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Old 07-13-2015, 12:56 PM
Location: Minneapolis
1 posts, read 1,572 times
Reputation: 10


How long will it take me to drive from Minneapolis MN to Tucson AZ. My plans are to drive a lone,
from 5am- 5pm daily. 12 hours a day or 8 hours a day. I cannot do the night thing (driving) alone. Also I will be using my Smart Phone as GPS, I cannot drive and read at the same time. Well I been offered a job in Tucson and which will put me back closer to my family. No friends or family in Minnesota. My goal is to move back as close as I can to my children. I been away from them to long.I missed all the fun time of my grandchildren grown up.

Please advise, I need some help , I am building up my nervous for this trip. Only honest opinion please. I am leaving one job for another. Thank you.

Last edited by bigmac7; 07-13-2015 at 12:58 PM.. Reason: add more detail
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:12 PM
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
5,232 posts, read 8,395,972 times
Reputation: 7186
Per Google Maps, looks like an all-Interstate route runs about 26 hours of driving. I would try to make it a 3 day, 2 nights trip.

see https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Minn...32.2217429!3e0
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:48 PM
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,055 posts, read 6,013,861 times
Reputation: 9437
OP, it doesn't sound like you're used to doing long trips on your own. You might want to see if there is a friend or relative who can go along with you and split the driving. It might be worth paying his or her planefare to MN to drive with you back to AZ.

If not, keep in mind: driving is very boring, and a bored driver is a dangerous driver, so your idea of driving many hours each day isn't safe. You might limit yourself to 6 - 7 hours per day, with a 20 minute rest break every two hours. For you, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm or so may be a safer time period.

Also, you might look into audio books, unless those would distract you too much. I borrowed the audio version of "Game of Thrones" free from the library (CDs) and listened to that on my last trip to Ohio, which is about a 10-hour drive from here (20 hours round trip). It beat the junk on the radio and kept my mind from wandering too far. You can buy audio books online and in book stores.

Before you go, have your car checked out by a mechanic you trust, and either join AAA or have some other sort of road service in place, if you don't know a lot of people along your route. Think through ahead of time what you will do if your car has an unexpected break down. I always carry extra water and snacks, as well as a charged cell phone with me. There are cheap no-contract phones at the Dollar Store or Walmart that will work, too.

I like your idea about not driving at night. I generally reserve my motels in advance, and I frequently quit driving for the day around 7 pm in the summer and go to dinner. I beat the dinner crowd at that point. Then I go to my room, stretch, use the exercise room if available, watch a little TV, and go to bed.

Be very careful about where you take breaks, stop for gas, etc. I'm an older female, so I don't stop anywhere where there aren't a lot of families around, which means avoiding some of the rest areas. I like crowded truck stops better. I also pack a cooler and generally eat breakfast and lunch on the road.

Good luck! Keep us updated.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:36 AM
Location: Arizona
143 posts, read 196,813 times
Reputation: 212
We moved 2 years ago from Minneapolis to Phoenix. I'm not sure where you're coming from in Minnesota but it took us 3 days. My husband and I drove separate vehicles and essentially convoyed. Day 1 we stopped in Kearney, Nebraska. Day 2 we stopped in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Day 3 we made it to Phoenix. We closed on our house 2 days after we got to Phoenix. I hate driving through the Denver/Colorado Springs region so we routed our trip through eastern Colorado through Limon, Colorado. I can't remember the state highway numbers but it catches back up with I-25 on the south side of Colorado Springs.

I was driving a 2001 Jeep Wrangler which is not the easiest ride on long road trips but we made it in 3 days without a problem. Map your route out and have a good idea of where you want to stop every night but keep in mind that weather can be a huge factor. Don't push it too hard and don't stress out if you need to stop to avoid a storm. Give yourself 4 days to get there just in case you run into issues.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:17 AM
2,286 posts, read 1,510,388 times
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I'd go the route through Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, NM, and AZ. The first part is probably boring, but the drive through southern CO and NM is wonderful (I just did the drive from CO to Tucson this summer). About 1700 miles, you could do it in 3 days. Stretch it to 4-5 if you're uncomfortable or inexperienced. I wouldn't drive 12 hours a day. 12 hours a day could be fine if you include time for stops, meals, etc. But 12 hours + stops is too much unless you absolutely have to do that.

I don't think driving is boring, although it will be for the first part of your trip. Bring some good music.

Also, avoiding CO Springs isn't a bad idea. I've never seen a city with so many potholes. Couple that with the mountain roads, and it's pretty awful. But once you get past COS on 25 south, the drive is quite nice.

Make sure you don't get too low on gas. Out west, there can be some long stretches without gas stations. And bring plenty of water and some snacks to keep in the car.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:49 PM
Location: South Louisiana
467 posts, read 394,633 times
Reputation: 1073
When my wife and I take a trip we stop at visitor info. centers along the interstate and in cities for restrooms and to stretch our legs. We stop about every 2 - 3 hours. Always safe and clean restrooms. As for gas, on a long trip, when my gauge reads 1/2 tank, I start looking for a station. The main thing when you are alone on a trip, always be aware of your surroundings weather filling your car with gas or walking into a store. Daydreaming is free but can be dangerous at times. Good luck on your trip.
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