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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    13

    Default USA Holiday Advice! Including Roadtrip from New York to Las Vegas.

    Hi Guys,

    Please can you take a look at the plan below and advice me if this is a good and doable plan? Or if any improvements can be made.

    4 of us are going from London to USA for a 2 weeks trip in May.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    The only concern that i have is the roadtrip from new york to Las Vegas. We have only 5 days to do this, between 3 of us who can drive.
    It would be mean about 8 hours driving every day and small stops in cities here and there.
    Is this something that is achievable and that can still be fun? We are all really excited for this. Its also probably our first ever road trip which is going to be this long.

    I know most people usually do this drive in about 8 days, but we don't have the time and to be honest we are fine with just having a peak at the attractions on the way and only stopping for longer periods at the major cities we want to visit.


    Sat 2nd May 2015
    Depart London
    |
    |
    V
    Sat 2nd May 2015
    Arrive New York
    2 Night Stay at a Hotel
    |
    |
    V
    Mon 4th May 2015
    Hire Car
    Leave for Las Vegas!
    5 Days allocated as max time!
    42 Hours total straight drive time.
    Go via Route 66.
    Aim to do 8-10 Hours driving a day.
    3 of us will split driving.
    Will aim to sleep the nights at different Motels, and maybe a Wood/Lake Cabin in a forest somewhere!?
    Will be stopping at some cities/sights on our route.
    Will also stop at the Grand Canyon at the end just before heading to Las Vegas!
    |
    |
    V
    Fri 8th May 2015
    Arrival in Las Vegas
    3 Nights Stay
    Book at Ceasers Palace
    |
    |
    V
    Mon 11th May 2015
    Drive to LA
    1 night stay
    Choose a hotel with good location.
    |
    |
    V
    Tues 12th May 2015
    Return Car Hire at Airport.
    Fly to Miami
    2 Nights stay
    Choose hotel close to beach and nightlife.
    |
    |
    V
    Thur 14th May 2015
    Hire Car
    Drive from Miami to Orlando
    Approx 3 hours drive.
    |
    |
    V
    Thur 14th May 2015
    Checkin
    Return Car.
    Maybe book a Pool Villa,
    3 Nights Stay
    Stay at good location close to parks.
    |
    |
    V
    Sun 17th May 2015
    Fly back to London in afternoon/evening!


    Thanks,
    Nads

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Five Days is Fine

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forums!

    If all you have is five days, then that's all you have. And you can certainly make it from New York to Las Vegas in that amount of time even if you're a bit late getting out of NYC what with picking up the car and waiting for rush hour to end. The one part of your plan for this drive that I would take issue with is your intention of "only stopping for longer periods at the major cities we want to visit." First of all getting into and out of large cities will eat up considerable amounts of time that you really don't have. Secondly you don't have 'longer periods' to spend anywhere along this drive, more like a couple of hours a day for activities other than driving. Remember that driving with more people in the car means that it will take longer to cover distances than you expect. Each stop for gas, food or to use the loo will take longer because you will only move at the pace of the slowest among you. Remember, also, that NONE of those stops or any slowdowns for traffic are accounted for in driving time estimates that you will get from computer-based mapping routines. Finally, at least in my experience, a city is a city is a city. I think you'd be better served by using what little spare time you have by taking a few short stops along the road each day where you can get some fresh air and exercise while seeing something of our country other than city after city.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    I agree with Buck, it is going to take you 4 days of driving around 10 hours per day to get to Flagstaff including rest breaks, lunch and to fill with gas etc, which then leaves you time for a quick visit to the Grand canyon on the last leg to Vegas. Trying to detour to much away from your main route is only going to add to that time, more so if trying to get in and out of a city during the morning and evening rush and city traffic in general. I would be looking at breaking your journey into [more or less] equal segments and enjoy an evening at wherever you land. The drive can still be fun !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    I just planned out your NY-LV legs using the former route of Route 66 from St. Louis to Kingman AZ, and my software came up with 5 full days of driving *without* a detour to the Grand Canyon. This also requires you stick to the Interstate highways (motorways). Doable, but a detour to the Grand Canyon will require a 6th day and you won't have much time to do or see anything in any of the cities enroute. "Fun" is questionable, a drive like this with that many hours in the car each day is more like "work". The most fun will probably be watching the scenery go by through the windscreen with occasional BRIEF stops to get some fresh air and walk around a bit.

