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Old 05-20-2012, 03:24 PM   #61
peppermintpea
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2 weeks and have to start planning the route....355 to 80 to 65 to 75

i just downloaded my directions from mapquest and had it sent via text to my phone...Sweet!
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:11 PM   #62
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2 weeks and have to start planning the route....355 to 80 to 65 to 75

i just downloaded my directions from mapquest and had it sent via text to my phone...Sweet!
don't forget you have to take I24 to I75 than hit the turnpike
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:00 AM   #63
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Far Western suburb route - take 47?

Just a thought, but for those that live in the far Western Suburbs, my family likes taking route 47 south to 74 near Champaign, then taking that to Indianapolis where we pick up 65 and go south.

Yes, 47 can be filled with trucks, but the congestion lessens after Morris. We have been known to take the farm roads and then get on 47 closer to Morris. There isn't really much difference in time for us.

We have taken the 88 to 355 to 80 to 65 route, and find taking 47 works better for us. Invariably, until we are in "driving" mode, someone has to stop within the first two hours, and no one can time their bladders to all go at once. Just easier to stop when the gas station is right off the road. Also, gas prices are sooooo much cheaper in Dwight and other points south! I always use Gasbuddy to route our fill-ups!

There are two reasons we don't like taking 80 to 65. One, traffic congestion. We have been delayed two hours due to traffic problems near the IL/IN border.

Two, if you aren't paying attention, it is easy to miss the 65 exit, and instead find yourself in Michigan. Don't laugh, it has happened more than once. Invariably, I have been busy doing something, like grabbing food or a drink or dealing with unruly children, and DH misses the exit. He blames trucks blocking his view of the signs. Perhaps he should drive with more distance between trucks, or pay attention when I tell him which exit number, but that discussion is for another time.

My DH has also missed the exit when driving on his own. Or perhaps Michigan is really calling him? Either way, we both prefer the less stressful start to a trip, so the 47 route south imparts less stress. And if there is a road blockage, the farm roads are easy bypasses, just take a good map.

Staying south of Atlanta is a great idea. We always drive straight through ATL, on advice of a friend that lives in that city. She says the bypass takes longer and has more delays. As long as you time Atlanta to avoid rush hour, the through route is fine. During rush hour, all routes are awful.

By the time we make it to the McDonough area of GA, we are ready to be done with driving and in the mood for a swim. We have also stayed in Macon and south of there, in Warner Robins. For my family, that was just way too much time driving. We like driving all over the country, but not too set an endurance record. We like it because we get to see things and enjoy each other's pleasant company. When we are all crabby from driving or sitting too much, there is no pleasant company.

Oh, I have a recommendation of a place to visit on the drive south (or north!). Lane Packing (http://www.lanepacking.com/ ), south of Atlanta on 75. It is about a 5 mile drive off the highway, but a great place to relax, run around, and eat some tasty fruit. We also stock up on other tasty treats. Just a suggestion if you are a family that likes the road trip to be a "trip", not just a "get there" thing. Some kids (and adults!) might just be too excited to see Disney to take time for any stops!

Safe travels!
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:20 AM   #64
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We live near Downers Grove and our best way to take is 355 to 80 to 57 to 24 to 75 to the turnpike. We always stop a few places on our way down so where we're going first ultimately dictates our route.

We mostly depart at night so when we have taken the 65 way through IN it hasnít been too bad. During the day though we canít stand it.

Our return trip we always stop overnight in Murfreesboro, TN and drive the above route in reverse. We avoid Indianapolis and one time we avoided 10 inches of snow in northern IN that didnít fall in IL.

I noticed one poster suggested taking 47 to Champaign. We have never taken this way since we donít live that far west, but friends of ours who live in Montgomery take this way all the time and swear by it for them.

Whichever way you take, try to avoid Atlanta during rush hour. It sucks!
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:53 AM   #65
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We also live near Downers Grove and we used to take 47 to Champaign when we used to go visit my hubby's aunt. This was before 355 and we found it much faster to go southwest on 55 to 47 and then head down to Champaign. We picked up 47 at Dwight so there were very few towns to go through. It actually was faster than taking 294 to 57 and down. But now that 355 is open to 80, it is the only way to go as long as you live near 355.
We too drive straight though Atlanta staying in the HOV lane. On the way home, we hit Atlanta near the end of the evening rush hour - only twice have we had a problem getting through - once was a football conference championship game and the road was packed with lots of FL fans, and the other time there was a car fire that caused traffic to stop.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:52 PM   #66
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I'm interested to hear more about the speed traps or whatever you want to call them in Georgia. In Iowa we can pretty much travel 10 miles over the limit on the interstates and not even get looked at by highway patrol. Is there a cushion limit over or are we talking no room whatsoever?

Also, arriving in Atlanta approximately between 5 and 7AM on a Saturday. So far from what I'm reading this shouldn't be too much of a problem. There's a game that night at 7:30, but I can't imagine that causing any problems.

Thanks for all the great tips on this thread. We're coming from Iowa but we hit the 64/24/75 route on the way down through Nashville and Atlanta.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:21 AM   #67
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You can use this website to check for speedtraps - http://www.speedtrap.org/ . I do not know how reliable it is, but I know of people that believe it to be worthwhile.

