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Thread: I-40 or I-10?

  1. Default LA to Orlando w/2 toddlers

    I'm moving in August from Los Angeles to Orlando with my 2 year old twins. I will be traveling along the I-10, making stops in Phoenix and Houston, however brief. Any suggestions? Does anyone know how long this might take? Will 7 days be enough? I don't mind the long drive, but I know my kids will. I'm planning on driving early, stopping for long lunches, driving more, and finding places to stay before nighttime. I'm hoping to get in at least 8-10 hours of driving a day. I will be towing a trailer, so I'm only supposed to go 45 mph. Advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Well first

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    First of all, I'd tell you not to worry about the silly 45 mph garbage that UHaul throws out there. I've never seen that as anything other than a very poorly designed and totally impractical way to try to shield themselves from liability (one that I really can't imagine would hold up in court). There is no reason you can't pull a moving trailer at or near the speed limit as long as your car can handle pulling the trailer and you give yourself extra time to stop and react to other traffic.

    Otherwise, I think you're starting from a good place. A week should give you plenty of time, and I think you'll be surprised how well most young kids handle long distance trips. Long lunches are good, but don't also be afraid to pull over for several short breaks along the way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Exactly!

    Long lunches are good, but don't also be afraid to pull over for several short breaks along the way.
    When my kids were little, the key was stopping when they got antsy. Have lunch at a park or some place with space for the kids to run around a bit and get the wiggles out. Don't make them sit in a restaurant after sitting in the car. While a long lunch is great, I found it better to plan stopping every 2 hours or so for at least 15-20 to just let them run. The extra time it took to get from point A to B was definitely offset by the more enjoyable time in the car.

    Here's some other tips that should be helpful.

  4. Default I-40 or I-10?


    I'm headed off to Orlando from Los Angeles with my almost 3-year-old twins. My original plan was to take the I-10 the whole way, but with all these hurricanes, I'm thinking that that might not be the best idea. I was thinking about taking the 40 through Arizona, New Mexico, heading to Dallas and going south from there. Would this take much longer? I won't have a trailer, just a cargo box on my roof. Is the I-40 as steep as I've heard? I would LOVE to see Flagstaff and Albuquerque, but only if it's a feasible route. Would a day trip to the Grand Canyon be possible? I've never been to any of these places, so I don't know how close or far they are, and mapquest only gives so much info. I will have my brother-in-law with me, so I won't be alone with the kids. Any time estimates if I take the I-40, or any other suggestions?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default My Choice Would Be...

    The difference in distance between using I-10 and I-40 is something on the order of 60 out of 2,500. Hardly worth mentioning. While I don't think that the possibility of a hurricane is enough reason to alter course, for my money I do find I-40 a bit more interesting of a drive than I-10, with a few more stops that might be of interest to your children. The Grand Canyon (which would add about 120 miles to your trip, but there are a number of kid-friendly stops along all the major Interstates. Also, there is no need to fear steep grades on any Interstate. Those highways are built to exacting specifications that expressly prohibit such things.

    One other decision you'll have to make is where to make the turn southeast from I-40 to get to Orlando. If hurricanes are a concern, then you'll want to get fairly far east before making the 'turn for home'. I'd suggest going from Memphis to Birmingham on US-78 and then using I-20 to Atlanta and I-75 to Orlando, a route that will keep you well away from both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.

    With kids and stops, I'd leave at least 6 days for the journey, more if you can afford it.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default A couple of hours plus or minus

    Quote Originally Posted by onetruth View Post
    My original plan was to take the I-10 the whole way, but with all these hurricanes,
    If hurricanes start coming ashore when you are on the drive, it won't much of a difference whether you are on I-40 or I-10. The weather system from Gustaf currently stretches from the gulf coast to Minnesota.

    The difference in mileage between Los Angeles and Orlando using I-40 only as far as Norman (and cutting south through Dallas) is only about 165 miles or so.

    I-40 does have a climb and a descent around Flagstaff, but most modern cars will not be affected by it in any way.

    Would a day trip to the Grand Canyon be possible? I've never been to any of these places,
    Sure, no problem.

    Over the course of the six days travel to Orlando from LA, the differences between the two routes might be as much as three hours. (AZBuck estimated that the difference between the two routes might only be 60 miles -- I think it is closer to a 159 miles -- but given the whole trip -- I agree that I-40 would be more interesting for everyone). If you saw CARS (the movie) a couple of years ago -- much of the scenery in the movie was inspired by what you can see along I-40.



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