Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Default Help with my road trip plan please!!

    Ok, so I am planning a road trip with my family come this June or July. I wanted to see if anyone had any advice on the route I have chosen so far and just advice in general.

    I have two weeks worth of vacation so the MAX trip time is 14 days, although I would like to trim it down to about 11 or so if possible. Right now we only have several things that are things we definitely want to see.

    - Yellowstone National Park
    - Redwood National Park (Ave. of the Giants)
    - McCall,ID (My sister in law lives here so we are going to spend a full day in McCall.)

    Anything else is fair game. We are traveling in a rental minivan with a 6 year old and 4 year old. This pretty much excludes camping or other activities that would prohibit taking young children (no casinos etc.)

    I basically don't know how many hours to do per day and what towns to find decent but lower price accommodations. The towns I have picked on the map are just towns that seemed to be close to some of our destinations and convenient to stop at based on hours per day of driving. We have taken several trips from Iowa City to Baltimore (15 hours) and it seems I start to get tired of driving around 8-10 hours in. Any suggestions?

    I have included a google map rough draft so far.. I am kind of stuck on what path to take on the way back...

    Great forum btw!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Take your time.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    For a family road trip 8-10 hours a day is reasonable for everyone, anymore and you will get tired, the kids will get fidgety and it will start to take the shine off things for the wife, with everyone else getting a little grumpy.

    Your trip is going to be in the region of 4500 miles, averaging 9 hours a day on travel days, will be roughly 9 days of driving. Now I have seen many members who have 11 days and wish they had 14, but not many who want to "trim it down". Basically to make the trip enjoyable, spend a day in McCall and have a little time sight seeing in Yellowstone and the Redwoods and another couple of stops on the way, I think you should use each and everyone of the 14 day's.

    If you do Yellowstone and McCall on the way out, I 80 through Salt lake City would make a good run home with limited time. For overnight stops, look to be covering around 450- 550 miles a day for 8-10 hours on the road while on main highways, allowing time for short stops to eat, go to the bathroom, fill with gas and let the kids take a break. Mapping programs do not account for such human behaviour and the times given are always optimistic, add 20% to the estimated times for a more real world approach.

    If you have specific questions as you plan just ask.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 12-10-2010 at 05:16 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not Bad So Far, But

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Actually, you've done a very good job so far. I can't imagine trying to drive straight through from Iowa City to Baltimore (910 miles) in one day. No wonder you got tired! That is simply unwise and unsafe. And I can't for the life of me imagine that the kids had any fun. But here's your chance to plan something where they'll see more than the inside of a car or worse, 15 hours of video. First off, at that age big attractions are not necessary, local parks, wildlife refuges, even playgrounds work just as well. I wouldn't try for more than about 400-450 miles on even those days devoted to getting on down the road. Less on those days when you're going to make a major stop. Your kids are just getting old enough for the Junior Ranger Program. My grandsons love it, and it is a great way for them to learn a bit about each park at their own pace and earn a great set of souvenirs.

    So... Your first day is going to be a bit much. Yes it's less than you've done in the past, but it's still more than you should be attempting with children. Your second and third days are more reasonable, but don't leave a lot of time for actually doing anything in Yellowstone. Just the slow, two lane, bumper-to-bumper-with-frequent-stops drive through will take up most of your 'spare' time. Add at least a day for this area and include Badlands National Park. Jackson, WY may be convenient, but I wouldn't count on finding "lower priced accommodations", but that is something you can spend some time on after you start getting your entire trip in order.

    If you really want to keep this to 11 days or so, and not just drive, drive, drive. Then pushing all the way to the coast is probably too much. Note that your itinerary calls for 7 days one way and I've strongly suggested you add another which would only leave 3 days for the return drive. Not going to work. Personally, if all you're going to the coast for is the trees, I'd give it up and turn for home after McCall and take a different route home. something like down to Salt Lake City, across the Rockies on US-40/US-34 with stops at Dinosaur National Monument, Rocky Mountain National Park, and along the old Oregon Trail (US-30) in western Nebraska.


  4. Default Kids won't remember this trip!

    I agree with AZBuck's statement, "First off, at that age big attractions are not necessary, local parks, wildlife refuges, even playgrounds work just as well."

    It feels great to take the kids on a cross-country roadtrip and introduce them to the magnificent wonders this nation has to offer. Been there, done that. However, your kids will barely remember it, if at all. Been there, done that.

    I took my kids to WDW at about the same age as yours. Two years later, we went again. Looking over the list of attractions, I suggested that we skip some that we did back then and focus on others. "We've never been here before, Daddy" was their shocking response!!! HOW could they not remember being at WDW? The answer: they were too young.

    Can you remember what you saw on vacation when you were four years old? Neither can I. Six, possibly. I remember basically nothing from a trip to New York and Niagara Falls, except some faint recollection of riding on the Staten Island Ferry and visiting a relative who drove an Ice Cream Truck (Yeah, I do remember all the free icecream!). I was around 6 at the time. But I do vividly remember all the great cross-country trips that we took from the time I was eight.

    So, enjoy your vacation, but focus more on quality than quantity.

    Been there, done that.

  5. Default

    As for your route, I-90 looks good to me.

    Your kids might enjoy BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK. You can see a lot of it with a straight drive through, stopping at several viewing areas. It is a nice break before you get to Rapid city.

    Just outside of the park you'll find the world famous WALL DRUG. This has to be the most fun of any tourist trap in the USA. There is plenty there to keep your kids amused for a long time.

  6. #6

    Default Not Enough Time

    Just my opinion, but I really don't think this much distance in 11 - 14 days would be enjoyable. Yellowstone is a huge park with dozens of interesting things to see and do and stop for. 1 or even 2 days would not allow you to do any kind of justice to that park. Unless your children are very different from mine at that age, that many days of driving, driving, driving will result in them being very cranky and you pretty darn tired, upset, and just ready to get back home.

    To each his own, but since you asked for suggestions, I would suggest you scale back, drive less per day and take the time to enjoy the places you go. Don't set your time schedule so tight that you can't wait around for Old Faithful to erupt. Vacations should be about enjoyment and freedom, not rushing to get to the next place.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do on your trip!

Similar Threads

  1. Two week road trip CF AZ UT - our plan - suggestions welcome
    By pkf in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-04-2010, 12:55 PM
  2. Help a Dutch guy plan a road trip:)
    By maverick9898 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-14-2009, 09:11 AM
  3. Help me plan our road trip!
    By englebert in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 10-22-2007, 02:08 PM
  4. Help plan my 2 month road trip!!
    By JF2CBR in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-10-2007, 06:06 PM
  5. How Does One Plan A Road Trip?
    By Kate Evans in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-13-2002, 09:14 AM


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