Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. Default Planning Family Trip from San Francisco to Raleigh, NC: Looking for advice

    I am planning one way family trip from San Francisco to Raleigh in July. I have two kids teenager and 2nd grader. I'm planning to spend 7-8 days on the road. I am looking for advice on kind of everything,This is our first such a long trip.
    Is it a good idea?
    Place to visit in the route which are interesting to kids?
    How to keep kids entertained on the road?
    Where can we stay (not looking for super cheap places)?
    Where to eat? our family prefers vegetarian food
    What to carry in the van?
    What kind of issues can I expect?
    Anything else which I have missed here?

    I am planning to carry GPS, have AT&T phones and road side services.

    My teenager would like to cover grand canyon, four corner monuments and other famous places to visit in the route. I prefer not to drive more than 6-7 hours a day.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Driving only 6 to 7 hours a day, you are looking at a 7 day trip via fastest route with no sightseeing. This is not going to leave you any time for spending any time at any attractions. You may have to spend one or more 12 hour days on the road to work in attractions such as the Grand Canyon.

    The fastest route is I-5 to Bakersfield, CA-58 to Barstow, then I-40 all the way to Raleigh.

    You should probably be looking at mid-priced chain hotels such as Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn.

    I would assume that most chain restaurants have vegetarian items on their menu. You can, of course, pack a cooler with your preferred items and replenish them at supermarkets enroute. Many hotels offer a free breakfast, varying from barebones continental to a full hot table.

    I don't know about your kids, but my grandkids are kept well occupied with a portable DVD player, Ipods, and Gameboys.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default A good old paper map.

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A. forums.

    As glc mentioned you really haven't got a lot of time to play with and a visit to GC and a drive through Monument valley and Four corners back to I-40 [Albuquerque] will be putting you at or beyond what you wish to travel each day. Although driving 7 plus hours a day on a road trip doesn't need to be daunting, 3 or 4 hours in the morning, a stop for lunch and then another 2x2 hour stints with a nice rest in between shouldn't feel like a chore. Here's a great list of places to R@R just off Interstate that should help, and take a paper map[s] so you can see the surrounding areas you are passing through rather than just following a set of instructions off the GPS. Get the kids involved in reading it and making suggestions as where to visit or stopover the night. Ask them questions about the route and what is it your looking at as you drive by to try and keep there attention on the road trip. If [or when]that fails give them there Gameboys, Lol!

    I can't think of any issues you might have but to try and avoid any make sure your vehicle is in good shape and the service schedule is up to date before you leave.

  4. Default

    Thanks for your response. Would half day be enough for Grand Canyon?
    Are there any other must see attraction in the route to Raleigh?
    Is there any good web site to plan trips such as this one?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Half a day really isn't enough to do Grand Canyon properly. I'd plan on a whole day.

    I'm not trying to avoid the question, but one person's "must see" is another's "who cares". The best thing to do is dig out a paper map and look at the various attractions along your route, then do Internet research for the details to decide if it's a "must see" for you! Dave has posted a link to a thread that has quite a list of various attractions on or near I-40.

    Here is an example of the point I am trying to make - I always stop for dinner at the Big Texan in Amarillo. However, I think this would be the LAST place you would want to stop - it's not exactly vegetarian-friendly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default huh?

    Is there any good web site to plan trips such as this one?
    Do you mean besides this one?

    I guess I'm not really sure what you are looking for. If you're hoping for a program that where you can put in your starting and ending point and then come up with all of the possible stops for you, you're not going ot find it. There are a few sites that try to do something like that, but I've never found one that even does a good job of scratching the surface. There's just too many options on a roadtrip for even the best computer to effectively narrow them down into a one-size-fits-all program.

    How to keep kids entertained on the road?
    I am a strong believer that you should strongly limit the amount of techology/toys you bring along to distract your kids from the road. I don't really have a problem with music, but I just think its a shame when people go on a roadtrip, drive by things they'd never otherwise see, and their kids spend their entire trip glued to a monitor. For my family's roadtrips, we have a portable DVD player, but it only gets used for at most one movie a day, and that's usually after it starts getting dark.

    The best thing to keep kids entertained while on the road is to make it a trip where you are stopping frequently and seeing and doing things often enough that you aren't dealing with hours upon hours of just sitting in the car. Of course, your kids (especially teens) should be playing a big roll in the planning and you should stop at some of the places they want to so it as much their roadtrip as it is yours. It sounds like you are on your way in that department already.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Enjoy the planning !

    As the others have said, there is a "no one size fits all" type road trip, which is a good thing, it could get pretty boring !

