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  1. Default Roadtrip from Los Angeles to New York a good idea???

    We have always talked about going to Times Square during New Years, and I started looking into it.. We are a family of 5, me and hubby and 3 boys ages 14, 7, 2.

    I looked into the Hotels 4 days at ($300 a day if we book now) and what it would cost us if we flew over there which would be about $1800 (if we book now)

    I talked it over with the Hubby and he told me to look into driving over there since we think that it would be a beautiful experience for the family (we love to take long drives) but i'm not so sure. I'm afraid it would be more expensive and really tedious because of the children.

    If there is anybody here that has gone thru with it, I would appreciate any tips you can give me.

    Also if you could tell me how much time we should set aside to complete the whole trip.

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Critical Factors

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You have put your finger on exactly the major tradeoff between flying and driving: time vs. money, although as the distance gets greater and greater the edge clearly falls to flying. With your crew, I'd count on around $150-175 per day for food and lodging assuming you're comfortable staying night after night in a single room with two king or queen beds. A rough guesstimate on gas is $450 each way depending on your car and route. On the plus side, if you take your own car, you save on the cost of a rental and your kids will be more comfortable. The biggest unknown is the time for the drive. If you were just two adults dedicated to making the drive in as little time as safely possible, then you could do it in 5 days. But with the boys, I'd plan on at least two more days. It's not that the boys will slow you down while driving, it's that you can't expect them to sit still for 5 days without a break. What you'll have to do instead is break up the trip with various stops of several hours each at any number of sites along the way. Give them a major 'treat' each day such as Mojave National Preserve, Grand Canyon, Cadillac Ranch, Ozarks, St. Louis Arch, Indianapolis Speedway, Gettysburg, as well as a few shorter breaks. Now that means you're looking at around three weeks total for the drive vs. one week for flying there. That's a huge trade-off and why flying is still so popular despite everything the airlines are doing to make it as distressing an experience as possible.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You also may have weather issues at that time of year, which can make the drive even longer. You would have to wait out a storm or drive even more miles trying to detour around a storm.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Just driving 10 hours a day or so, you're going to need 5 day each way to make the drive. Of course, when you factor in holiday traffic and December/January weather, having a 6th day available would make a lot of sense.

    Cost wise, you'll be looking at about $1000 just for fuel. Throw in at least $500 for budget motels. You'll likely spend a little more on food than you would at home, and the other big budget item is going to be parking in New York City over a holiday. Basically, the costs are going to be about a wash.
    You might look at Amtrak, which offers pretty good discounts for kids which could make it a cost effective option. That would about a 3-4 day trip each way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    That's an excellent idea if you have the time - Amtrak can be fun! However, bedrooms on the train are VERY expensive.

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