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  1. Default Road trip from NYC to Charlotte, NC

    I’m planning a trip with four friends to North Carolina from NYC on June for a soccer game on the 23rd, we plan on leaving on Saturday June 22nd at around 7:00am so we can arrive anytime before Sunday to be well rested for the soccer game and come back on the same night after the game ends. Is it realistic to try and make this trip with only one driver and making no more than three stops round trip?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default No. It's not safe.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I have no first hand experience of this route but it's a heavily congested area and I would reckon you could be looking at up to a 13 hour journey. (I will leave it to others to comment on this) So 5 of you sharing a vehicle on the way there would likely be very testing on friendships, but then to go watch a match on Sunday and expect to drive back overnight is really suicidal or even homicidal as the driver would be responsible for the life of the others and those that share the road with him. Each drive is probably too far for a single day of driving but at the very least you need to arrive Saturday and get a good nights sleep in a proper bed and then do the same Sunday night before returning home. Ideally you could do with setting off Friday evening for a few hours and then continue Saturday, spend 2 nights in Charlotte (or drive for 3 hours after the game towards home) and finish the trip off on Monday.

  3. Default

    Thanks we are now condsidering just spending the night in NC after the game and then head back to NYC Monday morning

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would still not try to drive from NYC to Charlotte, or back, in one day.

    Leave Friday afternoon and get in a few hours, spend the night, then finish Saturday. Leave after the game Sunday, get in a few hours, then finish Monday. It's over 600 miles on very congested highways, too much for one day safely.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not the Point

    What Dave told you is that it is unsafe to make the drive from Charlotte to NYC in one sitting. No matter how well rested you are to start nor whether you get sleep to 'catch up' afterwards. If you were a professional long-haul driver with 20 years experience, that one-way drive would be illegal because of how unsafe it was and you would lose your license for attempting it. What Dave actually suggested makes far more sense than your current plan. Assuming that the soccer match is sometime during the day on Sunday, what you should do is leave early Saturday as you originally suggested and drive most of the way down, 500-550 miles. Drive the rest of the way on Sunday morning, attend the game, and get a start, 100 or so miles, on the drive back. Then on Monday make the rest of the drive home.

    What that would look like specifically is: Leave NYC on I-78 west into Pennsylvania and pick up I-81 south. Taking this route rather than the NJ Tpk and I-95 will save you money and be a much more pleasant and less energy-draining drive. You'll probably save the 45 minutes or so of extra mileage just in stops to pay tolls and traffic snarls through Baltimore, Washington and Richmond. Plan on spending both Saturday and Sunday nights somewhere around the junction of I-81 and I-77 (Fort Chiswell, VA). That would put you about 2-2˝ hours out of Charlotte. On Sunday drive into Charlotte for the game and return to the Fort Chiswell area. This also means you can stay in the same place for your two overnight stops, saving a bit of shopping. Then on Monday make the drive back to NYC.


  6. Default

    Thanks for your reply I think this is what we will do it makes all the sense this would be my first time making a trip this long so I was looking for advice from more expirienced road trippers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Fort Chiswell doesn't have many hotels or motels, but if you take I-81 south just a few more miles, there are plenty of reasonably priced ones in Wytheville. If you take I-77 south instead, there are several hotels in Hillsville at the US-58 exit.

  8. #8


    Definitely avoid I-95 if at all possible. Along with the “normal” horrible congestion around DC in the summer you will also have additional traffic all the way down to Richmond on the weekends, especially Saturdays as many people head out for coastal beach vacations.

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