How Long Does It Take To Drive Across Texas?

There is nothing quite like a road trip. There is no feeling quite as great as buying a shed load of snacks and drinks, and hopping in the car with your best friends, then driving aimlessly.

Road trips can be some of the best times of your life, and it is during this time that you can really bond with your closest friends. 

But, sometimes, road trips aren’t as fun. Especially if you have young children that you have to take with you.

If you find yourself having to go on a lengthy road trip with a young family, then you likely want to know just how long that road trip is going to take. Especially if it is a long distance. 

One road trip that you might find yourself having to complete is the long drive across Texas. Texas is a large State, so as you will expect, it takes a rather long time to drive across Texas. But just how long will it take? Read this guide to find out. 

How Big Is Texas?

In order to find out how long it takes to drive across Texas, we first have to understand how big Texas is. Everybody knows that Texas is a large State, but just how big is ‘large’? Well, let’s find out. 

Texas is the second-largest State in the USA, both in terms of land-size and in terms of population. The only State larger than Texas, by land-size, is Alaska. Texas measures 695,662 kilometers squared, and 268,596 square miles.

It is difficult to comprehend just how large this is. But in short, Texas is massive. 

Of course, it isn’t just the size of the State that is going to influence how long it takes to drive across Texas. The other thing that is going to influence how long it takes to drive across Texas is the placement of the roads, and the direction in which you drive across Texas.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how long it takes to drive across Texas.

How Long Does It Take To Drive Across Texas?

In order to calculate how long it takes to drive across Texas, you have to decide which direction you want to drive, and what roads you are going to take. It will also depend on if you want the most direct route through Texas, or if you want the Scenic route. 

But, the biggest influence on the amount of time that it will take to drive across Texas will be the direction in which you drive. So, let’s take a look at how long it will take. 

East To West

So, let’s begin by taking a look at how long it takes to drive across Texas from East to West, or West to East. From East to West, Texas measures 773 miles at its widest part.

As you can guess, this is a pretty large distance, and that is why it is going to take more than a couple of hours to travel across Texas. But, how long?

On either side of Texas, you have Louisiana to the East, and New Mexico to the West. You could also drive from Arkansas to New Mexico if you would prefer.

But the main route that people take when driving across Texas is Louisiana to New Mexico. This road trip will take 12 hours without any time added for traffic, or breaks on the way. 

If you want to make a couple of stops along the drive, like many people will, then the time that it will take to drive across Texas will increase.

Likewise, if you encounter traffic, this will drive the journey time up too. That is why we would suggest that it will take between 14 and 16 hours to drive across Texas, if you encounter traffic and take a couple of breaks on the way.

North To South

Alternatively, if you wanted to drive from the South of Texas, to Oklahoma, Kansas, or Colorado, the distance will be different. This is because Texas is longer in terms of length than it is in terms of width.

However, the difference is just under 30 miles as Texas is 801 miles in length. So, how long does it take you to drive from the North of Texas to the south, or vice versa? Let’s take a look.

Well, as you expect, the number of hours that it will take to drive from the North of Texas to the South isn’t that different to the length of time it will take to drive East to West.

So, it will usually take just under 12 hours to drive from the North of Texas to the South. But when you factor in stops and traffic, it will typically take closer to 14 hours. So, the difference, in terms of time, isn’t actually that different when driving East to West, or North to South.

Things To Consider

Before you plan your road trip across Texas, there are some things that you need to consider. These things will influence the amount of time that it will take you to travel across the State. They include the following. 

You should consider:

  • The Roads You Take – When driving across Texas from Louisiana to New Mexico, or vice versa, you should consider taking the I-10. If you are driving across North Texas, you should take the I-40. 
  • Traffic – The main thing that will influence the amount of time it takes you to drive across Texas is the traffic. Traffic will be worse at certain times of the day, so it is important to factor this into your journey. 
  • Stops/Breaks – When you are driving for long periods of time, it is very essential to take regular breaks. To keep your road trip on track, you should plan your stops and breaks before you hit the road.

Summary

In short, it will usually take around 14-16 hours to travel across Texas, both North to South and East to West. This period of time factors in stoppages for traffic, and any breaks you might take along the way.

If you were to drive straight across Texas, then it would take around 12 hours from start to finish. 

Robert Miller
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