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  1. Default New York to Chicago

    Hi
    Me and my friend are planning to take a road trip from New York to Chicago from 30th November to 3rd of December. I have 4 days at my disposal and planning to travel at night time to save time. Can anyone answer a few of our queries:-

    1) Is an estimate of 12-14 hrs driving time with a few gas/eat fair enough?

    2) Which route is preferred for driving in winters and is also time saving?(I-80/I-90)??

    3) is there any stretch of route 66 which we can enjoy on the way to Chicago?

    3) we would be renting a car. is a standard Ford sedan enough for this trip?

    4) What should be a reasonable daily budget?. i mean 30$ a day per person ?

    5) which towns, cities we should definitely hit and what are the 'must-see' places along this route?....I know this is a vague question, so i will try to help anyone who is trying to answer this. Our interests are really those of any early twenty's guys: music, art, culture, nature etc etc.... but most importantly, this is our first road trip in US and are really looking forward to get a feel of the great american roads along with views and cultures to soak in on the way

    Thanks

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

    Default many problems

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There are some big problems with the plan you've laid out.

    First, is time. NYC to Chicago is 800 miles. That's more like 16 hours in the real world, factoring in minimum stops. It's also quite a bit father than we recommend doing without an overnight stop, because of safety concerns. Compounding the problem is your idea of driving at night. That means you're going to be getting on the road when you're already tired, and you will quickly become a danger to yourself an others. You don't save any time if you kill someone in a crash along the way.

    If you're going to do this without a stop, you need to be doing as much of it as you can in daylight, and understand that when you arrive, you're going to be exhausted, making it very difficult to enjoy anything the next day - or the next day.

    The 16 hour expectation also requires good weather, which can not be assumed in Late November. It's entirely possible that you'd see a snowstorm at some point.

    With the timeframe you're looking at, I-80 really is your only option. Any other route is going to add at least 100 miles that you don't have time for.

    Route 66 starts in Chicago and heads southwest, so the opposite direction of where you'll be traveling.

    A Standard Sedan is perfectly find for this trip, but your budget question has me puzzled. Hotels alone are going to cost you $30 each per day, and that doesn't include costs for gas, the car rental, food, or entertainment. What are you including in that $30 a day? Even if you're only talking about food and entertainment, that would be low - but I don't really know what you are thinking.

    With the timeline you've laid out, you won't have time to stop at any other cities or town, and "soaking up views and culture" simply isn't going to be possible. All you're going to have time to do is drive to Chicago, poke around the city a bit, and sprint back to New York. If you want to soak up views and culture and have a real road trip experience, and you only have 4 days, then you need to look at destinations much closer to NYC.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi, and welcome to the RTA Forum.

    Judging from your initial post and from Michael's replies, there are some points that need more detail.

    Are you doing a round trip in the 4 days? Do you want to visit places along the way? How can you see anything on either route if you only travel at night? Are you going to share driving? And there are a few more questions, depending on your answers to these.

    Both I-80 and I-90 have good places to visit within 10-20 miles, but if you stay on the interstates, you'll only see the scenery out the window. And if this is a 2-day out and 2-day back trip, you aren't going to see much of anything in Chicago.

    Please try to be more specific in the guidelines, and I think we can help you more.
    Roadhawk

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

    Default

    1) Is an estimate of 12-14 hrs driving time with a few gas/eat fair enough?
    I've done this drive, or similar, a number of times. It's a day-and-a-half drive at least, as it's around 800 miles ONE WAY. Rule of thumb is no more than 600 miles in a day - that's basically what truckers are allowed to do - so you'd have to stay overnight someplace and drive the rest, the next day. If you only have 4 days for the round trip, I'd suggest that you fly.

    2) Which route is preferred for driving in winters and is also time saving?(I-80/I-90)??
    Any of the interstates are best in the winter because they are the last to be shut down (in event of a weather issue) and the first to be reopened, since they are a priority for work crews. However, much of 80/90 will be toll through Ohio and Indiana -- but not expensive.

    3) is there any stretch of route 66 which we can enjoy on the way to Chicago?
    No, Route 66 started in Chicago and headed in the opposite direction, so you're out of luck there. The only thing you can do is to go in search of the Chicago end of 66.

    3) we would be renting a car. is a standard Ford sedan enough for this trip?
    In a word, yes.

    4) What should be a reasonable daily budget?. i mean 30$ a day per person ?
    If you're going to include your overnights, rental car and fuel in that budget, $30 is not going to cut it. That will barely cover your food, at the cheapest fast food places.

    Figure overnights at around $50-60/night. If you're staying in downtown Chicago, add more.

    Figure gas at 25 mpg, 2000 miles (your 1600 miles plus some for sightseeing), at $2.50/gallon. (There's a fuel cost calculator on this site -- scroll down for the link.)

    You'll have to inquire and get your car rental figured, but if you're under 25, you'll be paying a fee for driver-under-25. If your friend is also under 25 and wants to drive, that fee will be applied to him, too. Usually this fee is around $25 per person, per day.

    Oh -- and unless you are normally a night worker, I wouldn't try to drive at night to save time, especially on a sight-seeing trip. First, driving at night takes away the "sight seeing" portion of the trip. When you get where you're going, you'll be too sleepy, and your body clock will be all off-kilter. And as was said by another poster, you don't want to try to do all 800 miles all at once, either. You'll be too tired to enjoy Chicago.


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I know this is a road trip forum, but with your time constraints, you would be better off flying. You have more "culture" in Chicago than you can ever experience in 4 days. Honestly, the drive from NYC to Chicago is drudgery unless you have multiple days to get off the Interstates.

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