to avoid the extreme western route with so much time on 81 because of hills (and gas guzzler SUV), I think its the safest thing to do. We WILL lave earlier than originally planned. GLC Thank you also for giving me the stopover locals! I was searching for an app that would calculate a number of hours driven on a certain route but I couldnt find one, this helped so much!

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

    Default

    Yes, you will use more gas, not because of the hills on I-81 - but because it's 120 miles longer. The major traffic on I-95 is just as rough on gas as hills.

    With those 2 stops I mentioned, that's 10+ hours a day on the road, depending on how many stops you make. It's just over 500 miles a day. I don't particularly like driving at night any more either. Get an early start in the morning, if you can make it farther that's a plus. Reservations should not be needed. If you have a smartphone, get the hotels.com and gasbuddy.com apps so you can check on things enroute.

    (You forgot I-77 between 81 and 26)

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