    Without going to the Grand Canyon, your overnights would be in or near the following cities:

    Columbus OH
    St. Louis MO
    Oklahoma City OK
    Albuquerque NM

    The best way out of the NYC area to Columbus would be I-80 to I-76 to I-71. The rest of the way will be on I-70, I-44, I-40, and US-93. I-44 and I-40 follow the routing of the former US-66 and there are a few segments of the old road still in existence, the longest is between Seligman and Kingman AZ, and will add one hour's drive time to staying on I-40.

    You aren't going to find any forests with cabins near this route, you will pretty much have to stay at hotels or motels in or near each city, or at Interstate highway exits. Suburban hotels at Interstate highway exits are usually considerably cheaper than downtown hotels, and a lot less hassles getting in and out of. It's best to stay on the west side of a major city, so you won't have to fight morning rush hour getting into the city, you will be going against traffic.

    I don't mean to discourage you, but 5 days just isn't much for a well-rounded cross-country trip. If you could steal just one more day, you could spend an afternoon and morning at the Grand Canyon, which would be well worth it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default Perhaps another flight?

    If you've got your heart set on driving across country, then 5 days will work, but as others have mentioned, it's going to be rushed, and I wonder if you wouldn't be better off flying out to Vegas, and using the time to rent a car and explore some of the southwest.

    With 5 days from Vegas, you could possibly go up into Utah to places like Zion National Park and Monument Valley, before going back to the Grand Canyon and straight to LA from there - using some of the best remaining strip of the former Route 66 (the highway actually hasn't existed for about 30 years) - to get from GC towards LA.

    Or you could spend some time exploring California - heading to Death Valley and perhaps Sequoia, Yosemite, or some of the Central Coast. As it is, with just 1 night in LA, especially when you've got a half day drive from Vegas in there, doesn't really give you time to see much anything in LA, so that might also be a better use of your time.

    I think you might enjoy that more than just driving nearly all day for 5 days in a row, where you really wouldn't have much time to explore cities, find cabins in the woods, or detour onto two lane roads.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    If you are going to be keeping the car till you get to LA, you could fly in to any number of cities to do some roadtripping on your way to LV. You could look at Salt Lake City, Denver, Phoenix, or Albuquerque. You could even look at LA and do a "loop" trip including LV to eliminate the one-way car dropoff fee.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    I like the idea of flying out to Vegas and then driving, but if you are adamant you want to drive across country I still think you could get to Flagstaff in 4 reasonable, but long days and squueze in a quick visit to GC on the way to LV. I think Columbus to St Louis is just a little over 400 miles and you could get quite a bit further down the road than that on day 2, perhaps Lebanon MO and then Amarillo TX. Fun? It would not be for everyone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Okay - to reach Flagstaff in 4 days, your stops would be Springfield OH, Springfield MO, and Amarillo TX, all of which have ample hotel choices right by the highway. You are looking at 4 days of 12 hours in the car, each day.

    Yes, there are a few motels in Lebanon, but Springfield is a much better choice.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,937

    Default Fly past or fly over.

    Oh heck! I'd go for another flight. As it is in four days you are not going to see anything. You're just going to fly past all the attractions. May as well fly over them and have a little extra time in LV to go and see some of the most amazing landscapes on the planet.

    Lifey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Springfield OH -- good place to stay (and usually, a coupon is available in a coupon book at the state welcome center) is Quality Inn. It's at exit 54 and I believe it's on the northeast side of the freeway. Dayton has no real rush hour problem heading west.

    Springfield MO -- There are a number of reasonable places at exit 80 (off I-44), including some budget choices.

    Amarillo TX -- Exits 64 and 65 are the ones on the western side of the city with lodging choices ranging from cheap to more expensive.


    Donna

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