We are currently in the planning stages of a family holiday/road trip combined with a work trip but would like some feedback/opinions/thoughts to help us decide and plan our journey. We are a family of 5 coming in from Australia - kids are 10, 7 and 2
We have work commitments in Las Vegas the first week of November and in Orlando in the first week of December. The 3 and a half weeks between work commitments are up for grabs and we are looking at a road trip.
After finishing work in Orlando, we plan on doing the Disney World and associated Theme parks, so that won't eat into our road trip time. Kids are fine with road trips - they've enjoyed/suffered/survived (depending on the trip and the child) a number of road trips here at home, including a couple of 14 hour drives with minimal stops, but I'd prefer much shorter driving days to enjoy the sights as we travel.
As Aussies, snow is pretty much a foreign substance, so weather conditions will play a large part in our decision making. I have done some driving in Alaska many years ago during October, but it didn't snow and the roads were pretty empty, so it wasn't a challenge - I just don't want to be stuck in a snow storm, in a large town/city trying to follow a map with 3 grumpy kids in peak hour if you get what I mean.
We want to take the kids to the Smithsonian for a few days in DC, so are thinking that either a drive from Vegas to DC, then fly to Orlando is on the cards, or alternatively fly out from Vegas to DC, then drive to Orlando.
We have some MUST DO/SEE items on our to-do list:
- Grand Canyon/Hoover Dam
- Smithsonian/Government buildings/War memorials in DC
- Cape Canaveral (there is a rocket launch scheduled for Nov 25 which ties in well with our commitments in Orlando).
We are pretty flexible, so don't mind mixing the travel up a bit. I guess after we take out the days for flights and our to-do-list; we probably really only have 2 weeks for the road trip. Maybe Vegas-DC is just too far and ambitious for that amount of time? Which may leave us with hiring a car for a few days in Vegas, then fly onto DC and drive to Orlando.
On previous trips we've driven with 2 of the kids from LA to Vegas a couple of times, San Fran to Vegas via Yosemite and Tioga Pass; and on our own we've driven from DC to New Orleans over 3 weeks spending a few days here and there along the way.
We all enjoy looking at historical places, places of interest and nature. (Yosemite was a big hit, except it was end of Oct, first snow hadn't hit and the waterfalls were dry).
So, any suggestions?