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  1. Default Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum

    Hi everyone my name is Rob. I'm 29 married with 4 beautiful kids, all girls. I'm the president of a NYC van club. We travel in groups to various campgrounds around the country and hold different events. I've been to about 6 of these events so far this year. My wife and I love to travel and we're looking for a little more than just weekend gettaways. we are trying to plan a cross country trip, just us and my kids. Our plans were to start off at NYC to Williamsburg VA to Nashville, Memphis,Dallas, Roswell NM, South Rim AZ, Vegas, Rocky Mt. Co, Omaha Ne then 2 other stops before heading back to NYC, I havn't decided yet. We plan on taking a month to do this trip staying at each stop for 2 nights ( one full day of no driving). I already have it all mapped out. I'm just looking for any advice or ideas from fellow travelers. This will be my first cross country trip, I will be driving a 02 Dodge 1500 conversion van with 4 kids. I want to try my best to do this trip with very little or no problems. If it were just me I wouldn't be so concerned but, since I have the little ones I want to make sure all areas of potential problems are covered. Any advice and comments would GREATLY be appreciated. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default New is Relative

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Rob, quite frankly you sound like a pro, so I don't now what else in the way of advice we may be able to offer you. There are a number of articles here about RoadTrip Planning, and travelling as a family. The one piece of advice I always give to people travelling with children (but which I'm sure you're aware of) is to stop at least every couple of hours and let them run around and blow off some steam. It also helps if you can get them involved in picking the places to stop. All stops don't have to be at major 'must sees', but should engage your kids at some level.

    A month is just about right for your trip if you plan to only drive every other day, as long as those driving days cover some substantial mileage. I've yet to find a place in this country where I couldn't spend at least one rewarding day poking around. If there are specific types of things that you'd like to see, speak up. I'm sure someone will know where some examples are on your route.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Thanks AZBuck, The mileage between each stop varies anywhere from 225 miles to 823 miles. We tried to plan the trip so that we dont drive more than 600 miles a day but it didnt work out that way. there are only 2 stops that exceed 600 miles so I guess thats not to bad. Our other plan was to make a trip to Alaska, from NYC it would be 4412 miles one way. We are still tossed between the two trips. Has anyone here been to Alaska? I always wanted to do that drive and experience this but I'm not to sure on the different sites on the way. I would be passing through Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, S. Dakota, British columbia, alberta and Yukon. This would be my #1 choice out of the 2 trips but i dont know if this would be suitable for the kids or if 1 month would be enough time. We would be camping pretty much at every stop to save on $$$. Like you said AZBuck, each stop should engage the kids in some way. I've never been to Canada and dont know much about it and since most of the ride would be through Canada I'm a little hesitant. If anyone has any info on this , That would be great. 4 days of just driving would drive my kids crazy, I definately need to stop at a few places along the way that would keep there interest in the trip. Thanks Again and I'm happy to be apart of the forums.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Age (and Distance!) Matters

    Let's see. You're 29, which means your girls can't be all that old. While I agree that the Alcan Highway can be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, it requires a degree of maturity and forbearance that I doubt your daughters have acquired yet. Are they asking for such a trip? This might better be put off until they're all in their teens or so. I don't think I'd try it with children much younger than 8 at the low end.

    By the same token 823 miles is just way (and I mean WAY) too much to try to drive with 6 people in the car. I think (again just me talking) I'd max out at around 500. What's the farthest you went on one of your weekend jaunts? Let that help guide you on what's really possible on a more extended trip. You may have to give up the occasional 'day off' but trust me, if you try to cover 800+ miles in one day, you're going to make the Hatfield's and McCoy's reunion look like a love-in.

