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  1. Default Summer2010 Florida ----> Grand Canyon

    Hi there! New to this forum but planning a big summer road trip and looking for any suggestions on sights to see, places to eat, and must dos along our path. The plan is-

    Tallahassee, Fl
    Baton Rouge, La
    San Antonio, Tx (2 nights)
    Carlsbad, NM (2 nights)
    Tucson, Az
    Vegas (2 nights)
    Grand Canyon- south rim (2 nights)
    Petrified Forest Holbrook
    Amarillo, Tx
    Little Rock, Ar
    Birmingham, Al
    Tallahassee, Fl

    The plan is to stick to I-10 as long as possible on the way there and I-40 on the way back. I've booked hotels all with one chain the whole way. My family has never taken a big road trip like this. I tried to plot it out where we are never in the car for more than 8 hours. Any tips, advice suggestiions would be greatly appreciated. The trip is going to break our bank so any money savings tips are welcome as well. It will be my first husband and myself, my 14 and 19 year olds and my mother.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Something for Everybody

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I assume by "never in the car for more than 8 hours" you mean no more than 8 hours a day. And that's just fine. It means that you'll need about 10 'driving' days to complete your trip, and then you can spend whatever additional time you have in relaxed exploration of the sights you've driven so far to see. In addition, you should break up those driving days with restful stops every few hours. Besides the major attractions that your route is built around, also consider some lesser known but intriguing locations such as Gulf Islands National Seashore, the Creole Nature Trail, White Sands National Monument, Kartchner Caverns, Saguaro National Park, London Bridge at Lake Havasu City (you can also cross the Colorado on I-40 westbound saving you one crossing of Hoover Dam which is subject to traffic backups), Meteor Crater, Cadillac Ranch, the Oklahoma City Memorial, Hot Springs National Park, and Elvis' Birthplace in Tupelo. As far as some basic ideas on saving money, check out the Art of the Cheap RoadTrip.


  3. Default Area around Hoover Dam

    We will be travelling one of the days from Tucson to Vegas. We have show tickets in Vegas that night (my kid is a Criss Angel MindFreak fan) and I'm trying to make sure we leave enough travel time to make it through the Hoover Dam area. We have put aside several days after our Vegas leg to travel and sightsee the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Lake Havasu, etc area. How much time does it usually take (how long is the delay?) if you need to get through the Hoover Dam area on 93? (Mapquest says 6.5 hours but also notes delays)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default More.

    Mapping programs are always over optimistic and don't allow for delays, food and bathroom breaks, congestion, or to fill the car with gas.

    I would give myself plenty of time, not only do you have to cross the dam, but then you have to get through traffic to wherever it is in Vegas you are staying, get parked/settled in. Travelling I10 and US 93, I would allow 8 hours, perhaps 9 from door to door, just to be safe.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default We Wish They Wouldn't Do That

    MapQuest is being excessively optimistic in telling you that you can get from Tucson to Las Vegas in 6½ hours, to the point of irresponsibility. Such an estimate assumes that you can go 65 mph every mile and every second of those 6½ hours. That you never need to stop for gas, food or bathroom breaks; that you will never see slower moving cars. a stop sign or a traffic light; and that you will speed across the dam without any delay whatsoever. Every one of those assumptions is demonstrably false. Realistically, you need to allow between 9 and 10 hours for the drive from Tucson to Las Vegas, and be prepared for slow going as you navigate the retirement villages of Phoenix on US-60 as well as the inevitable delays at the Dam. You should. with an early enough start, be able to make Las Vegas before nightfall, but that 6½ hour estimate is a cruel joke.


  6. Default Thanks

    This is the only day in the entire 2 week trip that we are on a time schedule so it is crucial we do it right! Thanks for all the advice. I will make sure we give ourselves plenty of time. If things go smoother than expected it will just be a bonus.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    My mapping program shows 7 hours from Tucson to LV via I-10, AZ-101, and US-60/93. In reality you are probably looking at 9 hours or more. If you want to avoid the US-60 congestion and the dam, you could take I-10 to US-95. This is 60 miles longer but it might be faster - what do you think, Buck?

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