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  1. Default Orlando to Vegas - Newbie

    Hi all
    We are coming from Australia and looking at driving from Orlando to Vegas this December.
    I was hoping to go to New Orleans, Graceland and my son would like to go to the petrified forest? and hubby monument valley and Grand Canyon.
    My question is does this sound viable, how many days would we be looking at. Are the roads going to be OK as I have a phobia of driving in snow. Or would you totally forget it and fly to Vegas.
    Thanks for any help or options.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Definitely drive, there is so much to see.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    There is no way I would opt to fly if I had the time to drive. The chances of you seeing winter weather are few indeed, but should you be unfortunate to strike a storm, the thing is to check into a hotel, and get back on the road when the storm has passed and the roads have been cleared.

    Your trip is definitely viable, the main issue would be how much time do you have for the complete trip? All the places you mention are possible. In all you are looking at 6 full days driving, Add to that time spent in each place, and you can work out roughly how much time you will need. Add a day or so, just in case of winter weather.

    Be sure to take your automobile club (RACV, NRMA, etc) membership with you, as it will give you access to free tourism information and maps from the AAA. You could pick up maps for your complete journey in Orlando. Don't be tempted to rely solely on your electronics. The maps will show you what there is to be seeing along whatever route you choose.

    Lifey

  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply,
    I didn't want to spend too long on the trip back to Vegas as its more of a add on to our current holiday plans, but after driving around most of Oz it's one I really wanted to squeeze in.
    Thanks for the info on RACQ I've just let mine lapse, I didn't realise it got you anything in the US I may have to consider renewing.
    Daily distance, we are use to long distances usually Darwin to Cairns with one overnight, but I agree I'd want to take things slower maybe 4/5 hours driving each day.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 11-15-2015 at 08:12 AM. Reason: Removed quote of entire previous post

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default what are you hoping for?

    Rather than trying to tell you how much time you'll need for this trip, why don't you tell us how much time you realistically would be interested in spending on the road?

    When you say you don't want to spend "too much time" driving to Vegas, and then say you only want to drive 4/5 hours a day, get the feeling you might be seriously underestimating just how big the US is. If you only drive 4/5 hours per day, it would take you at least 10 days to cover the miles between Orlando and Las Vegas.

    You do also need to be aware that snow is a possibility you just can't avoid when traveling in the US in December. Every state you'll visit has the chance of seeing snow - even Las Vegas gets a bit of snow every few years. While some places it would be rare - like Florida or Vegas, there are sections where snow is common in December, especially across northern New Mexico and Arizona. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do the trip, or that you'd see a storm that would have any impact on your trip (even if you do see snow, it is usually cleared off the Interstates quite quickly), but it is a possibility you do need to be aware of.

    Don't get me wrong, a roadtrip would be a fantastic way to really get a feel for much more of the US than you ever could just by visiting the tourist hotspots of Orlando and Las Vegas. If you enjoy traveling across Australia, I suspect you would really enjoy it, but you should go into your planning knowing there are some things that could be less than ideal based on what you've told us so far.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    To add to what Lifey and Michael just said -- the interstates are the main roads used by truckers taking goods from state to state. So for that reason, they are the last ones to be closed in the event of a bad storm, and the first to be cleared and reopened. Along the more northern interstates, it is interesting to see the railroad-type gates at interstate entrance ramps in many places.


    Donna

  6. #6

    Default

    I did some mapping and math and to see all the sights you listed would take about 14 days if you only want to drive 4/5 hours each day. If you dropped Graceland off the list it would remove 600+ miles and probably 2 days. The Gulf Coast from Orlando to New Orleans is a pretty nice alternative. I'm not certain, but I believe that Presley memorabilia is well represented in Las Vegas, too, if that's any consolation. He performed there numerous times.

    Harry

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default No comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ktee View Post
    Thanks for the info on RACQ I've just let mine lapse, I didn't realise it got you anything in the US I may have to consider renewing.
    All automobile clubs have reciprocal services, albeit not road side service. But that is covered by your rental company.

    Daily distance, we are use to long distances usually Darwin to Cairns with one overnight, but I agree I'd want to take things slower maybe 4/5 hours driving each day.
    You cannot equate a trip across northern rural Australia with a trip across the US. There is no comparison. There aren't the stretches of road without towns and other attractions. It is rare to travel 100 miles without seeing anything. Besides, the quality of the roads is nothing like we have at home. You can cover long distances with frequent stops for the children without it being arduous. Rarely will you be on a road with oncoming traffic.

    I agree with Michael, we can be much more helpful once you post your complete itinerary, so we have the big picture?

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 11-15-2015 at 09:27 PM. Reason: typo

  8. Default

    Yes I understand how large America is, as I mentioned we easily cover 1000km a day when travelling around Australia. I suppose like Lifey mentioned though up here where we live in FNQ we can travel 5 hours without passing another sole or town. This is one thing I didn't really consider when thinking of this drive across as obviously you are going to have the traffic in every town etc. I only wanted to allow a week, but maybe it would be better to fly to Vegas then drive out to monument Valley etc. and leave the road trip for another time

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,269

    Default

    You can drive all the way across the US and not have to deal with "in town" traffic. There's a whole network of dual carriageway limited access high speed Interstate highways. Do you call those motorways in Oz? It's possible to drive from Orlando to Las Vegas in 4 full days on the road - that's driving about 550 to 600 miles a day, which is 10 to 12 hours a day, depending on how many stops you make. If you only have a week, I wouldn't do it if you want to enjoy the drive and see a lot of things.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Maps for the next trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ktee View Post
    ... but maybe it would be better to fly to Vegas then drive out to monument Valley etc. and leave the road trip for another time
    That would be such a shame, but if you do not have more time to devote to the trip, probably a good idea.

    I suggest you pick up and take home a Rand McNally road atlas, which you can purchase at most places where you fuel up. As well I would pick up detailed maps from AAA of most - if not all - of the States. They will be invaluable for you to have when planning your next trip. They're so difficult and expensive to get at home. (I have mine by my computer permanently.)

    Lifey

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