In a little over a month, I will be getting transferred to Vegas for work. Where I'm currently located, in north central Indiana, I have a few options about which routes to take.
Option #1: Head down on I-65S to I-465S to I-70W all the way until I-15S. This seems like the most direct route, but I'm worried about traffic in Saint Louis and Denver if my timing is off. I'm familiar with I-70W through Saint Louis, but I've never driven west of there on that road.
Option #2: This route would take me along I-65N to I-80W just outside Chicago to I-76, which would lead me to I-70 in Denver and then finally I-15S. I'm familiar with I-80W to Omaha. I'm pretty much guaranteed to hit traffic in Chicago and will once again have to worry about mistiming an arrival in Denver and hitting more traffic there.
Option #3: This wouldn't even be an option if I was leaving today because the road I would use to get there is currently under construction, but it's projected to be finished by the time I leave so I'm including it just in case it actually is completed. I could head almost due west from my house for about an hour and jump on I-74W, which becomes I-72W and eventually US-36W, to I-35S and finally picking up I-70W in Kansas City and then on to I-15S. I've actually only driven on I-74 between Crawfordsville, IN and Indianapolis.
As you can see, I have 3 potential routes. I'm not concerned with sightseeing really, just want to get out there somewhat quickly. However, if there is something that might be just a quick detour to see, I'd definitely consider it. According to Google Maps, the 3 routes are all about 27 hours of driving time and they range in mileage from 1851 miles (option #3) to 1873 miles (option #1). Option #2 comes in at 1869 miles. So similar distances and similar drive times obviously.
So my questions are:
1) Is there any considerable advantage over taking one route over the other two?
2) Is there anything close to any of the routes (say within 25 miles of the interstate) that would be worth seeing enough that you'd pick one route over the others?
3) Regarding traffic, my first potentially bad traffic (barring a major accident) would be Chicago, Saint Louis, or Kansas City. I personally can't imagine Kansas City being too bad, but I do know that Chicago and Saint Louis can be a real mess. I'm not counting Indianapolis as potential traffic because I know I can avoid that traffic (once again, barring a major accident). So I guess my question is this, would it be better to hit what will be guaranteed traffic early in my first day of travel or hit traffic a bit later?
Some final details. Regardless of which route I take, I will most likely be leaving between 6:30-7am. If I take option #1, that would put me passing Indianapolis International Airport between 7:15-7:45am and in Saint Louis at about 10:30am St. Louis time. If I go option #2, that would put me in Chicago at 8-8:30am Chicago time. Option #3 would put me in Kansas City at about 1:30-2pm Kansas City time, but this one would probably actually be later because I'd definitely stop some and stretch my legs and I'd need gas before I got there and would probably also grab a bite to eat.
I'm also uncertain on potential overnight stops. The first day, I would like to cover as much distance as possible while still being able to drive safely. Any suggestions for overnight stops along the routes I've mentioned?
This is my first time posting here, but I have been reading posts here for awhile. I'm not asking you guys/girls to plan my trip for me as I will do my own research on any and all suggestions to see what works out for me. All I'm asking is for some suggestions based on your own experiences in case something is suggested that I hadn't considered previous.
Thanks in advance for any advice you might give.