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Safer travel options for winter

Baltimore, Maryland
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8 posts
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Safer travel options for winter

Which route is safer for winter driving during a road trip, more advisable given the third week of December?

two options:

1. Lafayette, LA -> Little Rock, AR -> Oklahoma City, OK -> Amarillo, TX -> Albuquerque, NM

2. Lafayette, LA -> San Antonio, TX -> Carlsbad, NM -> Albuquerque, NM

in third week of December this year (2013) December 22nd - 25th

route number 1: 32F temperature during that week. might have inclement weather.

route number 2: texas is less interesting and is a big state

Does anyone have opinions or advice on these routes?

Houston, TX
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1. Re: Safer travel options for winter

Your second choice is probably better, weather-wise (although we all know there are no guarantees :-) ). I'd rather have my stops in San Antonio and Carlsbad or even Las Cruces than in Oklahoma City.

You have some pretty long driving days in either route. Are you the only driver? How long do you have for the trip? Are you planning on just stopping to sleep, or are you trying to sight see along the way? Answers to those questions will help people give you better advice.

Chula Vista...
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2. Re: Safer travel options for winter

Hi,

Honestly, I would build enough flexibility into your plans to allow the weather to dictate the route. And that means waiting until the last minute to see what the weather forecast has in store for each specific route that you're considering. It's crazy, but a few hundred miles can make the difference between an easy drive or a crazy drive.

There was a poster in this forum last week who was trying to get from Chicago to San Francisco and thought of dropping as far south as I-40 or even I-10 to make her way across country to avoid the possibility of bad weather through the Rockies. Had she taken that southern route last week, she would have been right in the thick of snow, ice, freezing rain, and flooding, while the northern route was relatively unscathed.

Zed

Marina, California
Destination Expert
for Tucson
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3. Re: Safer travel options for winter

When I plug the two potential routes into Mapquest, I get: Lafayette -> Shreveport -> Dallas -> Wichita Falls -> Amarillo -> Albuquerque

That's a good route. US 287 between Dallas and Amarillo is basically an interstate. You go through small towns the whole time, so it doesn't have the desolation that I-10 past San Antonio does, and it's a little more interesting than I-40. Driving through Oklahoma, particularly that stretch of I-40 west of OKC, is pretty bad. Is there any reason the above route does not work?

With the weather though, on the above route, the stretch through Texas would be the biggest concern. Amarillo was absolutely hammered by snow last winter, and they do regularly get some pretty serious storms. But it's rare. If you're used to driving in snow (and, since your profile says that you're from Baltimore, I would assume you are), then I think it shouldn't be too much of a concern.

Then again, a few years ago, I hit snow on I-10 just east of Van Horn when going though some small mountains. You just never know...

But I think the flexibility plan is best. You would save a little bit of money by reserving hotels in advance, but I think you should just wait to see how the weather is and go with whatever route makes sense at that time. When you stop for lunch along the way, just reserve a hotel through your smart phone for that night, or find some in advance in each city, and just reserve when you decide.

Good luck on your drive!

4. Re: Safer travel options for winter

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