This is a decision you will have to make for yourself. It sounds like a lot of work for one day at the International--especially the driving through Chicago part.
A rally schedule is posted on the WBCCI web site here:
Here are the pros and cons as I see them.
1. You will be getting there just about the time everything is winding down. A lot of folks leave before the July 4 weekend so the spectacle of massed trailers will be somewhat diminished by gaps in the lines.
2. There is not a whole lot going on except for the flea market and unit picnics. If you have a cell phone number or two for members of your unit who are there it would be a big plus. They could meet you someplace and squire you around, and you could attend your unit picnic. On account of its size it takes me a good day just to get oriented at the International.
3. The parade is not as big a thing as you might suppose. It takes place indoors (walking units only) and last year as I recall only about 25 units participated.
1. This year they are having a general open house and a second Vintage open house on July 4, a great idea. The Vintage open house is always one of the high points of the rally and both the general and vintage open houses will provide an opportunity to meet people and "talk Airstream".
If you decide to go, remember to take your WBCCI badge with you.
If you don't go, the International will be in Gillette, WY next year--I suspect a little closer to you.