Texas is the second largest state in the United States. It borders Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico and shares an international border with Mexico to the south. We love good road trips in Texas, but sometimes you wonder how long it takes to drive through the state.

The trip over Texas between Louisiana and New Mexico on the I-10 with normal traffic takes about 12 hours. With the stops for food and fuel it takes 14 hours. The journey over North Texas on the I-40 takes 8 hours and 30 minutes.

To help you better understand how long a trip to Texas can take, we have put together a helpful guide with detailed information on how far you need to travel and what you need to know.

How long does a trip to Texas take - a complete guide to the different routes and tips to save time.

Latitude of Texas

Because the state of Texas is irregularly shaped, there are different ways to cross Texas, which take different lengths depending on the route.

The two most common ways to cross Texas are the I-10 from the south of the state or the north, crossing the Texas Panhandle on the I-40.

Transit from South Texas, Louisiana to New Mexico

There is a main road that runs through the south of Texas and is also the most common way to cross the state. The route runs from the Louisiana border to Orange, along the I-10 to Houston and San Antonio and ends in New Mexico at El Paso.

These are shuttles and all-terrain vehicles that travel between most southern states and Arizona or California.

This route usually takes about 12 hours to take into account stops and breaks, although traffic around major cities can take up to 14 hours on the road.

870 miles from the border, you’ll probably make two stops for gas and snacks, and a few more for a relaxing break. If you can afford to sit at different stops for two hours to stretch your legs, you should expect to sit on the road through Texas for 14 to 16 hours.

If you don’t drive during the day and don’t change drivers, you’ll have to spend the night somewhere, so add time to sleep for the whole journey.

North Texas Panhandle Bypass

People traverse North Texas in many different ways. There are three common access points: the I-20 of Shreveport in northern Louisiana, the I-40 of Oklahoma, or the Texarkana of Arkansas.

The two exits from Texas to New Mexico are usually on the I-10 from El Paso or the I-40 from Amarillo.

To find out how long a trip to Texas will take, take a look at the table below and find the time in your itinerary. Remember that this time does not include stops or breaks, so add a few hours later for longer rides.

From to Driving time
Shreveport (Los Angeles) El Paso (NM) 11:00 a.m. (816 miles)
Shreveport (Los Angeles) Saint John (NM) 8h 30m (600 miles)
Texarkana (AR) El Paso (NM) 11h 20m (826 miles)
Texarkana (AR) Saint John (NM) 8h 30m (564 miles)
Eric. (OK) Saint John (NM) 2h 30m (177 miles)

Transitional period for Texas from the Mexican border

Welcome to Drive Friendly - The Texas Way.

Nick Fox/Shutterstock.com

If you cross the border between Mexico and the United States and travel south through Texas, you have several route options. There are about 29 different border crossings from Mexico to Texas, and depending on where you travel in the United States, there are different ways to cross the state border.

We will look at the most common routes and the time it takes to get behind the wheel. Many people from Mexico enter Texas at Laredo or via the Farr Reynosa International Bridge.

The two most common starting points for those not in Texas are Louisiana along I-10 for the southern states of the U.S. or I-30 for Arkansas for the northeast and midwest.

From Laredo it takes 6 hours and 30 minutes to get to Louisiana and 8 hours and 30 minutes to get to Arkansas. The crossing of the Farr river takes 7 hours and 10 hours for the same routes. Please note that this does not take into account the time you spend crossing the border. This can vary greatly depending on the time and date of the border crossing.

Things that can affect your driving time

Traffic is the most important factor that can affect travel time in Texas. Although most of the state is relatively open, if you’re on one of the busiest roads (such as the I-10 between major cities) or if you’re driving past a major city, you can easily get stuck in traffic, especially if you’re driving at rush hour.

The I-10 west of Houston is the widest road in the world with 26 lanes, and for good reason: it can be very busy there. I stood in line at that station for a strange hour, but I also walked through it late at night.

The number of stops along your route will also be an important factor in determining the actual length of your journey. If your car is very thirsty for gasoline, or if you have a child who has to stop at least every two hours, you should allow enough time for the journey. With distances of hundreds of kilometers through Texas you can’t keep driving without stopping and resting.

A speed limit sign on a Texas highway that indicates a speed limit of 80 miles per hour.

Republic of Moab/Shutterstock.com

The speed limits vary considerably, even on the main roads. Long-distance traffic will be between 55 and 80 miles per hour. Although some of the long beacons are 80 km/h wide and can cover many distances quickly, some cities are beginning to lower speed limits on approaches and bypasses. In 2018, El Paso lowered the speed limit on the I-10 to 60, referring to the road works, but did not raise it after its completion.

Tips for getting to know Texas

If you really want to travel through Texas as fast as possible, here are a few tips to keep your trip as short as possible.

Firstly, it is recommended to drive with at least 2 drivers, who can change places during the journey, in order to minimise the time needed for breaks and rest periods.

If you have to make a choice, or if you are renting a car, avoid gas buzzards and choose something reasonable. Directions from the south with a length of more than 800 miles. In a tanker you only need one stop at the filling station, not two or three.

The best time for a trip is not at night. In Texas, some speed limits are set at night, and in poor visibility, progress can be slow. The fastest way to cross Texas is around 7:30 in the morning, using the time of day and before dark. If you have a choice for a day, Sunday is usually 30 minutes faster due to lower traffic, but the difference is not as big as you would think for a 12 hour journey on the I-10.

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