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  1. Default Coeur D' Alene, Id to Waterbury, CT for christmas

    Trying to plan a trip form North Idaho, (Coeur D' Alene) to Waterbury, Ct for Christmas break.
    Wondering if anyone has any advice on traveling cross country through Mt, ND, Mn, WI, IL, In, Oh, Pa, NJ, NY, and then into Ct.
    So far I have us, (us being 2 adults, 4 teens and a 2 month old YIKES!!) stopping in Bismarck ND for the night, then again, in South Bend In. We plan on leaving Friday Dec 18 or Saturday Dec 19th.
    The drive back will be Jan 3 or so.

    Any thoughts on what to expect from each state this time of year? Not really looking forward to driving that far with 4 teens and a baby, but it will cost 3 times less then flying.

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

    Default Sure fire misery

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    A sure fire way to have a miserable trip is to go into the experience with an "we know its going to be miserable and we're only doing this because its cheaper than flying" attitude and approach. Simply put, you will get out of the trip everything you expect going in.

    Another sure fire way to have a miserable time is to try to drive so much in one day that you have no time to have any fun, and drive to the point where you are pushing yourself beyond what your body can safely do. Your current plan does this and then some!

    Driving 900 miles in a day is not fun, for anyone, and will make for a miserable and unsafe trip. That requires at least 16-18 hours a day on the road - if you see perfect weather, no traffic, and make no stops except for gas and quick restroom breaks.

    Just to give you my own experience. I had to cut short a family trip last spring because of a family emergency, and we drove from Georgia to Minnesota in one day. It was about 900 miles, roughly the same distance you plan to drive for 3 consecutive days. That one trip took 19 hours (6am to midnight, and I gained an hour going west). It was very tiring and not what I would call fun. I love driving, and I was in no condition to try and do the same trip again the next day (much less a 3rd day, and do the same thing again a week later).

    For safety reasons, you absolutely need to add at least one more overnight stop. Even that will require you to be on a grueling 14 hours a day, and won't be much fun even in the best of circumstances. This also is a best case, if you hit any weather at all, even this will be far too much.

    If you want to have a fun trip, where your family can actually enjoy yourselves, stop every few hours, and have an experience where you won't want to kill each other by the time you reach CT, you really do need to plan for a full 5 days on the road.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If I were planning this trip, this is how I'd do it:

    Day 1 - I-90, stop in Sheridan WY.
    Day 2 - I-90, stop in Sioux Falls SD.
    Day 3 - I-90, stop in Rockford IL.
    Day 4 - I-90/I-290/I-355/I-80, stop in Brookville PA. (NOTE: This is the BEST way to avoid Chicago traffic - I lived there for 35 years)
    Day 5 - I-80/I-81/I-84 to Waterbury.

    If you absolutely MUST get there faster, here are the stops for a 4 day trip:

    Gillette WY
    Albert Lea MN
    Toledo OH

    Please do NOT, I repeat NOT, attempt to do this in 3 days.

    You can expect the possibility of bad weather and slippery roads for the ENTIRE trip. Do not attempt to go anywhere near Chicago in morning or evening rush hour. This will come into play on the day you leave from Rockford - wait till at least 8am before leaving, 9am would be better. If you wind up getting delayed too much this day, you may want to stop in Youngstown OH and plan on a long grind the last day.


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