Seattle to Raleigh - PLEASE HELP

Old Apr 22nd, 2020, 10:09 AM
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Yes. We understand your plan to drive 500 to 600 miles a day.

There's nothing wrong with that. Stay with that plan if that is what works for you.

Under normal circumstances, I try to limit myself to an AVERAGE of 500 miles a day or 8 hours a day for several days of driving. I can drive 10 hours a day with no problem. Several hours of 10 hours a day is "too much" for me. That's my personal experience.

What is different TODAY is that once you get to where you are going for the evening, there's really nothing else you can do. If you drive 8 hours a day and leave, let's say at 8 am, stop for 30 minutes for a drive-thru for lunch or a bathroom break at a gas station, you are going to get to your hotel at about 4 or 5pm. What then? No restaurants are open. No movie theaters are open. No tourist attractions are open. You'll be in the hotel from from about 5pm that afternoon to about 8 am the next morning. You'll be spending about 15 hours in a hotel room. That's about 2x your drive time.

If you find a hotel at that mileage mark that works for you, with decent reviews, that's great. That's fits your mileage plan and you have a decent room to spend the next 15 hours in.

MY personal choice (and I keep trying to emphasize I am sharing what works for ME), is to stop about 60 miles before the "magic mileage mark" and spend those hotel hours in a more decent (if not nicer) hotel and then "make up" the mileage the next day. It is also your last day on the road.

IME, there's nothing wrong with having a shorter drive day especially after several days of driving cross-country. Unfortunately, there's not a lot you can DO locally with that "extra" hour, but it's one less hour in a moving car. After four days of driving, that's not a bad thing.

Now it's time for you to weigh the factors and see what works for you. Not what works for me. Not what works for Gretchen. Not what works for any other random poster on an internet travel forum. Do the research. Compare the reviews of the hotels you are considering and the distance to/from your starting/ending points. Pick the best combination of factors that work from you.

I am doing a similar road trip. Starting at a location not far from Asheville. Not going quite as far as your starting point. I'm making the same trip (for the most part) in reverse. I've shared what works for me. Gather the information that has been shared, do some research on hotel ratings and find what works best for YOU. My return will be completely different because I'm stopping at different points on the way home. But my drive OUT is basically your return trip back. What works for me may or may not work for you. Safe travels!

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Old Apr 22nd, 2020, 12:54 PM
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I understand, Starrs. I am just really stressed. I decided to stay with the plan because the hotel you suggested was unavailable for my travel date. weird. The last stop was the hardest to figure out because I don't really care for that stop but I will make the best of it. I am trying to pack and get everything done fast. This was an unexpected change in plans.

Thanks, everyone!

I am open to alternative hotel locations than Mt Vernon or other towns. I can cancel the Days Inn. I don't think Paducah would be good. DO you?

I could do a LaQuinta in Paducah. That would be 600 miles from COuncil Bluffs, IA to Paducah, KY. Is that an easy drive?

Last edited by Annadeg; Apr 22nd, 2020 at 01:18 PM.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2020, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Annadeg
I am open to alternative hotel locations than Mt Vernon or other towns. I can cancel the Days Inn. I don't think Paducah would be good. DO you?

I could do a LaQuinta in Paducah. That would be 600 miles from COuncil Bluffs, IA to Paducah, KY. Is that an easy drive?
What are your concerns about Paducah? "I don't think Paducah would be good" . Why not? What reason do you have not to stay in Paducah?

ALL of this in interstate driving and ALL Of it is "an easy drive". That's the beauty of the interstate highway system. When you cross the Rocky or Appalachian mountains, you'll have some hilly terrain, but the drive is still "easy". If a winter storm blows in, that's not good but it's very late in the season for winter storms, and that would impact the first part of your drive, not the southeastern US. The last week of April should not provide any weather challenges for your trip.

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Old Apr 22nd, 2020, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by starrs
What are your concerns about Paducah? "I don't think Paducah would be good" . Why not? What reason do you have not to stay in Paducah?

