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  1. Default Houston to Vegas!

    Hey guys, first time posting here, though I've done some reading in the past few days and I've found a lot of good advice, though I have some specific questions I'd like to ask.

    First of all, I'm going to be leaving Houston, TX on Friday morning around 5 a.m. with my brother, and our initial destination is Las Vegas. We plan to leave out of Houston and drive straight through to Benson, AZ and catch some rest at the Motel 6 there. The next morning, I'm planning on leaving by 7 a.m. and heading straight to Vegas, hopefully getting there between 3 and 5 p.m. At that point, I'm looking at the Motel 6 downtown as our accommodations for the night. We plan to get there, check in, and browse the strip that night. As neither of us drink or gamble, Vegas is kind of a "Hey, we've been there!" destination as opposed to the actual point of the trip. Once we wake up the next morning, we're heading to the Grand Canyon, where I plan on checking into the Holiday Inn Express about a mile from the south Rim upon arrival...if we leave early in the morning from Vegas, we should hit the Canyon around noon.

    We're going to be spending 2 days in the Canyon doing everything we can, and then we're getting up and driving straight through to El Paso, where I'm again looking at a Motel 6 for that night. After that, it's back to Houston.

    The reasons it might seem rushed is because a.) we're only setting out with about $1500 total for gas, rooms, food, etc. and b.) I start a new job on February 9th, and I need to be back a day or so before. Here's what our preliminary schedule looks like, broken down.

    Jan. 30th - Houston to Benson.
    Jan. 31st - Benson to Vegas.
    Feb. 1st - Vegas to the Grand Canyon.
    Feb. 3rd - Grand Canyon to El Paso.
    Feb. 4th - El Paso to Houston.

    Now, on the 30th, we're going to have to find a Western Union somewhere along the road to pick up some money we're having wired to us, though I doubt that will be a problem.

    I guess my biggest questions are do you think $1500 is enough for the round trip, for one. Another is, with the night time temps at the Grand Canyon being fairly low, would saving some money and camping there be recommended, or would the hotel be the better idea?

    I've never gone on a road trip entirely planned and financed by myself before, so I'm a little apprehensive when it comes to the amount of money we're going to have and whether my planning is sound. With two of us, the long driving distances I have planned aren't going to be too much trouble, though I'm admittedly rushing my plans because I absolutely have to be back by the 8th to start my job.

    I suppose I should note that my car is a 2008 Ford Focus, which averages about 34 mpg on the highway and about $20 per fill up.

    Any advice or suggestions you guys can provide would be greatly appreciated.

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

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    That first day is an especially grueling 1000 miles, which is over 16 hours of straight driving. Essentially what you're trying to do here is fit three days of driving into a two day trip with your first couple of stops. Is there any chance that you can put another couple of days into this trip? I think after a couple of days of hard driving, you'd be feeling a bit fatigued for your time in the Grand Canyon.

    The other option is to skip Las Vegas this time, as it is adding at least another 550 miles into your trip.

  3. Default

    Yeah, it's always possible to extend it, so long as I'm back by the 8th. This is a rough itinerary, basically it's meant to let us cover as much ground as possible as quickly as possible, with our leisure time coming when we get to the Canyon. Neither of us have seen Vegas, so that's why we've included it in the trip. If I can add, say, a day in Vegas and maybe a day in El Paso, I think we'd still be alright. I'm basically trying to save as much time and money as possible.

  4. Default

    Ok, actually I've talked with my brother and we've both agreed that Vegas as a "Seen it, done it" thing isn't worth the 550 extra miles. Thanks for pointing that out.

    As of right now, the plans are to drive from Houston to Carlsbad, NM the first day, which is about a 10 hour drive. Wake up early the next morning, drive up to Roswell and piddle around there, since we both want to see the UFO museum and such, and then after a couple hours start heading toward the Canyon. Depending on the time, we might either stop in Flagstaff or go straight to the Canyon, where we'll be camping.

    After spending a couple days in the Canyon, we're going to head south through Sedona toward El Paso. That's about a 9 1/2 hour drive, and from El Paso we're going to head toward Houston.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default don't be surprised

    I think your revised plan sounds quite a bit more reasonable and enjoyable.

    I will let you know that the time estimates that you're getting from an online maps are usually very optimistic. Both Houston to Carlsbad and Grand Canyon to El Paso are about 650 miles, and will probably take closer to 11 hours plus any extra time you stop at things along the way. They are still pretty obtainable distances, its just pretty unlikely that you'd cover them in 10 hours or less once you make any required stops for food, fuel, and the like.

  6. Default

    Oh yeah, I know that. Since I don't have to be back until Sunday, and my current trip plan has us back on Wednesday, I have a couple extra days to play with, which is a bit of a relief.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Well then

    Since you've got that much extra time, I'd probably look at spending a little time in Vegas. Even if you aren't a gambler, its a fun city just to walk around in. It could also be the jumping off point for a daytrip or two.

    I will say that if you do go to vegas the Motel 6 downtown might not be one I'd recommend. I've never stayed there, but its not in a great area and it looks pretty run down when I've driven by it. There are better deals out there, and some of the old downtown casinos can be pretty cheap

  8. Default

    Vegas is always within the realm of possibility, but to be honest I'm going on this trip to get away from civilization and relax for a few days, and I think a Vegas drive would be counterproductive. Plus it would be an extra day or two of motel costs, and I definitely don't want those, since I'm only going with about $1500. The objective has always been to go to the Canyon and camp and enjoy nature for a little while, so I think cutting Vegas out of this particular trip is a good idea.

    Thanks very much for the advice.

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