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  1. Default Help planning road trip from Austin to Denver from Dec 26th to Dec 29, 2017

    We are a family of 3, 2 adults and 1 child age 3 with my 2 brothers and nephew joining Us. We are planning a road trip going from Austin to Denver on December 26th and returning on Dec 29th, I'm looking for advise on that, we are renting a Ford Explorer for our travel and I'd like to add that I have never driven in snowy or icy roads, so base on that and our plan below, I would like your advice, thanks

    We are planning on leaving Austin on Tuesday Dec 26th around 7 am looking to drive all the way to Denver making some stops just to get some food, put some gas, etc. We are thinking to get to our final destination in Denver by night. Next day on the 27th, We've planned to drive to Frisco and expend the day there, then by night we'll be returning back to Denver. Next day on the 28th, we've planned to drive to Vail and expend the day there and returns by evening. On the 29th would be returning back to Austin.

    Any suggestions like public transportation that we can use or take instead of using our SUV or advice would be really appreciate it, mainly because we want our trip to be safe for my family.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default No Good Options

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There's no gentle way to tell you this so let's just get right to it. You cannot drive safely from Austin to Denver in a day, even with multiple drivers and the best of weather. And that's before considering even more driving to Vail, Frisco, or wherever. Just Austin to Denver is over 900 miles, with a significant portion being on 'surface streets' that go through small towns. Even with only minimal food/gas/bathroom stops, you're looking at a minimum of 13-15 hours driving time. By comparison, long-haul professional drivers are limited by law to ten hours 'in the saddle' with any time sitting up in the cab counted against that limit whether they're actually behind the wheel or not. So what you're contemplating would bust the limits placed on people who do this for a living by 30-50%.

    At best, what you can safely accomplish while driving to Denver and back is a day-and-a-half drive there; an evening, night and morning in Denver; and then another day-and-a-half drive back to Austin. So you'd be spending three days cooped up in the car for a single day in Denver. Again, that's under the 'best' of conditions which include no untoward weather, no accidents or slowdowns in the many small towns in Texas you'll need to drive through, no mechanical issues with your own vehicle, and no R&R breaks. That last item is actually critical. You need to bear in mind that with limited stops, the six of you will be forced to endure more 'togetherness' than most families can tolerate. This is not a recipe for a happy holiday.

    In reality, the only way to make this trip with this little time is to fly both ways. And that, unfortunately, is going to be very expensive since the airlines will have you right where they want you, having to fly over a holiday and waiting until the last minute to buy your tickets. But that is the reality of both the drive and fly options. Neither is good, but the fly option at least leaves you a chance of having some time to actually enjoy the reasons for the trip.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    I have to agree with Buck, even with the best of conditions this is going to be a lot of driving. I'm not even sure why you are using Denver as a base when you are spending 3 or 4 hours each day driving back and forth to locations that are only just over 30 minutes apart from each other. If there is no reason for being in Denver then I think the trip would be more fun if you stayed closer to home, perhaps Albuquerque and Santa Fe for example.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I have to agree. Pay through the nose, fly to Denver and rent a car there for your trip to Frisco and Vail. Spend the night in Vail, Frisco, or Dillon/Silverthorne.

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