I am planning a trip from the DC area (specifically northern VA) to the Chicago area (specifically Evanston, which is north of Chicago) after Christmas, weather permitting. I am solo driving and will have 2 young teens (not drivers) with me. We will be spending a few days there before driving back.
I would love some recommendations for the drive. Mapquest is suggesting 270/70 to 76/Pa Tpk to 80W to 90W. Looks pretty straightforward on the map, but would love to hear about other experiences. Is this a good route, or should I consider others? I'm thinking of spreading it over 2 days, maybe do about 2/3 the first day and the rest the next. Suggestions for a location to overnight? Suggestions for good places to take rest stops? I don't really plan to do any sightseeing, and want to get there in a reasonably efficient manner, but don't want to take a route that has me in blindingly fast truck traffic the whole time either. For the overnight, I am hoping for a not-too-pricey but not-a-complete-dump motel; kids would be happy if it had a pool but we don't need room service or minibar or any such amenities. If it was summer we'd be camping but obviously the weather isn't suitable now. I did this about 25 years ago and stayed in South Bend but maybe that's too far for the first day, I am not sure and honestly do not remember it well.
I'd be happy to hear any and all feedback! Thank you!