I do not generally advocate speeding, but it is hard not to do when the road is straight, smooth, good weather, good music on the radio, interchanges are few and far between, and you are in driving mode. I have been known to drive 95 mph on the stretch in southern Georgian, northern FL. I was surprised when I realized this was happening, as I did not feel the speed. The continuous straight road can do that.

I also had a line of cars behind me, following right along. I suppose they felt I would get pulled over first! DH was amazed when he woke up from his nap and realized how far into FL we were at that point!

In my experience, maintaining a steady speed, not darting in and out of traffic (and if there is traffic, don't speed!), and not being the lone speeding car on the road (if you happen upon other cars that are driving in a manner you feel comfortable with, stay with them), will help you stay safe and make good time.

If you are going to speed, speed wisely, as my Dad used to say!
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:34 AM   #68
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That's a really cool site. Could make a person really paranoid if they took it too far Thanks for the link. I'd still like to know if there is any wiggle room at all or are you expected to be doing exactly the speed limit in those areas. Thanks for the help.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:36 AM   #69
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If youíre worried about ďaccidentlyĒ speeding, use your cruise control. We use ours all the time. I always laugh when I have mine set and I go barreling past someone, then a few minutes later they come barreling past me, then a few minutes later itís me passing them again. With my cruise on I know I have maintained a constant speed, but their driving just goes to show how easy it is for your speed to fluctuate without cruise. My lead foot definitely gets less tickets with my trusty cruise!
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:58 PM   #70
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I'm not worried about accidentally speeding, I just want to know what I can get away with I always use my cruise control for exactly what you're talking about. Hate it when you set it then some goofball gets in front of you slows down, you get past him then he's passing you up again. Just set it and forget it!!!
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:02 PM   #71
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This might sound insane, but the route we took during X-mas of 2010 allowed us to miss a giant snowstorm that closed down hwy24 near Chattanooga. It was also interesting to follow the road less traveled to FL.

We went down hwy57 all the way to hwy55 in SE Missouri. We then took hwy55 to to hwy78 in Memphis, which took us all the way to Birmingham where we spent the night. Next morning we got into a slightly snow covered car in Birmingham and took hwy65 south to Montgomery where we picked up hwy82 that took us southeast all the way to hwy75 in GA. Then down in to FL.

And it really didn't add that much time to the trip. We picked up a 5lb bag of pecans from a pecan farm in the middle of GA and they were amazing.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:21 AM   #72
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This thread has been extremely helpful! Thanks so much everyone! We're making this trip end of June from the northern Chicago burbs and I had NO idea what to do. was just going to map quest it and go! Glad to read all these helpful hints. Planning on taking the 57 route through IL. Hope there's some decent rest stops on the way, since we'll have a 5 y.o and almost 2y.o who will NEED to run around and kick a ball at least once on this trip. HAHA. Planning on leaving around 4 am and heading down. Sounds like stopping around Macon, GA should be the way to go.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:50 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Dislvr1020 View Post
This thread has been extremely helpful! Thanks so much everyone! We're making this trip end of June from the northern Chicago burbs and I had NO idea what to do. was just going to map quest it and go! Glad to read all these helpful hints. Planning on taking the 57 route through IL. Hope there's some decent rest stops on the way, since we'll have a 5 y.o and almost 2y.o who will NEED to run around and kick a ball at least once on this trip. HAHA. Planning on leaving around 4 am and heading down. Sounds like stopping around Macon, GA should be the way to go.
We donít stop at rest stops much. We try to make our bathrooms breaks and meal breaks when we stop for gas. But there is a really nice rest stop at Rend Lake. Itís just south of Mt Vernon, IL before you switch to I-27. There are rest stops on both sides, but the southbound one is much nicer. DH and I are usually making this trip in the dark, however the rare occasion we are driving during the day, we always stop.

Rend Lake is huge lake resort area and the rest stop is very nice. Itís a great spot to run around, take pictures and I think there is a playground but Iím not certain. Either way, if youíre looking for rest stops, this is the best one I can recommend!
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:30 AM   #74
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Don't know why I didn't think of this earlier, but one advantage to driving I-65 in Indiana instead of 57 in IL is that the speed limit is higher in IN! I think it is only 5mph higher, but if you are someone that likes to go a bit over when conditions are safe and traffic is light, you can do that easier in IN, with less chance of a ticket.

For example, I believe that the limit in IL is 65 mph. If you normally go 75, you will only be 5 mph over limit in IN, where the limit is 70. Might make it more tolerable for those that like to go slightly faster, but aren't comfortable with 10mph faster.

Unless things have changed recently, but this is how it was when we drove the route last summer!
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:36 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by luvavacation View Post
Don't know why I didn't think of this earlier, but one advantage to driving I-65 in Indiana instead of 57 in IL is that the speed limit is higher in IN! I think it is only 5mph higher, but if you are someone that likes to go a bit over when conditions are safe and traffic is light, you can do that easier in IN, with less chance of a ticket.

For example, I believe that the limit in IL is 65 mph. If you normally go 75, you will only be 5 mph over limit in IN, where the limit is 70. Might make it more tolerable for those that like to go slightly faster, but aren't comfortable with 10mph faster.

Unless things have changed recently, but this is how it was when we drove the route last summer!
That's the route we took last summer!! I love being able to cruise all the way to Indy without any stops. Even taking 65 through Indy isn't that big a hassle, same with Louisville.
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