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  1. Default i-80 with 4 kids?

    Hi,
    We are moving from the sf bay area to Mi this summer and have decided to drive. I have driven 180 a number of times but never with kids. We plan to take it slow, i would like a book or guide to help find kid friendly places to stay and have fun along the way... i have used AAA in the past but we are not members any more and they are kind of lame sometimes. Is there anything like that out there? or do i just need to hunt it down state by state? I am sure there is lots of info on this forum. I am greatful for your help, with four kids and a move and a remodle (of the mi house) i am a little busy these days. :) thanks,ann

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default What will be the pace?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruceloverannn
    We are moving from the sf bay area to Mi this summer and have decided to drive.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    I have driven 180 a number of times but never with kids. We plan to take it slow,
    What will be slow? How many days are you allowing? Virginia City and Lake Tahoe are pretty cool places when you are a kid of any age. Riding the Steam engine train at Ely, Nevada is cool, and the tour of Lehman Caves at Great Basin NP is great (I wrote an article, but it has not been published yet so no links...)
    i would like a book or guide to help find kid friendly places to stay and have fun along the way...
    My favorite road trip book right now is "United States: On the Road" but if you look at our book review section -- every single book in the collection comes with our personal recommendation -- or it doesn't make the cut!
    Is there anything like that out there? or do i just need to hunt it down state by state? I am sure there is lots of info on this forum.
    if you use the search utility (in the green navigation bar above) and enter the names of the states you will pass through you will find hundreds of posts. Wish we could cut the research time for you, but...

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Aren't most things fun for kids?

    Unless your kids are all very young, they shouldn't need to stop at any place much different than you would choose for yourself. I found that my kids were usually interested in just about anything. Of course, in museums and historic homes, I could poke around forever and read every little placque. They do like to zip through faster than mom does! LOL

    If your kid are old enough to help, then I would have them help plan the stops. Poking around this website is one way to get good information. Another of my favorite ways is to order all the free stuff state tourism offices will send you. Simply google "___(name of state___ tourism" and you should be able to easily find them. Request their visitor information and you will get free guidebooks and maps. Let the kids browse through them and help pick out things that interest them. However, they can take several weeks to get so I hope you're not traveling too soon.

    And, remember, that young kids just like to play. You don't always have to stop at someplace educational, exciting, or different for them to have fun. Sometimes a stop at any old park with a playground is just the thing they want and need.

  4. Default thanks

    thank you for the help, i feel better already. we don't have to get there in any number of days... the remodle is behind schedule so the later we are the happier the contracter is... i was thinking driving one day playing the next. My kids are young the oldest is 6, then 4,3,and 1. so only the six year old is going to get a lot out of this. i want it to be a nice memory, my parents took us on driving vacations when we were kids and 900+ miles a day is not always fun, even if you spend two days at disney land. virginia city is a good idea. thanks. i quess i am looking for kid friendly hotels or motels. i.e. swimming pools and play grounds. thanks again, ann

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Kid friendly lodging

    It seems to me that most hotels/motels are kid-friendly if they are located where tourists would tend to stop. Hotels/motels that might not be as kid-friendly tend to be those who cater more to business travelers. More often then not, these would be located in the downtown business district. So, if I were you, I would be searching for hotels more on the outskirts of cities or located in smaller towns.

    There are numerous websites with lists of hotels and reviews. Expedia is one of many. Reading the reviews might give you an idea if that particular hotel meets your needs.

    And if you have stayed in any chain motel in the past that you particularly liked, it's good odds that all/most hotels in that chain will be similar so you could stick to those.

    You might do a search for "kids" or some similar term because this issue has been discussed a lot here. There are a lot of good ideas for making sure that kids enjoy the trip (and, thus, the parents, too!). I think the biggest key is to travel less miles per day and stopping at any opportunity to let the kids run and play and use up their excess energy. Eating out of a cooler means you'll eat healthier. It also means it's a breeze to stop at any park, playground, rest area with nice amenities, etc. so the kids can play and have a healthy bite to eat. Enjoy the stop yourself and play with the kids, too. As adults, we need to ensure we keep good circulation going so this is healthy for you, too. Don't rush the kids back into the car too quickly. Make sure they've burned up that energy a bit first. Just a change in attitude that allows for a slower-paced geared towards kid's attention spans rather than our adult capabilities will go a long way toward family happiness.

    Also, use it as a time to bond with the kids. Take books on tape and music geared to kids. Sing along. Act goofy with them (well, at least the passenger so the driver can concentrate on driving). Just have fun and take it as it comes.

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