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  1. #1

    Default summer road trip w/ 12yr old


    My boyfriend and I are thinking of taking my 12 year old nephew on a roadtrip this summer, probably August. We would go from RI to CA...Big Sur to San Diego (to see family) and then Grand Canyon...and then I am stuck. I am not sure what else to see from from AZ back home to RI is empty. Also, any thoughts on renting a car vs. suv for the trip?
    I am trying to make a budget as well, any idea as to how much to budget for food and such...I was thinking at least $1200 for fuel. This is my first road trip so I am not sure of the cost....thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default How long will this trip be?

    Quote Originally Posted by liz78 View Post
    My boyfriend and I are thinking of taking my 12 year old nephew on a roadtrip this summer, probably August
    Sounds like a grand excursion to us. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! The trip you have outlined could easily be as much as 6600 miles, (which would require almost thirteen full days of travel ~ 9 hours per day) If you add a couple days for exploring this trip will hit two weeks easy. Were you planning a such a trip?
    Also, any thoughts on renting a car vs. suv for the trip?
    This a frequent topic on this Forum --it really comes down to how much extra mileage you want to put on your car.
    I am trying to make a budget as well, any idea as to how much to budget for food and such..
    Here are some budgeting tips and if you use our fuel cost calculator you can try a number of options -- but $1200 sounds reasonable. Actually, the posts for budget suggestion I actually intended to link to was this one: Getting Started by RoadTrip Guru Judy

    Also look at this thread for some of those "empty" places on your trip....

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-06-2007 at 09:06 AM. Reason: added a new link

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    Quote Originally Posted by liz78 View Post
    Also, any thoughts on renting a car vs. suv for the trip?

    Actually, I'm reading this as you will have to rent something, so should it be a car or an SUV. Is that right?

    Personally, unless you just prefer driving an SUV, I see no point in it. Rental companies don't want you taking an SUV off-road. And, if you're not going off-road, you don't really need one, imho. And an SUV is usually more expensive to rent and gets worse gas mileage than most cars.

    You simply need a car big enough to be comfortable for such a long trip and that has enough room to pack what you're bringing. I would think most any mid-size car would work. But only you can answer the question on what vehicle works best for you.

    Yeah, you can do this trip in 2 weeks. But that leaves you little time for exploring. I would want at least 3 weeks to do this trip. There are so many things to see along any route you would take between these two cities. You won't be able to see them all, but it would be a shame to have to zip by everything and not have time to enjoy much along the route.

    I suggest you get a good map of the US that shows the major national parks and cities. Then mark the things that you would like to see. Then see if there's a route that takes you through these places that is relatively straight across the country so you're not zig-zagging to much (because you probably won't have time for that).

    After you've determined some of this, come back with your route and we'll help you fine-tune it to make it work for you. Or advise you if it won't really work due to time or budget limitations.

    To help you get started, it looks like the quickest route to the Big Sur is to basically take I-80 across to San Francisco. From San Diego the quickest route home would be to take I-40, I-44, and I-70. With a side-trip to the Grand Canyon, this is 6800 miles. And that doesn't include any extra miles to sightsee or to pull off the highway for food/gas/lodging. I could easily see that your mileage could get up to 8000 for this trip, maybe even a bit more.

  4. Default Summer Road Trip With 12 Year Old

    There are so many wonderful places to see in Arizona that it's hard to tell you all of them, but from the Grand Canyon back East there is the Painted Desert, and the Petrified Forrest that are right off the interstate. Plan on taking a day to see them both, unless you drive through and not stop and take any walks or really see anything. Then it would take about half a day. From Flagstaff (which is south of the Grand Canyon) south you can see the Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, there is an Indian ruins that I can't think of the name of right now dang it. I've got it it's Montezuma Castel National Monument. I don't know your route back so I don't really know what to suggest, but Flagstaff isn't that far off the path and there are several interesting things to see there. Have fun and if you go back through N.M., Albuquerque, there are several things there to see. Be sure to take the tram ride to the top of the Mtn. This will be a trip you nephew will remember the rest of his life. Happy trails.....pnut
    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-09-2007 at 04:12 PM. Reason: It is not necessary to shout

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