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Cross country trip from NJ to Vegas mid June

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by BlueBellThunder, May 10, 2020.

  1. BlueBellThunder

    BlueBellThunder VIP Whale

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    Since even if Vegas opens next month, the airlines will still require a mask to be worn. And I have a credit with Spirit, but they have no flights till at least July 5th. I don’t like to idea of being there when the extreme heat takes over Vegas I’m considering driving from NJ. I will be going solo, since the wife has to work, and doesn’t care to go to Vegas anyway. Since I don’t expect my job to call me back until at the earliest September I have plenty of time. It’s been 30 years since I did a cross country trip. But that wasn’t solo. I did look on Google maps, and driving an extra hundred miles I can return a different route.

    Just looking for pros and cons. Also looking for places of interest to stop along the way. I plan on spending 3/4 days to get there, 6-7 days in Vegas, them 3/4 to get home. I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to take a long road trip again. Because if my job doesn’t call me back by October I’ll have to look elsewhere.

    TIA
     
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  2. Michael Smith

    Michael Smith Low-Roller

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    Seems like an incredibly interesting trip considering the current conditions.
     
    Saratoga and Del Mar, baby!
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  3. BlueBellThunder

    BlueBellThunder VIP Whale

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    I’m hoping things improve in the next 5-6 weeks. If things are still the same, I’ll wait till fall.
     
  4. RushAndRoulette

    RushAndRoulette Low-Roller

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    I have driven across country from NJ to San Francisco, stopping, of course, in Las Vegas. Mapping the quickest route is not necessarily the most fun route. Have some fun along the way. Stop at local restaurants and mom and pops that make visiting the places worth the ride. I would add more days to each end of the trip and enjoy getting off the interstates and take the "roads less travelled". You will have plenty of hours cruising straight lines to make up time, but after my trip I lamented treating the trip like the "amazing race" where I blew through states and avoided stopping to "save time". You will eventually get there, and Las Vegas will be Las Vegas, but I bet there is at least one or two people here who can recommend some really cool stuff to experience along the way in their home states, that would make your trek seem less like a timed Cannonball Run, and more of the time in your car being part of the vacation. Who knows when you will have this block of time ever again? Make the most of it, slow down, stretch it out, and smell the roses.

    The point of a journey is not to arrive.
     
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  5. thegov2k2

    thegov2k2 High-Roller

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    2 years ago we went from NJ to Iowa, down to Texas, over to Kentucky, and back home, with lots of stops along the way. If there's one place I want to go back to, it's Kansas City. I have to have the BBQ again. We hit Q39 and Joe's, and if I get back there, I have to have both. They were that fucking good.
     
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  6. eksantirik

    eksantirik High-Roller

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    Well, I love road trips. So, the longer, the merrier. And you will feel as the excitement builds up towards Vegas, the trip will get more fun.

    You could head towards Chicago, and then take the whole Route 66 (if interested, all the way to Santa Monica). That would be a nice bucket list trip.

    Or, you can head towards west either way you want. Then around Utah and Arizona, you can hit lots of parks (assuming they are open). You can pick among Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce, Zion, Fire Valley.

    If time permits, add CA side too with Death Valley, Yosemite, Sequoia, Mammoth Lakes, Bodie.

    On the way back, you can do a nice Nevada tour (going through the lonely roads, heading to other gambling towns such as Reno, Wendover, Ely, Jean etc.). As an alternative, on the way back from Vegas, you can head south towards NM as well. If you are a Breaking Bad and Saul fan, hitting the filming locations around Albuquerque is great (just did it in October!). Then you can head back via Memphis, Nashville.
     
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  7. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty Doing retirement again and happily so....

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    We are planning a trip from just nw of austin to Tucson for a 3 nighter with friends and then on to vegas for a 2- nighter. Since it is “we” I won’t be solo and we plan to drive through each segment without overnighting. (the article Sonya quoted about hotel procedures between guest stays was sobering.....deep cleaning to include steam cleaning the carpet.....not sure holiday inn express is so equipped).
    Good luck on your trip!!
     
    Hopefully, finally !!!
  8. BlueBellThunder

    BlueBellThunder VIP Whale

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    I’m hoping things get better next month. I plan to go mid June, but if things aren’t better I’ll wait.
     
  9. Coppertop Tester

    Coppertop Tester Tourist

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    Well, Gallup, NM, was closed to through traffic for a while, but they just re-opened yesterday, so you can get your kicks on Route 66 again. :)

    https://www.krqe.com/health/coronavirus-new-mexico/city-of-gallup-no-longer-under-lockdown/
     
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  10. SMG

    SMG High-Roller

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    I haven't driven to/from Vegas (yet), but it's one of the road trips that's on my "to do" list. Since I bought a new SUV last year, I was planning a long road trip from Chicago to the west coast (including a stop in Vegas) for this summer, but it's on hold for now. I'm retired, so I have plenty of time to travel without having to stick to any schedule.

