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  1. Default from LA to ATLANTA and other stops- around (dec/jan)

    hey fellow travelers

    me and the wife want to drive cross country (southern route) on 12/22 and come back to los angeles by the 3rd of jan.

    we wanted to hit up memphis, new orleans, austin, santa fe and grand canyon in 11 days

    is it doable? any advice or pointers for those who had such a similar endavor? when driving in that time in december, when is the latest you would recommend to stop and go look for a place to crash the night? is it dangerous to drive this time a year? i mean the weather is cold and some points there can be snow but is it driveable? or a high risk time to drive around that time period?


    would love to hear your thoughts

    thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    11 days really is not much time for the trip you've laid out. At about 2,200 miles each way, you're looking at 4 days of driving each way, before you add in an extra stops. Presumably, you want to spend at least 1 day in Atlanta, so that leaves you a total of 2 days to explore the 5 places you listed, and account for any possible weather delays.

    People drive across country every day of the year, but at this time of year, you will have to be prepared for a storm that could slow you down, or even force you to stop for a day. You won't know the weather until you are on the road, so all you can do is be prepared for the worst. As you noted, you're also traveling during the time of year where you have the least amount of daylight to work with, further compressing your ability to visit the places you want to explore.

    So, while you certainly could do this trip, with the time you have available, I don't think it would be very worthwhile. If I were you, I'd look to shorten up the distance, or see if you can extend your timeline.

  3. Default

    thanks for the response

    i think with 4 days of driving, counting a day out due to weather- i would have 6 days to see these spots, about spending a day in each place. would it be more realistic if its a two week trip instead of 11? or would the 3 days wouldnt make much difference?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by anaelmasri View Post
    i think with 4 days of driving, counting a day out due to weather- i would have 6 days to see these spots, about spending a day in each place.
    It's 4 days of driving EACH WAY. In other words, it's about twice as much driving as you seem to be thinking.

    I was under the impression that this was a loop trip. If you're not returning to Los Angeles, then you certainly would have more time, however, the stops you laid out do form a very nice loop, based around I-40 one way and I-10 the other. If this is a one way trip, you would have more than 4 days of driving because you'd have to do some zig-zagging north and south.

    2 weeks would help, but it would still make for a pretty rushed round trip. Again, you'd have about 4 days total to explore 6 different places. If the weather is good, you'd have a bit more time, but still, it works out to about 2 days of driving for every day you get to explore.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    It's 4 days of driving EACH WAY. In other words, it's about twice as much driving as you seem to be thinking.

    I was under the impression that this was a loop trip. If you're not returning to Los Angeles, then you certainly would have more time, however, the stops you laid out do form a very nice loop, based around I-40 one way and I-10 the other. If this is a one way trip, you would have more than 4 days of driving because you'd have to do some zig-zagging north and south.

    2 weeks would help, but it would still make for a pretty rushed round trip. Again, you'd have about 4 days total to explore 6 different places. If the weather is good, you'd have a bit more time, but still, it works out to about 2 days of driving for every day you get to explore.
    why would it take 4 days of driving each way? its 27 hours to memphis, so thats 2 days of driving maybe an extra couple of hours. and the in between stops around about 7 hours on average. it IS a loop trip from los angeles and back to los angeles.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Because you are using travel time estimates that aren't even close to real world times, and distances like these are measured in days and not hours.

    LA to ATL is a 2200 mile drive. A full day on the road - wheels moving for 9-10 hours a day - is 550 miles, once you factor in the bare minimum of stops and slow downs. Doing anything more than that is dangerous because fatigue starts to set in. This time of year, that's also as much daylight as you have available.

    2200 miles divided by 550 miles a day equals 4 full days on the road each way.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

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    Electronic mapping programs are great for mileages, but they don't need to fill a car with fuel, get food (and eat it), or use a restroom. They have no idea, this far in advance, what kinds of slowdowns you'll have for construction or an accident. They just assume that you are going to plod along, hour after hour, doing the maximum allowable speed limit. So when Michael says they're not even close to real world estimates, that's what he means. 2200 miles is like four 550 mile days on the road, each of those days taking 10-11 hours.


    Donna

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