I've been browsing old posts, and I'm already getting some good tips.
My situation: I'm not planning this trip for the sake of a road trip, I'm actually moving from Tampa to Boise and my family is hitting the road on August 1st. I have some questions for some of the more seasoned highway cruisers here. I thank you for any comments or suggestions in advance.
I have already been playing around with different routes, and from some posts here, I already think I prefer to take I-70 west from Kansas City rather than the shorter route, which is 1-80. I've been told the drive through Colorado is spectacular and the southern Wyoming stretch is mighty boring. I figure Kansas and Nebraska are probably interchangeable. Does that sound about right?
What is a reasonable amount of miles to expect per day? I figure I can take about 7-8 days to get there if we drive leisurely.
A big decision for me is whether or not to tow our second car or not. We have an older V6 4Runner (97) and we also have a Camry. It costs over a thousand dollars to ship the Camry across the country, and the rental hitch is quite a bit cheaper. I have to weigh those savings versus the hassle of towing the car, driving slower, and decreased gas mileage over aproz 2700 miles, some of crossing the Rocky mountains. Has anyone here ever towed a vehicle long distance? Good decision, bad, suggestions? It says on U-Haul that the hitch is not supposed to go over 45 MPH, but I was thinking more like 65 MPH.
I'm also going to be traveling with a child and a baby. (I know, this is sounding less and less like fun as I go on). My current planned route takes I-75 through Atlanta, then I-24/I-57 to St. Louis. I-70 from there all the way to I-15 to Salt Lake and finally I-84 to Boise. Are there any suggestions for any side trips that aren't too far off these major highways that are worthwhile? We're passing through so many cities that it's boggling trying to check all the possibilities. I figure with kids, that breaking up the distance a little with some nice scenery and frequent stops may be the best way to go.
Another question I have is, that once on I-70 in Colorado, there appear to be two cut offs to I-15 that dramatically shorten the distance to Salt Lake City. Route 6 in Utah between Green River and Spanish fork, which looks to be at least 100 miles, and US-50 between Salino and Scipio, which looks closer to 25 miles in length. Over the whole long trip, these are the only times I'm really considering driving a decent distance over a non major Interstate, and I have no idea how twisty or how much change in elevation these routes have. If I'm traveling with my family and towing a car, I don't want to have to wind through sharp mountain roads, and I have not been able to find a lot of information about these two short cuts. If they are true "mountain roads" I may just take the long way around where I-70 actually intersects with I-15, although that looks to add a few hundred miles to an already long trip.
My last question is about accomadations. I'm torn on whether to plan out all the stops and arrange hotels, etc ahead of time, or to just wing it. Planning it out is the safe way to go, and I can budget our money better and figure out the miles I need to go every day. The other scenario gives more flexibility for either traveling through an area quicker or lingering if we find something we want to spend some time with. My nightmare is to be driving with the baby screaming at about 1AM in the middle of nowwhere and not being able to find a place to stay. How do most of you do it?