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  1. Default Advice for a first solo road trip.

    Hey y'all, well im 19 and i am planning an about 13 hour road trip and around 900 miles from georgia to kansas. Should i cut the trip in half? Travel night or day? Is there a better route to take? I'm a newbie to this since the longest ive driven was 3 hours to South Carolina and im anxious about this trip but it's a must. Any advice would be truly appreciate. Bless y'all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Despite what online map programs might tell you, there is absolutely no way a 900 mile trip will take you 13 hours. You'd have to average 70 mph from door to door, which is just impossible to do in the real world without traveling at an average speed of nearly 100 mph. In the real world, in a best case situation 16 hours would be a bare minimum, and 18+ is much more likely.

    Regardless, it's way too much to do in a single day, especially for a solo driver. Even with multiple drivers it would be too much. As a comparison, a professional truck driver is limited to about 600 miles on the road in a day because of safety laws.

    So, yes, you need to plan to spend at least one night on the road. You should travel at the times of day when you are normally awake. Unless you're a 3rd shift worker, you shouldn't be trying to drive through the night, but if you're used to sleeping in, there is nothing wrong with getting on the road around noon, and driving past dark - just don't try to push too hard at the end of the day.

    Without knowing where in the gigantic targets of "georgia" and "kansas" you're starting/finishing and without knowing what route you're planning, we can't really tell if if there is a better route to take.

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

    Default Don't believe these computer roadtrip times.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    It is obvious that you have been seduced by a computer program that this trip can be done in 13 hours. Computer times are pure fantasy. Computers do not live in the real world. They never need to eat, rest, stretch their legs or fuel up, neither do they ever see a red light, road construction or congestion. Neither do they ever com upon an accident up ahead. They also assume that you will break the speed limit, and never drive slower than the posted limit. It's not the real world. You will come across all these situations, and maybe more.

    900 miles will take you closer to sixteen or eighteen hours on the road.

    This would be a nice trip if you spread it over two easy days. If you are in a big hurry, you could possibly do it in one and a half days without stopping to enjoy any of the sights you will pass by.

    If your normal routine is to be up during the night, (such as night shift workers) then by all means travel by night.... just that you won't see much. But if you are normally asleep at night, then it would be unwise to expect your mind and body to be fully alert, when it is in sleeping mode.

    As to whether there is a 'better' route, that depends on which route you are considering. You have quite a few at your disposal. Get out your atlas or maps and check it out. All your options will not be shown within the confines of a little screen.

    Lifey

  4. Default

    I'm traveling from fairburn georgia to fort riley kansas, that's why the online maps told me around 13/14 hours.

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

    Default Two Days, Not Thirteen Hours

    For all the reasons that the other two responders have given you, this is a trip that needs to be thought of in terms of days, not hours. At a minimum, you will need to be on the road nine to ten hours for each of two days, including traffic delays, gas stops, meals, and bathroom breaks. In between you will need to get a solid eight hours of sleep in a real bed, and budget at least an hour to wind down in the evening and an hour to get up and ready to hit the road the next morning. You can plan to leave Fairburn at a reasonable morning hour on Day 1 and arrive in Fort Riley at a reasonable evening hour on Day 2. Trying to do it in less is simply not rational.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-04-2015 at 10:04 PM. Reason: Critical typo

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

    Default

    Yeah, that's a 950 mile trip and that's getting close to 2 full days on the road. Map programs assume you'll be able to travel at or above the speed limit every minute of the day, not factoring in any traffic, slowdowns, or basic stops for things like gas, food, or restrooms.

    The route suggestions they provide are just fine - the route through Nashville, St. Louis, and KC is the fastest and most straightforward way to go - just don't believe for a second their estimated travel times are even close.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Two have said above, 900 miles can't be driven in 13-14 hours. Nor should you even try. Checking on the actual mileage, it's 950 miles. With stops for things like food, drinks, and gasoline, you're looking at about 16-18 hours. This would be two days on the road. If this were me traveling, I'd go a little further than halfway on the first day, then roll in a little earlier on the 2nd day.


    Donna

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

    Default

    "Best" route is easy - I-285 around Atlanta, I-75 to Chattanooga, I-24 to I-57 to I-64 to St. Louis, then I-70 to Fort Riley. I would split the drive into 2 close to equal days, which would put your recommended overnight stop around Mount Vernon, IL. If you are looking for a budget motel, there appears to be a Motel 6 at Exit 95. The only problem would be if you aren't military, minimum check-in age is 21 without a military ID, 18 with. Room rate is around $50 with tax. There's an America's Best Value Inn right down the street that doesn't appear to have a 21 restriction that is only a few bucks more. If you are military, ask for a military discount. You may or may not get one but it's worth asking.

    My software says it's a 14.5 hour drive with NO stops for anything. You can possibly expect traffic delays getting around Atlanta, through Nashville, through St. Louis, and through Kansas City. There is a $2.75 toll on I-70 between KC and Topeka.

    EDIT: Just thought of something - if you are military, you may be able to get a room at the Inn at Scott AFB in Belleville IL. This would be a reasonable stretch for the first day. Call in advance, I know for a fact you will probably need a reservation, it's all on a Space-A basis.

  9. Default

    No wonder why it's saying such a shorter time then what everyone else it saying. Sorry y'all this is my first long trip and im learning. And no im not military, just visiting my soldier boyfriend who's coming back from deployment. But thank you tons.

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

    Default

    Okay, then I'd look at the America's Best Value in Mt. Vernon.

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