Sneak in the Side Door
Taking a chance on a contact approach (Remember those?) can knock some flying miles off your trip … if the weather, the regs, and ATC can accommodate it.
Before you get a contact approach, some more boxes need to be checked, starting with weather minimums on par with Special VFR and Class G airspace. AIM 5-4-25 kicks off with them: “Pilots operating in accordance with an IFR flight plan, provided they are clear of clouds and have at least one mile flight visibility and can reasonably expect to continue to the destination airport in those conditions, may request ATC authorization for a contact approach.”