ALL of this in interstate driving and ALL Of it is "an easy drive". That's the beauty of the interstate highway system. When you cross the Rocky or Appalachian mountains, you'll have some hilly terrain, but the drive is still "easy". If a winter storm blows in, that's not good but it's very late in the season for winter storms, and that would impact the first part of your drive, not the southeastern US. The last week of April should not provide any weather challenges for your trip.
I heard Paducah has a very high crime rate,

Do you think it is a better alternative to mt Vernon? It is more expensive, too.

How long do you think the drive will take from Council Bluffs to Paduck (~600 miles)?


Last edited by Annadeg; Apr 22nd, 2020 at 03:52 PM.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2020, 05:35 PM
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Where did you hear that?
What do the reviews for the two hotel options look like? Decide using that.
Use Google Maps to get the drive time.

Edited to add - I'm bowing out of this thread. There are countless options to choose from. I've offered what I would do. Good luck finding the combination that works for you.

Last edited by starrs; Apr 22nd, 2020 at 05:38 PM.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 03:03 AM
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I don't understand all the angst either. And if you want to stay at a different hotel in the same town then do it . Just make the decision.
We have ALL been telling you that interstate driving is EASY and there are countless places to stay along the way, some more than others.
NOw you bring in crime rates and expensiive. When you make reservations ahead you will pay more probably. You could still look on booking.com for that particular hotel and see what their rate is.

At some point in your trip you will encounter time changes also. You'll lose hours coming east. Just keep track of that when guaranteeing a check in time.

I will also say again--the driving on a trip like this is easy but you have to keep pressing on to make your destination, You should be able to average 60mph which makes your driving day 10 hours even with stops. PLEASE download google maps and WAZE to your smartphone and learn to use it. Have a charging cord in the car.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 03:31 AM
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I'm sorry, I did not mean to offend either one of you. It is a very stressful time for me. I am young. Safety is a concern because we are traveling with a packed SUV. I am familiar with the East Coast l-95 traffic, that is why I asked about ease of travel.

I am not overly focused on cost, but it is a concern. All of the hotels have pets fees. Two of the LQ hotels have $20 pet fees. The Paducah LQ also has a $20 pet fee. (Reasonable fees, but not free)

Last edited by Annadeg; Apr 23rd, 2020 at 04:25 AM.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Annadeg
I'm sorry, I did not mean to offend either one of you. It is a very stressful time for me. I am young. Safety is a concern because we are traveling with a packed SUV. I am familiar with the East Coast l-95 traffic, that is why I asked about ease of travel.

I am not overly focused on cost, but it is a concern. All of the hotels have pets fees. Two of the LQ hotels have $20 pet fees. The Paducah LQ also has a $20 pet fee. (Reasonable fees, but not free)
It just doesn't make sense. One more time = READ THE REVIEWS and use those to judge how that particular hotel will feel to you. The interstate is "safe". I don't know of any town to warn you against. I'm up and down the eastern seaboard every week of the year and stay in a Hilton (usually at a Hampton Inn), an IHG (usuallly a Holdiay Inn Express) or a LQ if traveling with a pet. I glance at the reviews, mostly at the stars, to see if there's anything "off" for that particular property. Unlike Gretchen, I've never stayed at a "nasty" LQ. I started traveling for business decades ago, and way back then used AAA guidebooks for recommendations and now mostly use TA reviews. I don't stay in hotels that don't have a majority of excellent to very good ratings. Good value can be found at every price point. You are planning less than 5 stops and you have spent HOURS on this. It is NOT that difficult. If we (Gretchen or I or anyone else) keeps vetting hotels for you, you won't be gaining the skill set you need to be confident in your choices. It appears that you are waiting for someone else to tell you exactly where to stay - not only city but specific hotel. It's fine if this is new to you but the only way for you to gain confidence in yourself, you are going to have to DO it yourself. There is absolutely no reason to avoid a hotel in Paducah, KY. If there WERE a town along your route that we should have warned you against, we would have warned you.

1) Use Google Maps to determine drive times along your route.
2) Use reviews to determine which hotels sound best in the towns YOU decide to stop at.
3) That combination will help you plan a safe trip.

