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Old 12-19-2009, 11:35 AM
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,445,409 times
Reputation: 1927


I think my limit is somewhere around 800 miles in a day. 500 to 600 is not unusual for me, if I have somewhere I would like to be. I've even been known to drive over 300 miles to attend an event, then make the return trip on the same day.

The advice that has been given so far, sounds very reasonable to me. Like the others have said, you can save on food and lodging expenses by making the drive in one day. Take regular breaks from driving, by stopping somewhere to get out and walk around for a few minutes. A good guide for doing this is when you stop to eat, buy gas, or use the restroom. Be careful, though, when you stop to eat. Don't have a large meal, because that could make you drowsy while your body is trying to digest it. I usually start my long travel days with a decent breakfast, which will last me until early afternoon, sometimes even until I reach my destination.
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:38 AM
Location: Wyoming
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I've made many road trips of 1200-1400 miles in a day with only 5-10 minute rest stops every few hours. My ex-gf lived 850 miles from me, and I'd usually leave in the afternoon and make it in 12 hours. I did that about every other weekend for a couple years. That was when I was in my early 50s. I'm now in my 60s and prefer to keep the trips shorter, but in good weather, 480 miles should be a piece of cake.

If you get too tired, pull off the road and rest your eyes for a few minutes. (Once when I did this I woke up several hours later and was late to a wedding, but somehow I doubt your wife will let that happen!)

200-300 mile driving days are great if you've got plenty of time and no particular place to be. It's what retired "full-timer" RVers do, and I've done it a couple times while on extended camping vacations, but there's no reason that a healthy person can't drive a car 500 miles per day, provided the weather is okay.

I like to take a few snacks to chomp on if I start getting tired. Don't overdo it, but some nuts, trailmix, etc. can help keep your energy up and your eyes open. And of course, coffee or a Coke.
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:39 AM
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Sure, driving 480 miles is doable over the holidays. We used to do it every year prior to Southwest Airlines and the era of cheaper flights. But don't pretend that it is easy.

All my relatives are in Ohio so I am familiar with the various freeways around Columbus. The REAL issue that you are going to encounter is weather. Your time frame is correct IF the weather cooperates.

I don't know where you are coming from. However, the area around Columbus is known for some wicked ice storms at times and some snow. If you encounter that, added with the holiday traffic, the drive may be a lot closer to 14 hours than ten.

What we generally do is leave after work and drive about five hours and Priceline a room in Indianapolis for $30-35 and start fresh in the morning. That breaks up the drive and keeps us both a lot fresher.

One more thing about driving on Christmas Eve (as well as Christmas Day). After 5 pm or so EVERYTHING closes, including fast food joints and Starbucks and the like, places where you could stop for coffee and the like.
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:21 PM
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Stranded and Lonely, assuming you're coming from a location near the one in your profile, it would be an easy, one day trip. Breezewood, PA, on I-70 (Is the PA Turnpike in PA) has lots of motels and restaurants if you feel you can't make it (or the weather is bad) and it's roughly half way to Columbus. Have a good trip!
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:25 PM
Location: Houston, TX
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You should be able to knock it out in a day, if your young. Just take snacks for the car, not a lot of drinks. Stop and walk (and fill the tank) or use the restroom every three hours. Should take about 8 hours total. Ive done Houston to Minneapolis several times, after 12-14 hours I pull over and cat nap for an hour or so.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:58 PM
Location: Eastern NC
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480 miles is nothing unless the weather is real bad. I have driven 15 hours before. That was a long trip.
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:45 PM
Location: Bourbonnais, IL
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Like most have said it is entirely possible. I made the drive from Fort Collins, Colorado to Oklahoma City, a total of 730 miles. I decided to wait until about 9am mountain time to leave to avoid the I-25 traffic into Denver. I only stopped twice along the way and that was to put gas in the tank. Well, aside from grabbing a Starbucks on the way out of town. Combined the first gas stop with a drive thru stop and that was it. Maybe spent 15 minutes stopped total and if I recall I made it home in just over 10 hours. Made it home about 8pm central time. Of course I am 19 and was driving by myself so take that into consideration.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:17 PM
Location: On the brink of WWIII
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I generally make the drive from Raleigh NC to Detroit MI straight through..about 790 miles.

I usually leave around 4 in the morning and arrive by 6 or 7 in the evening.

Last two trips I stopped just before Charleston WV going south for the night...and around New Philadelphia OH going north.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:10 AM
Location: Metro Atlanta & Savannah, GA - Corpus Christi, TX
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As it has been said, you can definitely make that trip in a day!

The longest trip I've done by myself was from Savannah, GA to Flagstaff, AZ in about 26.5 hours, not including 2 hours of rest just outside Fort Smith, AR and an hour to visit with relatives in Hoover, AL. The other stops were for gas and food (I combined those to save time) THAT was a LONG trip. ..... (BTW, I do NOT recommend driving for distances this long without stopping! I still don't know how I did that)

I usually make the drive from Savannah to Buffalo, NY once a year in late february or early march and go through the WV mountains, mostly at night. The last time I made that trip, I ran into a snowstorm from Fancy Gap, VA to just south of Erie, PA. The worst was driving the Mountaineer Highway (WV is terrible about plowing their roads!) but somehow I still made it. Took me 14 hours.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:29 AM
Location: 96820
795 posts, read 2,081,565 times
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Talking driving Mr. C.

Originally Posted by Stranded and Lonely View Post

Would you drive the ten hours on Christmas Eve and then stay for three nights and do the ten hour drive back four days later, or is that too much hassle? What would you do?
2,258. miles in 46 hours - one way...
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