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  1. Default Long Island NY to Phoenix-advice needed

    Hi everyone,
    We are planning to drive from Long Island, NY to Phoenix with a child and a yellow lab and was wondering if anyone can offer advice as to what states we should stay over in and any pet friendly accommodations in those states. We will be driving around 8 hours a day. We are planning to do the trip in about 5 days.
    Any advice is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    Not knowing exactly where in LI you are, my generic recommendation is take whatever works best for you to get to I-78 in NJ. Take that to I-81 and go south to Hagerstown MD. Take I-70 west to Hancock MD and I-68 west to Morgantown WV. Take I-79 north back to I-70 west (This is to save tolls, alternately you can get on the PA Turnpike off I-81 at Carlisle and take that to New Stanton and I-70).

    Take I-70 to STL, then I-44 to OKC, then I-40 to Flagstaff, and I-17 to Phoenix.

    Driving 8 hours a day will take 5 full days, this would make your overnight stops around:

    Wheeling WV or St. Clairsville OH
    Effingham IL
    OKC OK
    Albuquerque NM

    All those cities/towns have ample lodging choices right off the Interstate. The most pet-friendly hotel chains are Motel 6 and La Quinta. Pet policies at other chains vary, you can research those quite easily on the Internet, including right here on RTA. When you search on a city and get results, on the left side under Amenities there's a check box for Pets Allowed.

    Note that you may have to pay a surcharge for pets in some hotels, or pay a damage deposit. Motel 6 and La Quinta is no strings attached.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default You'll Need It All

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Getting from Long Island (I used Central Islip for a starting point) to Phoenix in only five days of eight hours a day, is only slightly under the limit of what you can do in that time frame. And even then you have to realize that "driving around 8 hours a day" means just that - actual time behind the wheel with the tires turning at highway speed. Time for food, fuel, bathroom, and rest breaks, as well as the time needed to get from the highway to each site for those activities will be in addition to those eight hours. By the time you account for all that, you're probably looking at more like 11-12 hours from the time you check out of your motel in the morning until you check into the next one. But that's still a very manageable pace.

    You will need to stick to pretty much the shortest all-Interstate route: I-78 west from around Newark to Near Harrisburg, I-81 south to I-70 (Pa. Tpk) then staying on I-70 as it leaves the turnpike and continues to St. Louis, I-44 southwest to Oklahoma City, and I-40 west to Holbrook AZ. From Holbrook there is a worthwhile shortcut using AZ-377/AZ-260/AZ-87 down through Heber and Payson and entering the Phoenix area from the northeast and joining up with the Phoenix freeway system via beltway routes AZ-101 and AZ-202.

    As far as lodging goes, a few chains advertise a pet-friendly policy including Motel 6 and Hampton Inns while others such as Best Western and Comfort Inns and Suites provide links to their individual franchises' policies on their websites. In any case it is best to check with the individual motel directly since most motels are owned by individuals rather than the parent corporation and their policy may differ from the nationally advertised one. This is also a good reason to pre-book your accommodations for the trip which also saves you from trying to find a place at the end of a long day or worse, pushing on too far. Evenly spaced overnight stops would be roughly: Wheeling, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, and Albuquerque.

    And finally, plan on taking a few shrt stops each day to get the dog (and you) some fresh air and exercise

    AZBuck

  4. #4

    Default

    Having driven the northern route between Morgantown, WV and St. Louis, MO, a couple of times, I was wondering how it is better than the southern route (I-79 south from Morgantown and then I-64 West from Charleston, WV to St. Louis) other than being 20 minutes faster on Google Maps.

    Is the potential rush hour traffic around Columbus and Indianapolis better or worse than Lexington and Louisville cities in Kentucky? Scenery and ease of driving (e.g., too many slow trucks) Are roads better on the northern or southern routes between Morgantown and St. Louis? I did notice the Indiana roads to not be nearly as good as the ones in Ohio and Illinois, but have no idea about the interstates on I-79 and I-64 in West Virginia and Kentucky.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Lexington rush hour is no problem. Louisville can be rough because there's no bypass, I-265 doesn't go all the way around. I-79 between Morgantown and Charleston does wind around and go up and down quite a bit, but is quite scenic. Charleston can be rough in rush hour, again, no bypass. Columbus and Indy, you pretty much have to use the bypasses, if you do, no real problem.

    Actually, the original poster could just stay on I-81 all the way to I-40, that only adds an hour.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Columbus and Indy, you pretty much have to use the bypasses, if you do, no real problem.
    My husband and I have plowed through many cities without using the by-passes, for morning rush hour. We have a way to do that: stop for breakfast on the "near side" of the city and watch the traffic "rush" by. By the time you're done eating, paying for the meal, and fueling up, the rush hour is pretty well over. We've done this for Columbus while heading east (stopped on the west side), Kansas City and Denver (stopping on the east side while heading west), and a few others.


    Donna

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    My husband and I have plowed through many cities without using the by-passes, for morning rush hour. We have a way to do that: stop for breakfast on the "near side" of the city and watch the traffic "rush" by. By the time you're done eating, paying for the meal, and fueling up, the rush hour is pretty well over. We've done this for Columbus while heading east (stopped on the west side), Kansas City and Denver (stopping on the east side while heading west), and a few others.


    Donna
    Good idea, Donna, but I find that the bypass around the city is usually not that much farther in miles or longer in time than chancing the rush hour (What a misnomer that is!) traffic. I recently discovered the I-485 bypass around Charlotte on the west side that cuts lots of time off and saves a lot of stress, too.

    Back to the routing for this road trip, I'd recommend I-64, which you can get to directly from I-81 near Lexington, VA. It will give new scenery and those two cities in Kentucky aren't nearly as tough to get through as Columbus or Indianapolis. Alternately, just continue down I-81, which eventually turns into I-40 at Knoxville. Then you can stay on I-40 all the way across to Flagstaff and go down I-17. Why complicate the route?
    Roadhawk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    I-81 to I-64/44/40 is actually 30 minutes longer than I-81 to I-40 and adds an additional toll in WV.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    I-81 to I-64/44/40 is actually 30 minutes longer than I-81 to I-40 and adds an additional toll in WV.
    Where is the toll in West Virginia? A bridge toll? I know of the toll from Missouri to Oklahoma City on I-44. The I-81 to I-40 is a good route. Part of I-81 is somewhat straight and boring but you are in a large valley. Over the mountains and across Tennessee isn't too bad.

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

    Default

    Back to the routing.....

    In 2011, our vacation took us through Phoenix to northern New Jersey. We left Phoenix on I-17, went up to I-40 and headed east. When we got to I-81, we took that, with the exception of 105 miles where we ran parallel to I-81 by taking Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park. Then we turned east on I-80 in PA. Our overnights, after Phoenix, were in Santa Rosa, NM; Sallisaw, OK; Cookeville, TN, and near the south end of Shenandoah in Staunton, VA. Then our final day took us into No. NJ.

    We didn't take any of the "cutoffs" through AZ, as we left Phoenix at 3 in the morning (to try to avoid heat). If I were the person heading to Phoenix in the winter, I'd sure check the weather in Heber and Payson.


    Donna

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