I've shared MY specific stops but you've dismissed those. Why would I spend more time vetting hotels for you in random towns you choose along your route.
Use my suggestion of pre-booking LQs along the way, or Gretchen's suggestion of using booking.com or ANY other method you decide works for you.

Your route is safe. 600 miles a day over several days is aggressive - and IMO unwise.
Gretchen makes a good point about paying attention to time changes.

This may sound mean, but your "wishy-washy" approach to this on two threads over the past months is concerning. If you are a nurse, I think I'd be dead on the table if you find decisions this difficult. It's not a hard drive. It's an easy drive. It's not an unafe drive. It's a safe drive. You may be "young" but I planned cross-country trips at 20 long before the internet. Use the resources at your disposal and plan your trip and stops and build your confidence along the way. If someone is fillling your head with negative self-talk, it's time to turn the channel and stop listening to them.

$20 is dirt cheap for pet fees. Most hotel chains start at $50 and go up to $100.
You'lll save that $20 per night in gas savings.

Other than picking specific hotels for you in towns as you continue to change your stops, there's nothing we can do to help you. Use the resources and pick hotels with decent reviews. It's not rocket science or brain surgery.

Edited to add - I would not stay at a Days Inn or a Super 8 hotel. Personally, I would not. I would not feel safe at them. I stayed at a Days Inn about 20 years ago and they asked for a deposit for extra towels. I also do not stay at Motel 6s or Red Roof Inns, although a lot of Fodorites do. I know members of the Day family, but the family sold the chain decades ago. Choose a LQ (and pay a $20 pet fee if needed) or a Holiday Inn Express or a Hampton Inn (and pay higher pet fees if they allow pets) and be safe. If I were picking hotels for you, those are the three I'd choose for you or any family member.

Your route is VERY different from the I-95 NE corridor. You'll see how different once you are on the road. Keep the gas tank full. Keep munchies and water in the car. Join AAA if you are not already a member and call them if you have car problems along the way. Choose your hotels, pre-book and enjoy the ride. Cross country trips are FUN! Long and tiring but fun.

Last edited by starrs; Apr 23rd, 2020 at 06:16 AM.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by starrs
It just doesn't make sense. One more time = READ THE REVIEWS and use those to judge how that particular hotel will feel to you. The interstate is "safe". I don't know of any town to warn you against. I'm up and down the eastern seaboard every week of the year and stay in a Hilton (usually at a Hampton Inn), an IHG (usuallly a Holdiay Inn Express) or a LQ if traveling with a pet. I glance at the reviews, mostly at the stars, to see if there's anything "off" for that particular property. Unlike Gretchen, I've never stayed at a "nasty" LQ. I started traveling for business decades ago, and way back then used AAA guidebooks for recommendations and now mostly use TA reviews. I don't stay in hotels that don't have a majority of excellent to very good ratings. Good value can be found at every price point. You are planning less than 5 stops and you have spent HOURS on this. It is NOT that difficult. If we (Gretchen or I or anyone else) keeps vetting hotels for you, you won't be gaining the skill set you need to be confident in your choices. It appears that you are waiting for someone else to tell you exactly where to stay - not only city but specific hotel. It's fine if this is new to you but the only way for you to gain confidence in yourself, you are going to have to DO it yourself. There is absolutely no reason to avoid a hotel in Paducah, KY. If there WERE a town along your route that we should have warned you against, we would have warned you.

1) Use Google Maps to determine drive times along your route.
2) Use reviews to determine which hotels sound best in the towns YOU decide to stop at.
3) That combination will help you plan a safe trip.

I've shared MY specific stops but you've dismissed those. Why would I spend more time vetting hotels for you in random towns you choose along your route.
Use my suggestion of pre-booking LQs along the way, or Gretchen's suggestion of using booking.com or ANY other method you decide works for you.

Your route is safe. 600 miles a day over several days is aggressive - and IMO unwise.
Gretchen makes a good point about paying attention to time changes.

This may sound mean, but your "wishy-washy" approach to this on two threads over the past months is concerning. If you are a nurse, I think I'd be dead on the table if you find decisions this difficult. It's not a hard drive. It's an easy drive. It's not an unafe drive. It's a safe drive. You may be "young" but I planned cross-country trips at 20 long before the internet. Use the resources at your disposal and plan your trip and stops and build your confidence along the way. If someone is fillling your head with negative self-talk, it's time to turn the channel and stop listening to them.