    I also have a couple of friends who hate flying and they often drive from Chicago/Wisconsin to Vegas a few times each year, but they take the most direct routes to save time. They also travel solo and driving those distances doesn't seem to bother them. LOL
     
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  11. BlueBellThunder

    BlueBellThunder VIP Whale

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    I booked a room at Paris for June 17th through 23rd. Since I can cancel last minute there’s no risk involved. Just costing me $50 a night for Friday and Saturday the other nights comped, plus of course resort fee. All in $365, so that’s a great deal for this low roller. So as of now I plan to leave Sunday the 14th. That gives me 4 days to get there. I think that’s plenty of time to only drive during the day, stop and see some sights along the way, and be checked into a room by 8/9pm. I always get up early anyway so I’ll be on the road by around 6am. I really hope this trip happens. The only thing that will stop it is if things don’t get better.
     
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  12. Mudhen

    Mudhen High-Roller

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    A road trip sounds like fun, but, it doesn't seem like there will be much time to see anything along the way. At 600+ miles/day, that could easily be 10 hours of driving, and that's assuming it's smooth sailing all the way (no traffic jams, road construction, etc). That's a long day, even without any stops for sightseeing.

    34 years ago, I drove solo from Oak Harbor, WA, to Key West, FL, in 5 days. All I saw was highway. Didn't feel like there was time to stop and smell the roses. I was pooped at the end of each day. I can't imagine doing that now.

    Have fun, and hopefully you are younger than I am. :D
     
  13. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Road trips are awesome and the longer the better, IMO. However, at this time, you need to do a little extra research. I don't know much about the states that you are traveling through, but some communities and states do have travel restrictions. I would also carefully plan your hotel stops to be sure they have availability. Many chains are creating intense cleaning procedures, including leaving a room vacant for 24 hours between guests. I would look into guidelines for each state/city, as some may not have restaurant dining available.

    Covid aside, general road trip suggestions - Get off the interstate!!! Take secondary roads to better discover interesting places. Slow down! If you're not time limited stay and extra night in an interesting area to give yourself a break from the road and a chance to explore. I try to do 400 miles a day or less on a road trip. Not always possible, but I'm a much happier traveler if I'm not grinding away the miles 10+ hours a day. Plus, I like to stop frequently to get out and walk around.

    Sounds like a fun solo trip, but expecting anything resembling normalcy in the next month or two seems overly optimistic to me.
     
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  14. BlueBellThunder

    BlueBellThunder VIP Whale

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    I’m 51 so I’m no spring chicken lol. If I take in sights it won’t be very long, but enough time to soak it in. I plan on getting on the road every day around 6, and drive to 8/9 pm. So that gives me about 4 hours to sightsee. I plan on having a light breakfast each day, heavier lunch, them light dinner. Dinner will probably be at or near whatever hotel I stop at. I’m just going to wing it. There’s a couple of hotel apps I use that track your location and give good last minute deals. As long as I can find a Holiday Inn Express type of hotel it’s all good. When I did the road trips 30 years ago with my brothers we stayed at some pretty crappy places, but we were young and didn’t have much money.
     
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  15. BlueBellThunder

    BlueBellThunder VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the tips. It doesn’t make sense to do any research right now, as things will hopefully change in the next few weeks. I’m going to wait till a week before I plan to go. It if seems like it will be rough finding hotels, or some states want to close the interstates to out of state drivers, I’ll cancel. I do plan on stopping wherever I see something interesting, and I plan on taking RT66 part of the way home.
     
  16. FullPay

    FullPay When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

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    When my friend moved to Vegas he spent six days driving from Kentucky. I flew out to meet him. He must have had two dozen dollar chips, one each from every casino he stopped in along the way.
     
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  17. BlueBellThunder

    BlueBellThunder VIP Whale

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    So I have Paris booked for June 17-23rd. I also booked Paris for July 22-28th. If I decide June is too soon, the hell with the heat, I’ll do July. Hopefully that extra month and things aren’t as bad as far as restaurant choices, attractions etc. I know everything won’t be open, and masks may have to be worn, as long as it’s outdoors, I’ll deal with it.
     
  18. subafrk

    subafrk Longing to be sipping a Scotch at the Cromwell...

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    I used to drive a ton for work with several FL to SoCal trips a year. My longest was RI to SoCal, it was def an experience. Being that mine were mainly work trips, I never really got to explore the back roads and that's something I kind of regret. I'd say if you are the least bit nervous about it, maybe rent a car. That way if it is absolutely terrible, you can always leave the car there and catch a (possibly very expensive) flight home. If you have the time available, I'm all about enjoying the drive.
     
    Hoping it's open
    Hoping it's open
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  19. unomas

    unomas Low-Roller

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    My advice would be since you driving alone, you recognize when you had enough for the day and stop regardless of your plans. Also, find a couple good audio books to help with the time. When we drove cross county we loved a book written by Jon Krakauer "Into the wild" (Sean Penn made it into a movie, but the movie was terrible in my opinion) If your are into Harry Potter the audio books were really good and lastly a book written by Bill Bryson "A walk in the woods" Have fun!!
     
  20. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    This is a good tip. I also enjoy true crime and series podcasts on road trips. Mostly because I rarely have time for them at home. ;)