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  1. #1

    Default Moving Cross Country with 2 Cats - Help w/ Texas?

    Just found this place tonight, hope someone can help me out. First solo trip and I'm a bit nervous.

    This summer, assuming my grad school applications are approved, I'll be moving from Arizona to North Carolina. I'll be stopping for a week or so in Louisiana to visit family, but that initial push across New Mexico and Texas is a killer. I did it twice when I was just starting college out here, but then I had my parents driving with me.

    This time, I'll probably be on my own and I'll be packing my two cats along with me. There are so many things I'm trying to work out.

    For instance, I know the southern route through Houston is shorter than the route through Dallas - but is it faster? Houston's huge! Anyone who's made the trip across Texas, if you had advice about which city to hit, please let me know!

    When I made the journey in the past, we did it in 2-3 days because we could rotate drivers. By myself, I'll probably need to stop for the night more often. Is taking I-10 the best shot, or would a more Northern route give me more choices for stopping?

    Any advice anyone has to offer would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Traveling with pets has its own unique challenges - you will want to check out our tips on this page.

    The Dallas - Fort Worth metro is also quite large. It really depends on where you are traveling to in Louisiana. I would think that I-20 would offer you more opportunities to stop than I-10 simply because there are more populated areas along the route in Western Texas.

    We generally recommend stopping each day after about 500-550 miles. Eight to ten hours on the road is usually a good limit. Any more than that and the trip becomes more like work than pleasure. I would say that with pets along for the ride you'll probably want to bring that amount down a bit.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the advice. I'm heading to central Louisiana, which is right on I-10, but traveling south through the state isn't a problem if it means a more convenient route. I'm gonna try to find a good highway map this week and start trying to plan out stops.

  4. #4

    Default more texas advice

    I would recommend you drive from Arizona to El Paso on your first day. Then make the push through Texas a day long event.

    As for taking the northern route vs the southern route, here is my advice. Stick to 1-20 and take the northern route! Online mapping says that El Paso to Houston = 749 miles. El Paso to Dallas = 634 miles. And I-20 will give you many more opportunities to stop and stretch your legs - or places to call it a night if the trip takes longer than you thought. Plus, taking I-20 through the DFW metroplex should be much better than going through Houston. I-20 is the most southern freeway in DFW and you will bypass almost all of traffic. (I-10 goes right through the heart of Houston.

    Also, I-10 dumps you into the southern part of Louisiana. You said that you were traveling to the central part of the state so I assume that you will have to detour a little to get there no matter which freeway you take into the state.

  5. #5


    I guess that was a little misleading. I meant central in terms of East-West, but it's along I-10 so it's really more South - Lafayette.

    I thought about doing Texas all in one day, but I'm worried it'll be too much for me as a first time solo road tripper - and too much for my cats. I'm okay stopping on the outskirts of either Fort Worth or Houston.

    I was thinking of making my first stop in a town called Van Horn, TX - it's East of El Paso and right before the I-20/I-10 split. It's about 550 miles, so a bit of a long day, but from there I can do two short days. Either to Fort Worth (480 mi) or San Antonio (430 mi), then to my parents'.

    Fort Worth or San Antonio to my parents' place is virtually the same distance and time... except for what you pointed out, going through the heart of Houston could be a real killer. I guess I'm wondering, is it really that bad? Or is there one day of the week that's not as bad (Wednesday vs. Monday - or maybe Sunday?)?

    I like the fact that there are more towns along I-20, though. If something goes wrong, I'd feel a bit safer........


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Starting from I-10

    If you're already going to Lafayette- just go with the I-10 route. You would have to add the four hour drive south along I-49 from Shreveport to hit I-10 to your "across Texas" drive. So that right there negates any time different between Dallas vs Houston. Also I-49 has to win as the most boring road I've ever encountered. I avoid it whenever I can.

    Secondly - I like Van Horn as a stopping point and then again stopping in San Antonio. I've managed to get from Van Horn to Shreveport in one day, but it was a long haul.


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