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  1. Default Our First Formal Road Trip From Atlanta to California


    My family and I are planning to take our first planned road trip in June and would like to travel from Atlanta to California over a 3 week period. There will be 5 of us including our 3 children ranging in age from 7 to 17. We are interested in taking the following route: From Atlanta - Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California. We also hoped to see Arizona and New Orleans on our return trip. We are interested in visiting museums, national parks, amusement parks, and are open to anything that might be fun for families. Although, we want to travel for 3 weeks, we can do 4, if necessary.

    We are seeking any information regarding best routes, attractions, economical but nice hotels, and whether or not we're being reasonable with the number of states we hope to see in a 3 to 4 week period.

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks so much!

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

    Default Work to do.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    We don't really do "best" here because the Roadtrip is an individual choice and one persons "must see" is another's nightmare. You are certainly not short of route options, National parks or anything else and you will have to do a little of your own research to narrow things down to the time you have available.

    Here at RTA you will find many answers by searching the forums and looking at the Roadtrip planning pages and the all new Map centre where you can create routes and find listed attractions along them. [See tool bars above] Also check out the National parks at where you will find all the info you could want on every park.

    You are looking at a trip of at least 5000 miles and 10 days of solid driving so will have quite a bit of time for sight seeing. I would also try and create more of a loop by taking a Southerly route one way and a more Northerly the other. So New Orleans and Texas would be on the same route with New Mexico and Arizona, and Tennesse, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah the other way, rather than Zig-Zagging North and South between Texas and Colorado.

    There are just too many lodging options throughout the country and to few regular contributors to the forums to give lodging recommendations, especially as we don't know where your nights will be spent yet and the fact that owners and conditions can change quickly. Use sites like Tripadvisor and Expedia for reviews once you have an idea of where you will be staying.

    As you look around and get some dots on the map we will certainly try and answer any questions that crop up and help to fill in the blanks, but for now you need to sit down as a group and work on your itinerary. It's important to include the kids in the planning from the start as they will feel part of the trip and it will be more rewarding for everyone.

    I say "work to do" but to be honest he planning stages of a trip are a big part of the trip as a whole and can be a lot of fun, Enjoy !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Quite a Lot of Road for a First Timer

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Well, you're looking at anywhere from 4500 to 5000 miles (or more) for any reasonable loop trip out to Los Angeles and back. Add in miles for detours to attractions and whatever else you want to see and do in California and you are looking at 10 days at least of serious on the road time. So three weeks would allow for a good mix of driving and actually doing stuff. I seldom say this, but four weeks might prove to be a bit too much 'togetherness'. A basic loop would take I-40 one way and I-20/I-10 the other. Highlights of such a loop would include Memphis, the Ozarks, Cadillac Ranch, Santa Fe, Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Disneyland, desert and cacti, Carlsbad Caverns, the Alamo, New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. You can certainly take a third route that goes through Colorado, Utah and Nevada as you indicate while only adding a couple of hundred miles.

    So. at this point your first priority should be coming up with the basic outline of your trip. We can, as above, offer suggestion but this is really up to you and is actually (in my opinion) one of the most enjoyable parts of any RoadTrip - the daydreaming. Get your family, including the kids, involved in this most vital aspect. Show them a few routes that you are considering and have them all take some time with a good map or on-line figuring out what attractions are along each possible route and what they would prefer seeing. What I would recommend isn't nearly as important as what they choose for themselves. Then, once you have a basic pair of routes out and back, let each family member choose a couple of particular sites and be responsible for doing the research on them: when are they open, how do you get there, stuff you should know before you get there, what will you do and see when you get there, Then they can act as your guide for that attraction. It's a great way to get everyone, particularly the kids, invested in having a great time.


  4. Default Thank you!

    Thank you for your insightful responses! Your suggestions regarding traveling routes, time allowance, navigating RTA's site, and incorporating the entire family into the planning process are all priceless! Now that we are armed with this advise, we feel ready to take on the (exciting) challenges of planning our trip. We look forward to providing updates regarding our progress and eventual trip!


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