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  1. #1

    Default Family travel from downunder

    Hi. Am so glad I found this forum for some advice.

    We are travelling in June/July 07 with my wife and 2 girls 13 and 11. I was an exchange student over 30 years ago and still keep in touch with my family so we would like to see them also. We are planning to fly in to LA and take the kids to Disneyland for a few days, then rent a car and head on a driving trip ending up in NC. We have 6 weeks.

    I would love anyones thoughts on where to go and what to see. My initial thought was to go down through the south (as I havnt been there), and possible return a different way.

    Do you think we could comfortably do this trip (return) in 6 weeks or would it be just too much. If we could do it, any thoughts on sights especially that appealed to kids and suggested stopovers would be really appreciated. If not we could fly back from NC, so we would have longer on the way over.

    As I said I havnt been in 30 years so any and all suggestions would be welcomed and REALLY appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Great Plan!

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think driving out to NY one way and then coming back another will work just fine in the time you have alotted. Doing this as a round trip will not only increase the number of places you can see, but it should also reduce your costs by quite a bit.

    As far as what to see, well, there is almost too many possiblities to even start. Your kids should be getting old enough to appreciate the thousands of natural wonders you could see on your trip, but more importantly, they are old enough to do some research themselves and tell you what they'd like to see.

    Having your kids actively involved in the planning should make this more enjoyable and memorable for your entire family.

    Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Devil is in the Details

    I have to agree with Michael that 6 weeks allows ample time to see America by car. As a point of reference, Australia and the Continental US are roughly the same size, but our road system is much more developed. (And we don't have 'road trains'!) Two weeks is considered time enough for a leisurely cross country journey, which would leave you plenty of time for a visit in North Carolina before the return drive. Just to give you an idea of what's available, Here's a post wherein I offer one possible route through the heart of America, and here's a thread where I describe a trip I made last year across the southern tier of states and back. Michael is also right on the money in that getting your girls involved in the planning will make it 'their' trip and not just something you're dragging them along on.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 12-16-2006 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Correct Localism

  4. #4

    Default Thank you

    Thank you for your suggestions and help. Im glad we seem to have allotted enough time for the trip.

    I guess there are too many things to make specific suggestions, I just though that some would say "wow you have to see that!"

    What about motels etc. Any suggestions? we dont intend to book beforehand, except for when we first arrive, so anything to suggest or to be wary of would be appreciated.

    Cheers from AUS!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Motels

    The topic of motels and reservations is a popular one.

    I prefer to travel without reservations, and you shouldn't have any problems there. However, a more extensive article describing the pros and cons of pre-reserving rooms can be found here.

    As far as other hotel/motel tips and what to look for or avoid, a lot of times using your instincts is the best bet. It is ususally not too difficult to determine which motels are sketchy and which hotels will costs 2 months rent for one night of sleep. You might want to check out this thread where Gen breaks down the different motel chains by cost and offers some other budget sleeping tips.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Those Devilish Details

    The number of 'must-sees'(i.e. the places that everyone should see, without exception) is actually pretty limited, and I would only classify those places that are truly "like nowhere else on Earth" as such. So here's my short list:

    Las Vegas
    Grand Canyon
    Arches National Park
    The Rockies (somewhere between Colorado and Montana)
    Yellowstone National Park
    Kennedy Space Center (for a shuttle launch)

    Now, the first four of those you can easily do in your 6 weeks. The last two are a bit problematic. Going to KSC is only a 'must' if there will be a shuttle launch. A Delta launch is interesting but not necessarily worth the drive down from North Carolina (IMHO). You can check the launch schedule here. But be prepared, launches often slip. I had to make three trips to KSC to see 1 launch - still it was worth it. Yellowstone is a bit far afield for transcontinental journeys between Los Angeles and North Carolina, but still you could make one of your treks across the northern tier of states and see it and a number of other worthwhile sights. You will, in fact, have very little trouble finding any number of worthwhile natural, historic, and just downright relaxing venues. But, really, the places you'll most enjoy depend at least as much on you as the place. So I guess my question back to you, is what did you have in mind, even just generally?


  7. #7

    Default The problem is in the detail

    Thank you for the information. My US host brother is telling me that what we want to do is too much in 6 weeks. He is suggesting flying out from Vegas (on cheap flights) and as he puts it "missing the desert and farms in between"

    I had sort of planned to drive from Vegas to NC throught the southern states, then up to PA then Michigan then across the northern states to Seattle then down to LA through SF. What he is saying is that is too ambitious in 6 weeks (5 weeks driving time).

    He is suggesting either driving to NC as I have suggested and flying to near Yosemite and then picking up another car to drive to LA, or alternatively, fly to NC and then drive the Michigan northern route.

    Any suggestions? If this road trip is too ambitious, which of the alternatives would be the better option?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Some of the best parts

    I'll have to disagree with your brother. If you miss the deserts and the farmland, you miss out on some of the most scenic and friendly parts of the country.

    That said, 6 weeks is a little more of a time crunch if you are going to do a big loop. Going up to Seattle, for example, adds quite a few extra miles than just going from Yosemite to California. It is still very feasable, though.

    I'd say it will mostly depend upon how much time you want to spend visiting places. Flying one leg across the country will basically allow you to spend an extra 4-5 days exploring areas where you are driving. However, the trade off, is you won't get to see the part of the country that you'd be flying over. That option will also cost a little more.

    There are a lot of variables, but the answer ultimately comes down to would you rather spend all your time visiting lots of places, or would you rather spend a little more time exploring a smaller number of places. There is no right answer, other than the one that sounds most fun to you.

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