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  1. #1

    Default First Time Out West, Wilmington, DE to Monument, CO and back

    Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum and am taking my first real road trip with my mom later this summer in order to train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. We're giving ourselves 3 days of driving each way (taking a different way home than there so I can see more states), and we will be switching off driving. Here is our itinerary so far:
    Getting there: (mostly I70)
    Day 1- Leave home, stay the night in Indianapolis,IN
    Day 2- Depart from IN and drive to stay the night in Topeka, KS
    Day 3- Arrive in CO
    Coming home: (I80 and some route 30)
    Day 1- Leave Monument, CO, drive to stay the night in Des Moines, IA
    Day 2- Leave IA and drive to stay the night in Ft. Wayne, IN
    Day 3- Arrive home in DE

    We will be driving in a 2015 Subaru Impreza, so we should be getting pretty great gas mileage. I also wanted to see a variety of hotels, and my mom signed up for Wyndham rewards so we are staying in a Super 8, Ramada, Baymont Inn & Suites, Microtel, and a Wyndham Garden Inn. If anyone has any tips, can tell me anything about experiences in these types of hotels (my parents usually stay in Hampton Inns, but they are too expensive and I wanted to be adventurous), or has any recommendations for places to eat in MO/KS and NB/IA that would be awesome (keeping in mind that I'm a vegetarian). Thank you so much!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Driving, Eating, Sleeping

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    This will be a RoadTrip where you won't have time for much else other than the basics of getting from Point A to Point B. You're probably doing the best you can by taking different routes out and back. The one change I think you might consider is doing it the other way around with your US-30/I-80 route first. The reason for this is that this leg will take a little bit longer to drive, and so you might as well do it when the time zone changes are working in your favor, westbound, rather than when they are working against you, eastbound. In either case, Richmond IN and Kansas City divide up the I-70 route a bit more evenly, as do Fort Wayne and Omaha on the I-80/US-30 route. Segments such as Wilmington-Indianapoliis (636 mi.) and Monument-Des Moines (723 mi.!) are really too much to try to do in the midst of a multi-day, long-haul RoadTrip.

    The thing about motel groups is that they combine a number of different levels of product. much as GM includes everything from a basic Chevy to a gadget-loaded Cadillac. In the Wyndham Group Microtel and Super 8 will be near the lower basic end of what you might find acceptable in a motel, Ramada and Baymont will be somewhere in the middle, and Wyndham Garden will be upscale - with prices to match. Staying with a single group for this trip should earn you a free night, or close to one, so that's a plus. But wince you are going to be pressed for time on this trip, I'd urge you to finalize your routes and overnight stops then do your shopping and make your reservations from the comfort of your home rather than trying to find something on the road and paying rack rate. One other thing to keep in mind is that it will be better for you if you pass through whatever city you're going to be staying in on your arrival evening and stay on the far side, making your departure the next morning that much easier and less time consuming.

    Most restaurants these days will offer some vegetarian, if not vegan, options, so I wouldn't worry that much abut it. It is tough to give specific recommendations since mealtime will be a moving target.

    Best of luck on your drive and with your training.


  3. #3


    Thanks so much!

    I know that the drives to Indianapolis and Des Moines are long, but the plan was to get the longest segment done the first day while we have the most energy (especially because we can switch off driving). We already booked the hotels, so I think we're going to keep with these, but we don't have any type of time frame coming home, so we definitely have more flexibility there. This is definitely a trip about just getting there and trying to enjoy the scenery out the window along the way.

    Thank you for the advice about passing through the city and staying on the far side, and I'm glad to hear the midwest is pretty good with vegetarian options!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The Wilmington to Indianapolis segment is long but doable, but you really do need to rethink the Monument to Des Moines leg. More than 700 miles really is far too much to be safe, even with multiple drivers. While the idea that covering more miles on day one "while you are rested" sounds good on paper, the reality is what you'll end up doing is exhausting yourself, where not only will you be too exhausted to be a safe drive at the end of day one, you'll still be tired when driving for day 2 and 3. I especially don't understand why you'd push yourself to such extremes, when you also say you don't have a timetable, and can be flexible with your plan.

    Hotel Reservations are never a good reason to stick with a bad plan, especially one that really will make you a danger behind the wheel. Simply moving your 1st stop to Omaha will make a world of difference.

  5. #5


    Thanks for the concern, definitely taking this into consideration and reevaluating hotel choices.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Commit to a change.

    Since you are off to an Olympic training camp, I am surprised with your planning for this trip. A multi day trip is planned the same way as a marathon. You will never hear of a marathon runner to stretching it at the start. They pace themselves carefully, making sure they have a little in reserve for the end, in case a sprint is needed to the finish line.

    By stretching the first day, you are in danger of exhausting yourself. Fatigue is cumulative. And you can't turn off driving when not behind the wheel. Two people in the car should both be alert and focused of what is going on around them.

    Please do not just take it into consideration, commit to changing your plan for the safety of all.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    The nice thing about hotel reservations -- unless you did the pre-paid kind, you'll be able to change them very easily. Those above suggested the reasons why you don't want to start your vacation with two long drives, and I agree with them wholeheartedly.

    We are also Wyndham members. The Super 8 will be a basic choice. Room with bed, often with refrigerator, coffeemaker, microwave (sometimes), hair dryer, alarm clock, well lit, and wifi. If you need an iron or ironing board, you will be able to get one. The breakfasts are pretty simple -- a couple of types of cereal, hot cereal (instant), sweet rolls, orange juice, coffee, milk, and occasionally something else. But we usually find them to be comfortable, the rooms a decent size. Wyndham Garden Inns are a bit more upscale and will have far more amenities. Ramada is on the order of Super 8, at least in our experience.


  8. #8


    We changed our hotel reservation from Des Moines to a place between Lincoln and Omaha.

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