The Guide to Driving to Las Vegas (From L.A. especially)
Sure, you want to save a little on airfare and take in such scenic sites as Barstow, California and Primm, Nevada, but is driving to Vegas really worth it?
Yes and no.
Yes, because with more than one person or when driving a compact car you can save a little cash.
No, because gas prices are astronomical and with less than three people in the car, you may not save that much. Also, traffic can be a nightmare.
Exactly how much each option will cost depends on your circumstances, however if you do decide to make the trip, here’s what you need to know:
Gas – Fill up before you leave. Though gas prices on the road to Vegas can be reasonable, they hit their highest in Baker and the NV State Line. Trust us, you do not want to be stuck on empty when .99/gallon signs fill the side of the road.
Mileage – Vegas is about 275-300 miles from the Los Angeles area. This roughly translates to 3 ˝ to 4 ˝ hours of driving, depending on traffic and your speed. Be careful, though, the cops are always out with their radar guns and ready to nail you.
Best Times – Contrary to popular belief there are times when traffic is minimal, even on holiday weekends. Our favorite (though difficult) way to travel is to be on the road by 9:30 A.M. both ways, especially coming back. There is nothing worse than exhausting yourself in Vegas all weekend and being stuck in 6 hours of traffic on the way home.
Where to Stop – Finding a place to stop is surprisingly easy on the road to Vegas. Several smaller cities line I-15, and you are never more than 75 miles from some sign of civilization.
Worst Weekends – Do you have off on Monday? So does the rest of the world. This means traffic will be brutal to and from Vegas. The most popular weekends are Labor Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day and New Year’s (the worst!).
Temperature – Though today’s cars are more than adequate in dealing with the desert heat, be sure to have your car serviced before leaving for Vegas. This is not a trip where you want to mess around and hope that your A.C. stays on.
Radio – Though we heartily recommend XM or Sirius for trips like this, there are several stations on the drive to Las Vegas, all filled with tourist ads and decent music. You’ll see ads for them, keep your eyes peeled.
About the Author: Vegas Guy is the co-founder of http://VegasADD.com and LasVegasADD.com, two of the leading Las Vegas travel sites.
Home to unbiased reviews and low rates, VegasADD is the one-stop-shop for everything Vegas. (Please do not reprint without all fields fully intact, primarily the text above.)