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  1. Default Illinois to Las Vegas around Christmas

    Hello everybody,
    My friend and I live in central Illinois and we have decided to go to Las Vegas for Christmas this year. Both of us have parents still alive in Arizona but we decided to hit Las Vegas first. We are in our late forties and in good overall health. We will be leaving Springfield on the 23rd and hope to arrive in Vegas on the 25th. His wife will be coming with us so she will do some of the driving, however I'm not married so it will just be the three of us. We know it will be 1600 to 1700 miles in under two full days. We are not professional drivers of course and are at the mercy of winter storms, but can we pull this off? Or do we add a day and make short sightseeing stops along the way? Thank you for any help!


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

    Default Not wise and counter productive.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You absolutely need to add another day and understand that this won't allow for sight seeing (other than short rest breaks near the Highway) or any bad weather you could possibly encounter. Even using the 'Art of the speed run' tactics adopted using 3 drivers it would be exhausting and you would arrive in Vegas needing a day or 2 to recover so you are better off taking more time and arriving fresh without the stress and discomfort attempting a 2 day drive would bring. I certainly want to be travelling with fatigue through the night on potentially icey roads.

    Keep safe and enjoy the ride !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California

    Default If you traveled....

    ....all day on the 23rd, all day the 24th and all day the 25th, you'd be able to do it, but these are very long days. At about 1700 miles (assuming you'll head to St Louis, down I-44 to I-40), you'd be on the road about 570 miles per day, which equates to about 11 hours on the road. But to get there early on Christmas Day??? Not happening, for the reasons laid out for you above.

    Taking I-70 is also a possibility, but it isn't going to lessen your mileage much -- only about 50 miles less. You could take this if the weather in the Rockies is cooperating, as I-70 gets up to 11,000 ft elevation and it snows up there a lot.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I'm a little confused by your contradictory statements: You mention doing this in "under 2 full days" but also say you want to leave in the 23rd and arrive on the 25th.

    As others have mentioned, getting there in "under 2 full days" is a problem, as this is basically a 3 full day drive. If by that you're thinking, work all day on the 23rd, drive into the night, drive all day the 24th, and arrive early on the 25th, you need to go back to the drawing board. That's too much driving in too little time, with too little rest to be safe - even in perfect weather.

    It would be possible to leave on the 23rd and arrive on the 25th. To do that, you'd have to leave early on the 23rd and plan to arrive fairly late on the 25th. Of course, even there, you're going to need good weather. If you find yourself running into a winter storm storm, then getting there the 25th is going to be a problem. Flexibility is essential when planning winter road trips, so you have time to sit and wait for a storm to pass and let plow crews to do their thing. It's those who make "getting there on time" the priority over concern about winter conditions that are most likely to have problems.

  5. Default Thank you

    Just posted and then realized my phone didn't update after the 3rd and 4th messages on here. Thank you Dave and Donna. Dave I did mess up there... It's supposed to be "under 3 full days" not "under two full days"

    BTW what are some options we have near interstates if we do leave on the 20th pm or early on the 21st?

  6. Default

    You will average 50 to 55 mph, even if you drive over the speed limit!

    I am currently on a mini vacation, 850 miles from my house. The map program stated 12 hours and 38 minutes.

    I won’t say how fast I drive. Suffice it to say few people ever pass me.

    It took me two days to get here: 16 1/2 hours.

    Why the difference?

    Stopping for gas, stopping to get meals at the drive through, heavy traffic in areas, construction areas, accidents, potty stops.

    And this trip there were no rainy weather delays!

    So, as a rule, I plan on averaging 50 mph overall. I usually do better than this, so it’s much more realistic and much less stressful than trying to “ stay on schedule” with the mapping programs.

    So, by my estimate, your trip will take 33 hours over three very long days.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would not leave in the PM - I'd leave at the crack of dawn and be off the road shortly after sunset. Check into a hotel, get some dinner, then relax till bedtime. Keep a "normal" daily schedule so you don't screw up your body clocks.

    Where in central IL?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Depending upon where in Central Illinois you're starting from, presumably you'll have 2 main options. I-55/I-44/I-40 or I-70/I-15.

    Both have plenty of things to do. The I-40 route is the path of old route 66, so there's plenty of attractions connected to the old road around. You'd also have the Grand Canyon just a short drive away. I-70 goes through Denver, the heart of the rockies, and then goes past more than a half dozen National Parks in Colorado and Utah.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ft. Collins, CO.


    My late wife was perfectly happy when we drove from N. Colo to Seattle and back for Christmas several times.

    She refused the idea of driving to visit her parents in Chicago for either Thanksgiving or Christmas due to the icing factors in the upper midwest. She worked as a travelling sales support person for several years there and though she never got into a crash, she knew enough to stay out of the problem.

    You may need several days of flexibility to deal with weather.

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