$20 is dirt cheap for pet fees. Most hotel chains start at $50 and go up to $100.
You'lll save that $20 per night in gas savings.

Other than picking specific hotels for you in towns as you continue to change your stops, there's nothing we can do to help you. Use the resources and pick hotels with decent reviews. It's not rocket science or brain surgery.

Edited to add - I would not stay at a Days Inn or a Super 8 hotel. Personally, I would not. I would not feel safe at them. I stayed at a Days Inn about 20 years ago and they asked for a deposit for extra towels. I also do not stay at Motel 6s or Red Roof Inns, although a lot of Fodorites do. I know members of the Day family, but the family sold the chain decades ago. Choose a LQ (and pay a $20 pet fee if needed) or a Holiday Inn Express or a Hampton Inn (and pay higher pet fees if they allow pets) and be safe. If I wewasn't are picking hotels for you, those are the three I'd choose for you or any family member.

Your route is VERY different from the I-95 NE corridor. You'll see how different once you are on the road. Keep the gas tank full. Keep munchies and water in the car. Join AAA if you are not already a member and call them if you have car problems along the way. Choose your hotels, pre-book and enjoy the ride. Cross country trips are FUN! Long and tiring but fun.
Thanks for your advice. I am not trying to be wishy washy. I am just trying to get everything done quickly. I did ask for help with the route because I am unfamiliar with this type of cross country travel.

I was more concerned about towns than hotels. I did book the hotels myself. I took your suggestions of La Quintas and appreciated it. Days Inn has pet fees too. I am ok with pet fees. Thanks for helping with the LaQuintas. I did look at the ST Louis hotel - it showed no availability.


I have AAA and used it to get some discounts.

My last post about the journey out there was concern about weather and safe travel.



I am an excellent nurse. That was a harsh and unnecessary statement.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 06:40 AM
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"My last post about the journey out there was concern about weather and safe travel."
Your route is safe.
There is virtually no risk of winter weather at the time of your trip. As recommended, on this thread and your other one, dip south if there is an unexpected winter storm. You don't have to be concerned about cancellation fees. Hotels, or at least the three major chains that have been recommended, are waiving cancellation fees during these Covid 19 times.

My apologies if I offended you. I simply can't understand your indecision. Specific towns have been recommended. You've refused those. Specific hotels have been recommended. You've refused those. Days later, you are still asking about new towns and new hotels. Why? What is the source of your indecision?

Repeating - your route is "safe". If you choose hotels with good reviews, your lodging will be "safe". What is the reason for the difficulty in making a decision? I make 5 hotel reservations each week in different cities and towns in less than 5 minutes - each and every (pre-Covid) week. You have spent well more than 5 hours on this.

Who told you Paducah KY was not safe? Have that person pick your towns and hotels, because you are certainly listening to them more than us.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 06:49 AM
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Bringfido.com is a good resource that may help you find hotels along your route. I use them if an LQ is not available, but I book directly with the hotel.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 06:50 AM
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These are Wyndham hotels.
Wyndham Worldwide consists of the following brands of hotels:
Baymont Inn & Suites, Days Inn, Howard Johnson's, Microtel, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge, Wyndham, Wyndham Garden Hotels, Hawthorn Suites, and Wingate by Wyndham.

I might not choose to stay at a Motel 6 or such without looking it up on some site in advance but in Kansas where i HAVE done it, they have been fine and cheap. When Starrs is travelling for business she has different needs and abilities, IMO. Not a problem to me.



Last edited by Gretchen; Apr 23rd, 2020 at 06:55 AM.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 06:57 AM
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There is a very highly rated Holiday Inn Express in Marion KY and it allows pets with a $25 pet fee.
https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpres...hoteldetail_ex

It is 545 miles from Council Bluffs, Iowa which is in your 500 to 600 miles per day range.

