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Old 01-14-2005, 03:18 PM
_len_ _len_ is offline
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 119
How far does the average family drive per day on vacation?

Like everyone, I frequently peruse the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to see what's new.

One item that caught my eye was the length of summer long-distance trips; something like 10 percent of them are more than 500 miles. In that case, how long do those trips take? I've called the BTS, and they didn't collect that information in the survey. Does anyone know how many miles the average family drives per day on vacation? Up to 500 m.p.d. sounds reasonable, but I don't have any evidence to back it up.

Thanks very much.


Old 01-14-2005, 03:28 PM
lieu lieu is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Bedrock
Posts: 26,079
I'm thinking it'll depend on several variables, like if kids or the elderly are included, if you're talking the crowded northeast or the more open southwest, trying to get somewhere or sight see along the way, etc.

When single, I'd sometimes put in over 900 miles in a day on a long trip. Nowadays with a wife and child, we shoot more for 4 to 450, however many hours we're up for times a 50 mph average.
Old 01-14-2005, 06:01 PM
jasonh300 jasonh300 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New Orleans, La.
Posts: 1,666
From experience (I get exhausted after driving 4 hours or so), my guess would be between 360 and 480 miles per day, figuring an average speed of 60 mph. This could take from 8 to 10 hours. Figure over 8 hours at 60 mph, you'd have to stop to go to the bathroom once or twice and probably eat a meal...if you drove 4 hours (240 miles) and then stopped to rest/eat for an hour or so and then drove another 4 hours before stopping for the night, you'd go 480 miles in around 9 hours.

Personally, I drove 1300 miles in a 24 hour period once...this was almost non-stop no-sleep driving. I stopped to eat 3 or 4 times for 30-45 minutes and filled up the gas tank 5 times. I had the cruise set at about 75 the whole time I was driving. I left Portland Oregon at midnight and rolled through Denver Colorado at midnight the next night. The next day I rested a little more and the next 1300 miles of the trip took about 28 hours.
Old 01-14-2005, 06:16 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 27,234
When I drive long distances by myself, I try to drive 800 - 1000 miles a day. I have driven across the U.S. three times plus many other 1000+ mile trips. When I am with family however, that amount is unreasonable. I try to limit it to about 500 miles per day.

It all depends on where you are and what you are doing. If you are just trying to make it across a Southwestern desert, then you have no real traffic and nothing to do but drive. If you are traveling from Boston to Philadelphia (350 miles) with children in the back seat, then that can be more than enough for a day.
Old 01-14-2005, 06:20 PM
jester21 jester21 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Near Lansing, MI
Posts: 396
Old 01-14-2005, 07:01 PM
_len_ _len_ is offline
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 119
Yeah, I'm thinking that 500 miles would be an upper limit on one day of travel. If you had a thousand-mile trip (with kids), that'd be a two-day trip for most people, right? Or would more folks spend 2.5 days of their vacation in the car (each way)?



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