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  1. Default Roadtrip - Minneapolis to New Jersey and Back

    Dear RTA Members,

    I am planning a roadtrip from Minneapolis to New Jersey and back. We are a family of 4 - Me, wife and 2 kids (3 & 8). We are planning to take turns on driving targeting to reach / cross Chicago and do a night stay there. We intend to reach NJ by end of day 2. I am keeping the night of day 2 as contingency in case we feel too tired to drive.

    Does the plan make sense? This is my first roadtrip in America. I am an Indian and have done up to 14 hours in one stretch in India. My kids handle car travel well.

    I kindly seek your advice and guidance on the road trip


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Day One is OK.....

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your first day's drive is very reasonable. You're looking at covering about 450 miles depending on where you pull up for the night after getting around/through Chicago. That allows for a leisurely start in the morning (getting the kids ready, packing the car, having a good breakfast), a few short breaks during the day for some fresh air and exercise, and the inevitable traffic delays in Chicago.

    But your second day would be a killer. You'd need to cover up to 800 miles (!), again depending on where in Indiana you were to spend the night and where in New Jersey you're heading for. That's just much, much, much too far. Actually, Minneapolis to 'New Jersey' is simply too far to drive in two days, especially with children. You really need to plan on a second overnight stop in west central Pennsylvania, again depending where in New Jersey you're headed for.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You didn't say where in NJ you are heading, which will make it hard to give specific advice on routes and places to stay.

    What we can say is that Northern New Jersey is on the very upper limit of how far you can safely travel in 2 days, especially with children on board.

    If you are going to do this trip in 2 days, then you need to make it quite a bit farther than Chicago. Montpelier, Ohio is really the only place that would work for an overnight. It is basically at the halfway mark, but at 600 miles from Minneapolis, it is at the absolute maximum distance you should travel in a day - and will take you 10-12 hours on the road, if you have good luck with traffic through Chicago. That would set up another 600 mile day to Northern New Jersey.

    If you are going elsewhere in NJ, you might want t look a different route, but it is also quite likely at that point you'd need another overnight somewhere along your trip.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Feeling tired is too late.

    Quote Originally Posted by amitm79 View Post
    I am keeping the night of day 2 as contingency in case we feel too tired to drive.
    By the time you feel too tired to drive, you have already reached the first stages of fatigue.... one of the great killers on the roads. Your reflexes will be quite a lot slower.. Even if you share the driving, simply sitting in a moving vehicle is tiring. The second driver will be almost as close to fatigue by the time you 'feel' tired.

    You need to set the places to stop before leaving home, so you will not be tempted to go further than is safe. With young children I feel that should not be much over 500..... maybe 550 miles at most.

    By all means use online mapping to work out those distances, but don't take any notice of their travel times. They are pure fantasy.

    Have you looked at skirting around Chicago. It does not add all that many miles, but saves a lot of time. I regularly travel between St Paul and Boston, and always avoid Chicago, with its traffic and tolls, as well as all the tolls in IN and OH.


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