Last edited by starrs; Apr 23rd, 2020 at 07:02 AM.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by starrs
"My last post about the journey out there was concern about weather and safe travel."
Your route is safe.
There is virtually no risk of winter weather at the time of your trip. As recommended, on this thread and your other one, dip south if there is an unexpected winter storm. You don't have to be concerned about cancellation fees. Hotels, or at least the three major chains that have been recommended, are waiving cancellation fees during these Covid 19 times.

My apologies if I offended you. I simply can't understand your indecision. Specific towns have been recommended. You've refused those. Specific hotels have been recommended. You've refused those. Days later, you are still asking about new towns and new hotels. Why? What is the source of your indecision?

Repeating - your route is "safe". If you choose hotels with good reviews, your lodging will be "safe". What is the reason for the difficulty in making a decision? I make 5 hotel reservations each week in different cities and towns in less than 5 minutes - each and every (pre-Covid) week. You have spent well more than 5 hours on this.

Who told you Paducah KY was not safe? Have that person pick your towns and hotels, because you are certainly listening to them more than us.
I meant my last thread (Raleigh to Seattle) in January.

I checked all of the weather for this trip. And I will monitor it.

When I tried the other town suggestions, I had a problem configuring the rest of the route.

When I looked into the Laquinta in St Louis area that you suggested, it was unavailable.

I started to consider Paducah because of yours and Gretchen's comments. A neighbor told me Paducah is unsafe. That is why I asked on this thread. I figured you guys are experienced travelers.

I felt good about my plans - but then I started to get concerns about the Days INN in MT Vernon. I read the reviews. They were good. Not great

EDIT: Thanks, Starrs. I booked a hotel in Marion, IL instead of MT Vernon, IL. I feel really good about this. I am excited


Thank you to everyone who helped me out. And remained somewhat patient. LOL

Seattle - Butte, MT
Butte, MT - Rapid City, SD
Rapid City, SD - Council Bluffs, IA
Council Bluffs, IA - Marion, IL
Marion, IL - Asheville then on to Raleigh



Last edited by Annadeg; Apr 23rd, 2020 at 08:54 AM.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 08:37 AM
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Ask the neighbor for their recommendation for an alternate to Paducah.

I would not stay at a Days Inn with not great reviews.

See the HIX with great reviews in Marion - post #53.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Annadeg

EDIT: Thanks, Starrs. I booked a hotel in Marion, IL instead of MT Vernon, IL. I feel really good about this. I am excited
Good!

You'll enjoy the drive. There's nothing like one's first cross-country drive. It's going to be a bit weird during Covid-19 times but it's still a spectacular country to drive through.

If you have a smartphone, load the TripAdvisor app. Then have the passenger look at a town about 30 miles ahead, use to app to look for a restaurant that looks good and then call to see if they are offering curbside service. It's a way to have non-fast food along the way. I order veggies and soup from Cracker Barrel and/or Mexican restaurants a lot for lunch. Of course, the chains like Chili's etc are offering curbside service too.

Last tip - take REAL paper maps too! It's easier to "see" your progress and to see what's nearby if you ever get back that way.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 09:45 AM
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If you are still leaving tomorrow or Saturday then the weather models are looking pretty darn good. Scattered storms in the West early on but then pretty mostly clear the entire week until Wednesday morning. That shows a band of storms in the east, but mostly either south or north of your intended route.

You might thread the needle. In any case, it's looking as good as can be this time of year, always subject to change of course. Good luck.





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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 10:36 AM
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Thanks, Starrs for the addiitonal information.
Thanks, Nelson for the weather map.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 11:14 AM
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If you're trying to book online and it says that a hotel is not available for your dates, always call to make sure. The only reason hotels would not have available rooms these days is if they have closed temporarily.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 11:43 AM
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Starrs' idea of calling ahead for takeout from a good restaurant is a GREAT idea--and if possible and it is close to the interstate, choose a local restaurant rather than a chain to support local people. BUT don't sweat that part. Order good food ahead--something you couldn't do in normal times.

Barbara is correct also--if not available on a booking site, call if that is what you really want.

Yeah, tell the neighbor to get you a room--how do they know for heavens' sake. Be real. My hometown happens to have a high murder rate at the moment which is deeply disturbing to me. No one in a motel has been murdered.
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