    AZBuck

  5. Default

    The AK trip was our first plan but we didn't think it would be a good idea with the kids so we mapped out the cross country trip. The furthest I've ever driven was from NYC to Orlando. It took me 19 hours. I had 4 people in a 1990 pontiac 6000. The car belonged to my father and he didn't want anyone else driving it besides me. We only had 8 days for this trip and I promissed my buddies I would get us there in one day and I did. I stopped every 4 hours for gas and to stretch the legs, 15 minutes later I was back behind the wheel with toothpicks in my eyes to keep them open (LOL). Not to smart to drive 19 hours straight but I'm a man of my word. On the way home I made a wrong turn in Philly so it took me 21 hours. I love to drive, so long hours at a time dont bother me much esspecially now that I'm driving a conversion van. The kids got the TV DvD, Playstation and a bed, so there trip will be comfortable. I definately would not drive 19 hours with the kids. I think I would be able to handle no more than 10 hours but only for two or three of the stops not the whole trip.I definately agree with you though AZBuck, 800 miles is alot. The most I ever drove with the kids was from NYC to VA. This took about 6.5 hours with one potty stop. I'm definately going to take your advice and break it down a bit, which means two or three more stops or two or three less. I'm trying to pack in alot in 30 days so I'm getting a little carried away. The roads aint going anywhere. So far our longest drive appears to be from Vegas to Colorado. Are there any sites in between you can recommend? Also, Thank you for the advice on the AK trip!!! If it were up to me and the old lady we would just pick up and go for it but we would probably find ourselves turning around halfway with the kids. My kids are 6, 4, 2 and 1. My 6 year old is very excited about Nashville and Roswell. She wants a Cowgirl hat and she wants to see UFO's (LOL). My 4 year old dont care where we go just as long as we're all together and the other two are to young to know anything yet. Thanks Buddy!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Speed Run Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by NYC VANNER View Post
    It took me 19 hours. I had 4 people in a 1990 pontiac 6000.
    Hopefully you are a wiser person these days... Here are some tips and suggestions for anyone contemplating a speed run these days.
    I'm trying to pack in alot in 30 days so I'm getting a little carried away. The roads aint going anywhere.
    Good point, be sure to look at the bottom of the pages when you look at other threads -- we try and list other threads that have similar content and ideas down there.
    So far our longest drive appears to be from Vegas to Colorado. Are there any sites in between you can recommend?
    I don't remember your route -- but if you are taking I-15 to I-70 you are in for real treat -- as you can see in this field report I wrote a few months ago.

    Have fun and happy planning!

    Mark

  7. Default

    THANK YOU Mark!!!! I definately did smarten up a bit since then. I read the points for a speed run, a whole lotta excellent points made. I was young, stupid and short on time. I would not concider doing that again especially with kids.
    As a matter of fact I will be taking I-15 to I-70. AWESOME pictures!!!! I never realized how beautifull Utah is. Cant wait to experience it for myself.
    I hear so much about RT.66, whats the big deal with this RT.? I'm kind of curious to check it out. Whats out there?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Route 66 and Beyond

    Quote Originally Posted by NYC VANNER View Post
    As a matter of fact I will be taking I-15 to I-70. AWESOME pictures!!!! I never realized how beautifull Utah is. Cant wait to experience it for myself.
    It is very special. Gerald Thurman takes some really great photos and you might enjoy looking at some of his field reports. His directory page can be seen here.
    I hear so much about RT.66, whats the big deal with this RT.? I'm kind of curious to check it out. Whats out there?
    Route 66 has been annointed as the "Mother Road" and frankly it has never managed to catch my fancy as much as other roads. My dream is to drive US-2 and the remaining sections of the Lincoln Highway from coast to coast. But we maintain a set of links of others who have "caught the bug" of Route 66 and we have also reviewed a number of books about this historic route.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Ah Youth

    It's amazing what we'll do when we're young and stupid enough to think that we're indestructible. My own personal 'best'(?) was 1270 miles in one solo sitting over 26 hours. But now we're responsible adults, right? So let's see if we can find/suggest some unique experiences along the way.

    Between NYC and Williamsburg you might consider an alternative to coming down through Philly, Baltimore and Washington. Rather, start out on the Garden State Parkway to the southern tip of NJ and then take the Cape May-Lewes Ferry over to Delaware so you can throw in a short 'ocean cruise' along with your RoadTrip. Then continue down the Delmarva Peninsula, with a possible stop at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge with its famous wild ponies. Then cross the mouth of the Chesapeake on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel into Norfolk for another unique water crossing.

    On the leg from Nashville to Dallas, there is a truly one-of-a-kind opportunity at Crater of Diamonds State Park outside Murfreesboro, AR. Where else are your girls going to get a chance to dig up their own, real diamonds?

    After Roswell, if your girls are really into ETs, think about this moderate detour. Take US-380 over to Socorro, NM and then continue west on US-60 for a drive by and through the Very Large Array (seen in many sci-fi movies) where, among other scientific studies, they really are listening for extraterrestrial signals. You can then continue west to Springerville, AZ where you'd join US-180 up to rejoin I-40 by driving through Petrified Forest National Park.

    The drive from Rocky Mountain National Park to Omaha might strike some as flat and boring, but take the opportunity to teach a little history. After all, you'll be following the track of the old Oregon Trail.

    Hope those help.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 09-01-2006 at 07:13 PM. Reason: Typo

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default White Sands

    After Roswell, you might want to go south a bit and check out White Sands National Monument. It's like a day at the beach....no ocean though, of course! The kids might really enjoy that.

    I think you've got the right idea of how to do this trip. I would just caution having flexibility. Remember that some long drives on the weekends are quite different than doing a series of long drives on a month-long roadtrip. All of you are likely to get far more tired and cranky after a week or so of this than on periodic weekend trips. So don't get too caught up in your itinerary and in having to see everything you set out to see. If you only see half the sights but have more fun doing it by staying in some places longer and playing, so what? What's important is the fun and the memories, not checking off must-sees from your mental list. Your children are young enough where you could get them back to those other places another time.

    Take care and have a great trip!

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