Happy New Year!
This is my first "official" post, but I'm so happy to have found this website with all of the helpful information everyone shares! Having recently retired, we are nervous/excited to be planning our first "snowbird" roadtrip from Central IL to Tampa in a couple of weeks. I found a helpful prior thread from 2016 on potential routes from Chicago to Sarasota, but I wanted to confirm your thoughts/advice on our potential travel plans.
While driving through Atlanta would be the most direct route, we are nervous about Atlanta traffic and would be traveling through Atlanta on a Thursday. So we are thinking we may be better off going what was called the "Western Route" in the prior thread...I-57 to southern IL; I-24 to Nashville TN; I-65 through Birmingham AL to Montgomery AL; US-231 through Dothan AL to Tallahassee FL; then I-10 to I-75S. Do you recommend that route as the best alternative to going through Atlanta during the work week?
If we do take that route, since this is our first major roadtrip and one person will be doing all of the driving (and it's our first roadtrip with our adopted rescue fur kid who we think will be a good traveler based on a recent 5 hour road trip, but we don't want to push it), we are going to do the trip over 2 1/2 days vs trying to make it in 2 long days. So our potential overnights would be in Franklin TN (approximately 7 hours) the first night and then Dothan or Tallahassee (approximately 6-8 hours) the second night. Good options or do you have other suggestions?
Then on the way home, we would be leaving on a Saturday, so we were thinking about trying to go through Atlanta, which would probably be around 6pm on Saturday night? Are we correct in thinking even though we know you can run into accident delays on any day/time, Atlanta traffic would likely be better on a Saturday? Or would you recommend we take the same route back home we took to Florida and skip Atlanta?
Thanks so much for your help and advice!