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  1. #1

    Default Onward - Dallas to Vegas; Vegas to LA; Return - LA to Houston

    Hey guys,

    Firstly , I had a fun and informative time reading out quite a few posts on different road trips posted in this forum. Really appreciate the regulars spending time and advising us newbies on stuff related to roadtrips :)

    Ill get right to it.

    Me and a couple of friends are planning on a road trip this winter.

    Dallas to Vegas
    Day 1 morning to Day 1 night (approx 14 hours) driving - overnight stop( would like suggestion on which city to sleepover)
    Day 2 morning to Day 2 afternoon/evening(6-7 hours) - reach Vegas

    Above is the ideal plan. Judging by replies to already existing threads looks like its not going to be possible. Please advise on things to keep in mind. Google maps says 18 hours driving time. I understand that is without stops, breaks etc. But isn't 14 +8 hours reasonable?? please say yes :)

    And what are 2-3 best places we can stop by on the way?? I'm guessing best route is Dallas-Wichita Falls - Amarillo - Santa Rosa - Albuquerque - Gallup - Flagstaff - Kingman - Vegas - basically along i-40

    Rest of Day 2, Day 3,4,5 in Vegas

    Day 5 afternoon leave to Los Angeles - 4 hour drive - shouldnt be a problem

    Rest of Day 5,6,7,8,9,10 in LA

    Day 11 and Day 12 planning to drive all the way back from LA to Houston.

    Here's where I need more advice from this forum on how to go about.

    Route, overnight stop ( which city) etc.
    One route is LA - San diego (Beach view drive) - all along highway 10 all the way upto Houston.

    which 2-3 places could we stop and see along with way.

    Thanks in advance :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Back to Square one.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    At more than 1200 miles you should divide those first two days into two equal length days. 600 miles is the maximum professional drivers are permitted to drive by law. Any further is deemed unsafe, too exhausting (even with multiple drivers) on a multii day trip.

    Besides that, driving for 14 hours at that time of the year means driving after sunset, which adds extra hazards. With a party of four you would need to add at least 20% (maybe 25% as each stop will take just that little bit longer) to computer mapping programs.

    To add to all the above be sure to be flexible and keep some time up your sleeve, just incase you should hit some unexpected winter weather..

    If your trip home is to Houston, how and when will you be arriving in Dallas before your departure?

    I think you need to fix those first two days first. The rest is almost irrelevant if you do not make it safely to Vegas.

    Lifey.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Coming back is the bigger problem

    Getting to Dallas in 2 days isn't a problem, but as Lifey mentioned, your approach does need to change, however. I'm sure when you're excited to get on the road, it will seem like driving for 14 hours will be no problem, but that second day is when you'll start to feel it, and that can really torpedo any opportunity to have any fun for days afterward. Shoot for Albuquerque for your overnight stop. That's a bit over halfway, and will take you at least 11-12 hours to get there. That gives you a still long, but reasonable 9-10 hours onto Vegas the next day.

    The big problem with your plan is the idea of trying to get from LA to Houston in 2 days. Even without a detour to San Diego (there isn't much of a beach view in between, BTW, military bases take up a large chunk of that section of coast), you need a bare minimum of 2 overnight stops for a safe trip. Even with multiple drivers, trying to cover nearly 1600 miles in 2 days will make you a danger to yourselves and everyone else on the road. At the absolute maximum, Lordsburg, NM and Junction, TX are the furthest you should even attempt to go in your first two days, leaving a half day left to make it onto Houston - and that's sticking to I-10 all the way, not detouring to San Diego.

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

    Default

    Michael speaks correctly on several points. As a San Diegan who regularly travels to LA, there isn't much beach view between the two. Occasionally you get one, but if you're expecting "rocky coastline", this won't be it. You actually have to get off the freeway to see much in terms of ocean and beaches, and usually it will cost you, either in parking or state park entrance fees.

    For our 2014 summer trip, we tried to see if WE could plan to make Houston in 2 days. But at almost 1600 miles, that's not a good plan at all. We did it in 3, staying overnight in the Phoenix area first, then Fort Stockton TX (a long 650 mi drive) and then making it to Houston on the third day (550 mi).

    Michael's suggestions of Lordsburg and Junction give you some ideas of places to stay. Each has a bit of a selection of lodging.


    Donna

  5. #5

    Default

    Thank you @Lifemagician for your inputs. Appreciate the time taken out to advice me on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    At more than 1200 miles you should divide those first two days into two equal length days. 600 miles is the maximum professional drivers are permitted to drive by law. Any further is deemed unsafe, too exhausting (even with multiple drivers) on a multii day trip.

    Besides that, driving for 14 hours at that time of the year means driving after sunset, which adds extra hazards. With a party of four you would need to add at least 20% (maybe 25% as each stop will take just that little bit longer) to computer mapping programs.

    To add to all the above be sure to be flexible and keep some time up your sleeve, just incase you should hit some unexpected winter weather..
    We will look at adding the extra buffer time in between for the rest/stops/winter weather as you have suggested.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    If your trip home is to Houston, how and when will you be arriving in Dallas before your departure?

    I think you need to fix those first two days first. The rest is almost irrelevant if you do not make it safely to Vegas.

    Lifey.
    The 4th person is coming from Houston to Dallas before the start of the trip.

    On the way back we are dropping him off at Houston (end of Day 12) and the rest of us are driving back to Dallas after a night stopover at his place ( morning of Day 13)

    ================================================== ===

    Please share any other inputs if you have on what places can we catch along the way on the 'Onward' and 'Return' trips.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Getting to Dallas in 2 days isn't a problem, but as Lifey mentioned, your approach does need to change, however. I'm sure when you're excited to get on the road, it will seem like driving for 14 hours will be no problem, but that second day is when you'll start to feel it, and that can really torpedo any opportunity to have any fun for days afterward. Shoot for Albuquerque for your overnight stop. That's a bit over halfway, and will take you at least 11-12 hours to get there. That gives you a still long, but reasonable 9-10 hours onto Vegas the next day.

    The big problem with your plan is the idea of trying to get from LA to Houston in 2 days. Even without a detour to San Diego (there isn't much of a beach view in between, BTW, military bases take up a large chunk of that section of coast), you need a bare minimum of 2 overnight stops for a safe trip. Even with multiple drivers, trying to cover nearly 1600 miles in 2 days will make you a danger to yourselves and everyone else on the road. At the absolute maximum, Lordsburg, NM and Junction, TX are the furthest you should even attempt to go in your first two days, leaving a half day left to make it onto Houston - and that's sticking to I-10 all the way, not detouring to San Diego.
    Thanks @Midwest Michael for your inputs. Since this is my first time on such a long road trip, I will certainly take in your advice and make the changes.

    For the onward journey, I will factor in more time and adjust the trip accordingly. We are certainly not in any hurry to get to Vegas as we have 3 nights there :). I guess we'll just have to check in later on Day 2.

    For the return trip, again, I will factor in more time for our trip based on all the inputs here.

    I would appreciate it if you could suggest 2-3 tourist attractions which we can stop by along the onward and return routes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Well, right now, it doesn't appear you're going to have time to add any extra stops or attractions to your drives. The suggestions we've made basically are about the maximum amount of time you should be spending on the road. If you're driving 600+ miles a day, that really doesn't leave any time for any significant extra detours.

    And without having any idea about what you might be interested in, it's not easy for anyone to start narrowing down the hundreds of possible places you could stop. So having said that, I'd start by taking advantage of the RTA Map Center, which is designed to give you lots of ideas of places right along your route.

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