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  1. Default Driving solo from LA to Columbus, Ohio

    Will be driving solo, leaving around September 10. Need advice please: to map out some options for safe places to stop/stay along the way. My plan is to go via Route 40 to Route 44 at Oklahoma City, Route 70 at St. Louis to Columbus. Open to any and all suggestions! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,114

    Default Not Sure What You're Asking

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First of all, I'm what do you mean by 'safe places to stop'? My experience has been that one roadside motel is pretty much the same as any other in this regard. They all come with dead bolts and secondary latches. So once you're in the room You're as safe as you're going to be. If you're worried about the novel coronavirus, then staying in smaller towns would probably be better than staying in or near large cities that are more likely to be virus hotspots. You can ask at the desk about their between guest cleaning procedures, but if you walk in and the desk clerk is not wearing a mask, just turn around and find another establishment.

    Ultimately, if you're looking for specific suggestions, even as far as possible towns near which to look for lodging, we'd have to know more about your travel style, particularly how many days you plan to take for this drive, how many miles a day you plan to cover, and whether you plan to get an early or late start on Day 1.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Great questions. I should have supplied more details. By 'safe places', I meant hotels/motels along the route that people have stayed in and follow COVID cleaning protocols. Travelmath.com has a breakdown I can call ahead but I thought it would be great to hear referrals. I thought it would take 5 days but I think that's wishful thinking...maybe if I had a companion to drive. I'm an early starter, take time for lunch and go til about 5. Not sure how many miles that would cover. I did this drive in 2014, stayed in Airbnbs which I booked at the last minute...was a great experience but that was Before Times. Thanks for you help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,112

    Default

    That drive is about 2250 miles, which can be done easily in five 450 mile days. If you drive the speed limit, don't encounter significant delays, and make "normal" 15 minute rest and fuel stops, this will have you on the road for about 8 hours a day, not including your lunch stop.

    Breaking it into 5 equal days, overnights should be Flagstaff, Santa Rosa, OKC/Tulsa, and STL. Recommend you stay on the east side of the larger cities to avoid morning rush hour.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,676

    Default

    If you follow GLC's advice about places to stay overnight, I'd take it one further: stay somewhere between OKC and Tulsa, to avoid cities. For STL, stay on the Illinois side - as far away as you can, as STL is a hot spot right now. Maybe Edwardsville or Vandalia?

    Clean motels - well, frankly, my husband and I stayed in a few motels this summer while on our way to see our family. We like the properties under the Choice chain - Quality and Comfort Inn/Suites being our favorites. All of them were super clean, but if you're worried, take some wipes along with you.

    I would be more concerned about two other places - fuel stations and restaurants. For fuel, which you're going to need and cannot avoid, take along a pair of gloves. If those are too cumbersome, then as soon as you finish fueling, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer! (Travel with your own!) For restaurants, you may be able to do a take-out and eat either in your car, a picnic table at a rest area, or in your motel room.

    Rest areas - we found that most of them were "business as usual", and "about the normal" for state of cleanliness. Like always, though, I always prefer a truck stop/travel center, especially Flying J, Love's, Pilot or Petro. Those appear to be the cleanest during the rest of times, and were just as clean this time around.


    Donna

  6. Default

    Thank you! Very helpful :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you for the excellent info. Appreciate it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,112

    Default

    There is almost nothing between OKC and Tulsa, plus it's a toll road with very few exits. There is a Hampton Inn at the Stroud exit, everything else along that stretch are mom and pop places. On the northeast side of OKC, there's a bunch of hotels just south of the I-35/I-44 junction at the NE 122nd St exit. Just east of Tulsa, there's a few hotels at the Claremore exit. The only one right at the exit is a Super 8, the others require a drive through town. Between there and Joplin, there are a few at Vinita and Miami.

    Best selection east of STL is Effingham, if you can make it that far.

  8. #8

    Default

    I will second staying in Effingham, IL, east a little way from St. Louis. The I-70/Rt 33 is a usual coffee and gas stop for me. Take the most direct northern by-pass around St. Louis (I-70-I-270-I-70). I've never had traffic issues this way but it does happen.

    In Santa Rosa, NM, I would highly recommend La Mesa Motel, a very affordable basic Rt 66 motel without all the memorabilia. It has all the basics, is renovated from ground up a half dozen or so years ago, and is one of the cleanest hotel/motel I have ever stayed at.

  9. Default

    Thank you so much...I'll check it out...

  10. Default

    Awesome! Big thanks!

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