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  1. #1

    Default Niagara->Houston(NFL)->Austin->Dallas->Chicago = 7 days!? Doable??

    Hey everybody, let me start by saying thank you for your help. Its incredible to see how supportive everyone here is of each other. Lets all pay it forward.

    My future wife and I are taking our first road trip. She couldn't be more excited. Below is our timeline. Red is mandatory, green is not. Are my expectations realistic?

    Oct 7th, 2am -Niagara Falls- NY- Depart to arrive @ Nashville

    Oct 7th - Nashville- Spend the afternoon, leave for Houston @ sunrise
    Oct 8th - Houston- NFL Night Game Colts VS Texans @8:25
    Oct 9/10 - Austin- Music Festival, leave for Dallas @ sunrise
    Oct 11- Dallas- NFL Patriots vs Cowboys @4:25, leave for Chicago @ sunrise
    Oct 12/13- Chicago- Leave for Toronto, ON night of sept 13

    We would get tons or rest and wake up at 2am on the 7th in efforts of making it to Nashville in the afternoon. She wants to see the our country music capital. Leave Nashville early on the 8th in time to make to arrive to Houston by 8pm the same day. From Houston to Austin on the 9th. Be well rested for the music festival on the 10th. Leave Austin early on the 11th to arrive in Dallas by 4:25 (we dont have tickets to this one.. We hear the bars in Dallas are amazing during pigskin season). Leave Dallas early on the 12th to arrive in Chicago that evening.

    ^^^ - Its beginning to look a lot like christmas.. :)

    Whats important is we make it to the football game on the 8th, the music festival on the 10th and Chicago on the 12. Between Niagara and Houston we gotta sleep somewhere may as well be Nashville! Only thing that may be in excess is going to Dallas to watch the game.

    What do you think? Her and I can both drive up to 6 hours at a time. We also dont mind sleeping in the car if we have to.

    Let me know if this is realistic. The routs are pretty self explanatory. I will use google maps (?)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If I'm reading your trip plan correctly, you have a plan that is very unsafe and unrealistic.

    Are you planning to leave Niagara Falls at 2am - drive to Nashville, and explore the city. Then, the next day, get up at dawn and drive to Houston?

    If that is your plan, then I'm sorry, but it isn't even close to realistic. Niagara Falls to Nashville is 750 miles (add even more miles if you're starting from Toronto, although Niagara Falls isn't on the direct route from Toronto to Nashville). That's way too far to do in a day, and despite what online mapping programs that's about 15 hours of real world on the road time. Even if you managed to make that drive without harming yourself or others - you're going to be so exhausted when you arrive in Nashville that you won't have any energy left to explore the city, much less make another killer 750 mile drive the next day. Very simply, it's a 3 day drive you're trying to make in 2 days, and sightsee on top of it.

    If you must be in Houston on the evening of the 8th, you need to leave on the MORNING of the 6th, or you need to fly.

    Other segments of your trip are similarly unreasonable and unsafe, especially Dallas to Chicago (nearly 1,000 miles, and more than 20 hours on the road). You need to go back to the drawing board, keeping in mind that professional drivers are limited by safety laws to traveling about 600 miles in a day. That will already be 10-12 hours on the road, and is the most you should attempt to do in a single day, even with 2 drivers.

  3. #3


    Thanks Michael,
    So, to make this realistic I should leave October 6th from Toronto to arrive in Nashville on the 7th. Nashville was merely a stopover. We wouldn't do much sightseeing. Just go to a bar for a nightcap or two..
    We should scrap Dallas and drive from Austin to Chicago directly. Leaving Austin on the 11th and arriving in Chicago on the 13th.

    My rational to the original plan was as follows
    (1) Toronto to Nashville- 760 miles- 380miles each person in 18 hours = Leave Oct 7(2am) Arrive anytime that afternoon. Enough time to have a drink and hit the hay.
    (2) Nashville to Houston- 780 Miles, 390miles each person in 15 hours= Leave Oct 8(6am) Arrive by 8:25 (if not earlier) the same day for the NFL game.
    (3) Houston to Austin- Oct9-10 //no problem there
    (4) Austin to Dallas- Oct 11// no problem there
    (5) Dallas to Chicago- 960 Miles- 480 miles each person in 17 hours= Leave Oct 12(5am) Arrive anytime that evening
    (6) Chicago to Toronto- 514 Miles- 257miles each person in 10 hours= Leave Oct 13(3pm) Arrive home that night at 1am.

    Back to work on the 14th :(

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    No, driving more than 600 miles in 1 day is NOT realistic even with 2 drivers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default myths and dangerous logic

    Yes, as I clearly said, if you want to drive to the game on the evening of the 8th, you need to leave no later than the morning of the 6th. Even as a speed run, you're looking at 2.5 hard days of driving from Toronto to Houston, before any extra exploration. Even if you plan to leave on the 6th, you can't plan to spend any night in Nashville, as it just isn't in the right spot. You could visit it as you drive through, but you need to plan your first stop closer to Toronto and your second stop closer to Houston.

    The logic of your plan contains some common, but very dangerous myths.

    First, I'm assuming you're using the time estimates of Google Maps, which don't factor in time for food, fuel, restrooms, traffic, construction, or really anything else that keeps you from driving at or above the speed limit. (If you left Nashville at 6am, you couldn't even expect to get to Houston until 9pm.. likely even later with traffic, especially around the stadium)

    Second, multiple drivers do not make for a 1+1=2 situations. Meaning, just because 1 person can drive 8 hours in a day, that doesn't mean that 2 drivers could drive 16 hours. Sitting in a car for hours at a time by itself is fatiguing. Having 1 person nap while the other person drives is also not a way to overcome this, as you should have two people awake at all times. A person napping in the passenger seat makes it more likely that the driver will also drift off.

    Third, you're seeming to forget that fatigue is cumulative. In a one day sprint, you might be able to polish off a 750 mile drive safely, but that's a lot of work, and there is no way you could get back in the car and plan to be a safe driver for any significant distance the next day.

    Four, you seem to be completely ignoring the reality of your body clock. On several instances you're planning to wake up very early in the morning, and then the very next day, you're planning to stay awake very late into the night. One night of sleep is not enough in about a 48 hour period. There is no way you'd be in shape to enjoy a football game the night of the seventh, if you'd woken up at 2am the day before, and there is no way you could be a safe driver late night on the 13th, if you'd woke up before dawn on the 12th.

    Again, if you want to have any fun, and don't want to put your lives, and the lives of everyone else on the road in danger, you need to go back to the drawing board. 600 miles is the very top end of what you can plan to safely do each day on a multiple day trip, even with multiple drivers.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 09-17-2015 at 11:43 AM. Reason: added thought

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Be aware!

    What particularly struck me about your plan is that you have not allowed for 'an accident up ahead'. At least on a handful of occasions has a hold up like that delayed me for hours. When you are stuck on an interstate without another exit ahead, all you can do is cool off and wait.

    I'd agree with Michael that 600 miles on consecutive days leads to fatigue, of which you may not be aware until you are already an unsafe drive. It is the silent killer on the road, takes days to recover and stops you from enjoying anything at your destination.


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