Roadrtip Long Island to NWA tips?
May 28, 2020 6:36 AM   Subscribe

Route tips for a crowded family car on a 1300mile trip?

My family, consisting of two adults, a seven year old, a dog, and a cat are about to pile into our little sedan to drive from Long Island, Ny to Rogers, AR. about a 1300mile trip. With NY plates, partially through the south. It's gonna be a thing. Any brilliant tips on route choices? Hotels? Airbnb? Good roads/bad roads? We're thinking three days of seven hours each, but that might turn into four days of six hours each, who really knows?
posted by Shutter to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
Don’t speed in Missouri, if you take 78-76-70-44.

Book your hotels ahead of time, so you will know if they’re open or not. Gas stations, etc, are open, as are pretty much all the drive-thrus.

40 in eastern Arkansas can get congested, as it combines the Texas-bound I-30 traffic with the Oklahoma-bound I-40 traffic, but it’s not as bad as it has been in the past.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:54 AM on May 28, 2020

I am a NYer who has driven extensively in the south including Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama Louisiana and Texas. I have NY plates on the car. I was in NC last month visiting my son. Having NY plates is not a thing. If anything it is a plus. People just assume you are an aggressive driver and let you go/be.

Every chain hotel I have stayed in being an out of stater was expected and not an issue. As for route, I am not sure about the whole way, but if it works, I would get away from 95 as soon as possible. I would look to go through Pennsylvania and take 81 south.
posted by AugustWest at 7:57 AM on May 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

You can avoid PA Turnpike tolls (which are something like $50 for the whole length!) by taking I-80 across Pennsylvania.

40 in eastern Arkansas can get congested, as it combines the Texas-bound I-30 traffic with the Oklahoma-bound I-40 traffic, but it’s not as bad as it has been in the past.

I've driven this bit of I-40 (Memphis to Little Rock) maybe ten times, at random days of week and times of day. I don't think I've ever hit what someone familiar with New York City would call "congestion". It does seem to be mostly trucks, and an exceptionally boring stretch of road.

(That being said, this is probably irrelevant unless the OP has some stops in mind they haven't mentioned.)
posted by madcaptenor at 8:35 AM on May 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

The scenery on a route via I-81 (Virginia & Tennessee) is much more varied & visually interesting than the scenery on a route via I-70 (Ohio, Indiana, & Illinois). It appears to add about 2 hours of driving time, but it might be worth it.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:53 AM on May 28, 2020

Also, be sure the hotels know that you will have pets. Not all hotels will allow pets in their rooms, or they may charge you extra.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:55 AM on May 28, 2020

the NY plates is not really a thing. what route are you planning on taking that goes through part of the south? My only advice is that if you decide to get off of major highways and take the backroads coming in through arkansas or missouri, realize they are super curvy in a lot of places. it can be beautiful but slow you down alot.
posted by domino at 11:56 AM on May 28, 2020

I would not play this by ear in terms of how long your days are right now. I would try to book ahead pet-friendly hotel rooms and find places that specifically tell you what they are doing in terms of health and safety. It can be hard to find pet-friendly hotels. A stand-alone AirBnb (not a room in someone's house) or a motel with exterior room doors seems best.

Bring a bunch of food not just for snacking but also so you're not super dependent on restaurants or shopping along the way--so bring food you don't mind serving as meal replacements.

Exercise the dog whenever there is a good place to do so and assume you won't see more options for a while.
posted by bluedaisy at 4:16 PM on May 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I would pre-book at La Quinta hotels. All of them allow pets, they are extremely clean, and the breafast is quite good, though I'm not sure if they're offering it at the moment.
posted by ananci at 12:49 PM on May 29, 2020

Success! Pre-booked pet friendly hotels, one in Washington, PA, one in Effingham, IL. Trip was a breeze. Crowded car...super crowded. And it was weird to play the "will we get yelled at for wearing or for not wearing our masks here?" game.

Thanks folks! Now...what do I do with this big ass house in the forest with two duffel bags of stuff for a week while we await our pod...
posted by Shutter at 7:44 PM on May 31, 2020

La Quinta is exactly what we used the second night, great room! Breakfast wasn't much, given the apocalypse and all, but great room.
posted by Shutter at 7:44 PM on May 31, 2020

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