Just wanted to give an update on our drive from Massachusetts to Hilton Head, SC for any of you interested in the 81 route vs 95. Because we were driving both ways on a Friday in the summer, we decided to take the 81/77 route. And it was GREAT! We left our house in central MA at 3am on a Friday morning. We drove 84 to 684 to 287/87 over the Tappan Zee and stayed on 287 until Route 78 west to Harrisburg, PA. We then connected with 81 south. The ride was so easy. No traffic whatsoever until we hit Charlotte, NC around rush hour...which we knew ahead of time. We stopped there around 5pm and stayed at the Residence Inn on Tyvola Ave. We had dinner, free breakfast and were back on the road by 8am. We arrived in Hilton Head around noon. Coming home we left Hilton Head at 6am and drove straight through to Massachusetts stopping only to use the bathroom and fill the gas tank. We took our time and even had a hotel reserved ahead of time. But the ride was so easy we decided to go all the way and arrived home at midnight. (18 hours exactly.) While we were driving, we kept checking google maps on our phone with the traffic updates. We kept seeing 95 as all "red" with stopped traffic from DC up through NJ. Our route was green all the way! Definitely the right choice when traveling during the busy summer season on a Friday. The route itself is so pretty with rolling hills and lots of farms and mountains. I wouldn't drive this way in the winter, but any other time of the year it is just great. The trucks were not a problem at all. They would pass on the left and immediately get back over to the right. Nothing at all like 95. So even though it may be a little longer mileage wise, it is definitely the way we will go in the future. (Google maps has it as 45 minutes longer than 95). Hope this helps someone else with their planning. Happy travels!