    If you sit down with the family and the map and find places of interest, we can certainly help you "fine tune" your trip to maximise your time and enjoyment and suggest options open to you. I would start by dotting places on the map that will even out your driving times per day and then check out the options in between and nearby to your dots for an overnight stop. You will be looking at covering around 350 miles a day over 8 days to cover the distance required , which with short stops for gas and food etc will put you in the window of 6-7 hours travel per day which in turn will leave you the rest of the day to sight see etc. When you have had a look let us know and ask any questions you may have.

    Enjoy the planning with the family, I find it a very enjoyable part of the trip as a whole and is a great way to get the kids involved !

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mka View Post
    I am planning one way family trip from San Francisco to Raleigh in July. I have two kids teenager and 2nd grader. I'm planning to spend 7-8 days on the road.
    Though I haven't put it to a map, I think you need more days or fewer miles. I'm pretty sure you could move your van from San Fran to Raleigh and back in that timeframe, but you would not have time to stop and enjoy anything on the way.

    Why Raleigh?
    What places do you really want to see most? I think you need to focus on those and map out your plans -- then the other details can start to fall into place.
    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    I am a strong believer that you should strongly limit the amount of techology/toys you bring along to distract your kids from the road . . . The best thing to keep kids entertained while on the road is to make it a trip where you are stopping frequently and seeing and doing things often enough that you aren't dealing with hours upon hours of just sitting in the car.
    Like so many other things in life, you have to find the right balance. I completely agree that kids should be encouraged to take in the sights on a trip -- that's the whole point of going to another part of the country! But some drives are long and repetative; I mean, there comes a point when you say, "Enough with the canyons -- I've seen them!" The right answer is to find that happy medium between kids who are bored to tears driving hour after hour and kids who are so dazed by SpongeBob that they say, "We saw canyons?"

    For me, there are two keys: 1) Are the kids so involved in their entertainment that they can't be "pulled out" to see something important? and 2) Do they appreciate the sites we're seeing, or do they just endure them until they can dive back to their passive entertainment? My own kids don't have a problem with this balance, but I have seen the resuls of "overindulgence" in other kids. For example, I had to limit text-messaging on a recent scout trip; some of our kids were so involved in it that they were missing the trip.

    We are big fans of board games (though they aren't much use in the car), and we did find a great one recently: Bananagrams. I bought ours at a teacher store, but since then I've seen them at AC Moore and a couple other places. It's like Scrabble, but everyone plays at once and you can re-arrange your letters. The game is small and zips up into a cloth bag the size and shape of a very fat banana. Our family stands around the kitchen counter and plays for an hour at a time. It'd be a fun thing that can easily be toted on a trip. I highly recommend this game!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default One way.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrsPete View Post
    Though I haven't put it to a map, I think you need more days or fewer miles. I'm pretty sure you could move your van from San Fran to Raleigh and back in that timeframe, but you would not have time to stop and enjoy anything on the way.
    The OP has stated that it's a one way trip Mrs P.

  10. Default

    I live in Raleigh, and I'm planning a trip to Northern Califronia next summer with my dog. I'll share my itinerary in a minute. If you have questions about Raleigh or North Carolina, maybe I can help. You and your kids might enjoy camping and rafting on the Nantahala River in western North Carolina. It is beautiful there.
    As for my trip, I'm going with my dog in the summer starting around the middle of June and going untilI get back. I probably won't drive more than four or five hours a day. There are a lot of roses to be smelt on this trip, and we are going to smell them. I like camping, art, live music, cities, mountains, big trees, and water. This trip has it all. Probably going I40to Albuquerque. From there north though Santa Fe, Taos, Colorado Springs, Denver - maybe see a concert at Red Rocks Ampitheater. Very excited about Colorado, might spend at least 5-7 days there. North to Cheyenne. West across southern Wyoming. Go see Yellowstone? I have a dog, who could be kenneled for a few days? I'm not excited about making reservations for tent camping in advance. Anyway, Cheyenne, Salt Lake City, Lake Tahoe. A week in San Francisco, then south to Santa Cruz and then north to Humboldt Redwoods National Park. A friend will fly into San Francisoc to meet me for the rest of the trip. Scoot into Crater Lake, Oregon. By that point I will have seen everything I really wanted to see, and then it's time to start home, maybe hitting Vegas and the Grand Canyon, or not. There will be plenty of camping and cheap pet friendly motels along the way. Any ideas for me? Thanks for letting me piggyback on your thread.

Similar Threads

  1. Helps with planning a trip in winter break
    By polygonal in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-16-2008, 05:09 PM
  2. L.A. to NYC in January road trip, need help planning.
    By Yellowsnow in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-29-2008, 08:36 AM
  3. planning 1st family road trip from minneapolis to South Dakota
    By parentof2 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-19-2008, 01:34 PM
  4. 3 Month trip 2008 - Forward Planning
    By FEHG in forum Off the Beaten Path
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-09-2007, 07:22 PM
  5. From DC to San Francisco in a 7-day trip, the best route?
    By born2travel in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-24-2007, 08:41 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES