Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27
  1. Default Scared First Time Road Tripper!

    I am playing with the idea of traveling from just south of Atlanta out west to Phoenix or even Los Angeles. The crew would include my 2 sons age 17 & 13, daughter 9, myself, my husband and my parents. kids argue nonstop and my daughter doesn't quit talking until she passes out, but I am from Phoenix and I really want to take our kids out West. I am checking into renting an RV so we have some elbow room. But I am wondering how long it would take. I don't think we can handle more than a week to 10 days so I was thinking about driving out and flying back..
    We've never done camping so we would not be sleeping in the RV...can't try everything new at once.

    My husband was in a car accident last July 4 and is recovering from a brain injury. He is doing well, but I have taken over everything, and I mean I am a little overwhelmed as it is, but I have been wanting to do this for years and now that he is unable to work I thought we could try it.

    Any advice?

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

    Default Mini van ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Using a large vehicle that will be slow going and expensive to rent and run and then not sleep in it, really doesn't make it feasible. They may be BIG, but everyone will still be in close quarters when travelling as you all have to be buckled up in the seated area. As well as the higher rental costs and most likely higher one way fees, you will only see a gas return of 10mpg ! RV's can be great fun for the family if you are prepared to go the whole way and camp with it but otherwise a large car or Mini van would make more sense.

    To make things bearable and make stops along the way, I would allow 4 days for the one way journey. You will face a 'one way drop fee' on the rental by doing this. kids argue nonstop and my daughter doesn't quit talking until she passes out,
    That made me chuckle !! Perhaps a set of ear plugs are in order ? Get them involved in the planning and let them make suggestions so they have a vested interest in the trip and it will help to make sure that all concerned have a good time.

    I hope your hubbies recovery goes well and if you have any specific questions then please ask.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Would have to agree with Dave, an RV simply does not make sense in your situation. Would you be able to rent a Suburban or Yukon. These vehicles would give as much elbow room, as an RV would, when in travelling mode. And a lot easier to park.

    As for the suggestion of ear plugs... whereas that is a good idea, I would recommend that you as a driver not resort to them. They could put you in danger of not hearing essential sounds when on the road.

    And as suggested, involve the children in planning the trip. From experience I can assure you that when they are more involved in the planning, they will be more tolerant during the journey. You might like to get this atlas for your daughter. I know my grandchildren get a lot of mileage out of it.


  4. Default

    Audio books? I have two daughters ages 10 and 7 so I know what you mean about the talking non-stop. Audio books are the only things that have saved my sanity at times. I prefer them over the idea of the DVD player in the car, plus audio books are longer! You might be a little hard-pressed to find a title or two that would work for everyone, but maybe something like Harry Potter?

    I agree that an RV doesn't make sense unless you're going to sleep in it. They're much spendier than a rental car.

    I think you can do it, though. Just plan a few fun stops on the way, but not so many that you make the time in the car interminable. I'm sure they would enjoy it when all is said and done.

  5. Default

    Wow! This forum stuff is great! Thanks so much for the feedback. How about you guys make it easy on me and just plan the whole road trip for me and email the itinerary...just kidding..
    But really, how long do you think it would take to go from Atlanta to Phoenix and Grand Canyon round trip? We own a Dodge Caravan so if we took our car it would have to be round trip..

  6. #6


    I have three also- 12, 15 & 18. They are pretty seasoned trippers, but they still act like typical teens. One thing I do is make print outs- the homeschool websites are a great source- for trivia quizzes, facts, maps, geologicals, etc....of every important place, city, state we are traveling through. They used to beg for another worksheet on trips, but they aren't as fond of them now. SO I use them like this: If you whine, you get a sheet, if there is an argument, they all get a sheet, if you annoy me, you get a sheet, etc...They do them (grudgingly, coloring and all) but it seems to take the sting out of the more irritating times. And sometimes, it's good to just break the monotony. Until they start hitting each other with the clipboards....sigh.
    I also rob the Trivial Pursuit game of the card boxes. We've been through 3 versions of cards several times. Have them make a goofy "in the car" movie, we have several embarrassing ones that I'm saving for blackmail times when they are older : )
    For your "talkative" child (I have one too!), let her narrate segments of the trip on video or with her phone. It's fun to see & hear what was going on during travel time later, not just the places you visited and things you did on the trip. I hope you have a good one!

  7. Default

    Having raised a family and road tripped for years. I suggest you take them all to a movie instead. Road tripping magnifies any family problems you might already have. No offense but you are asking for the worst vacation of a lifetime.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA forum, Dick.

    I'm not exactly sure why you'd come to a Roadtrip Forum to tell people not to roadtrip, but your advice is pretty short-sighted.

    It is true that if you just put a bunch of people in a tight space and drive for hours on end, forcing them to do only what the driver wants to do, it is a recipe for a disasterous trip.

    However, if you follow the great ideas offered in this thread, as well as elsewhere on this site, and make sure the entire family is involved in the trip, it can one of the most memorable and best experiences your family will ever have.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Quote Originally Posted by dawnv View Post
    But really, how long do you think it would take to go from Atlanta to Phoenix and Grand Canyon round trip? We own a Dodge Caravan so if we took our car it would have to be round trip..
    You would need the 10 days minimum in my opinion for a reasonably paced journey and 2 or 3 days at 'the other end'. With a couple of weeks you could start thinking of other places like Monument valley and heading to Arches/canyonlands NP in Utah while taking I40 out and I70 back through Colorado to see different things. You could use the 14 days for a relaxed trip out and back with a nice amount of time to enjoy in Phoenix and Grand canyon.

    I suggest you take them all to a movie instead. Road tripping magnifies any family problems you might already have.
    Welcome Dick, I am quite sure that what the OP is describing is pretty much a typical family with teenagers/Kids, but even so I don't think the answer would be to keep them in a room with a Movie or computer games. If that was always the answer we would still think the world is flat Lol ! By getting them out and about, it is not only healthy and educational they will also discover that it can be fun.

  10. Default

    Well, you know your kids better than any of us, but as for how long it would take to get from Atlanta to Phoenix, to me it's really a minimum of 3 pretty long days. I'm not sure I would recommend that, but it could be done. It looks to be about 1800 miles. I'm sure there's somebody out there somewhere who could drive it non-stop with no sleep and stopping only for food and fuel and the bathroom, but that sure doesn't sound like much fun to me.

    I imagine you have some idea of how your kids do on shorter trips to the beach or mountains. Not sure how far your usual car destinations take you, but try to make an educated guess from that. I know my kids are pretty good with 4-5 hrs and they have done 7 hrs when we got stuck in traffic, but that was seriously getting old for all of us, not in the least part because of the traffic jam. So, in planning my trip out west I'm bearing that in mind. Right now I'm trying to decide if two 5 hr days in a row are better or maybe one 7 hr day and one 3 hr day. I think 10 hrs would be a bit much, but that's still in the mix, too.

    You could do day 1: Atlanta to Memphis (overnight), day 2: to Oklahoma City (overnight), day 3: to Santa Fe (overnight), day 4: to Phoenix, but those are mostly 8/10 hr days with only food/fuel breaks. If you're really wanting to minimize the amount of time in the car you might look into that one way version. Most rental car companies charge a significant fee for a one way rental, though.

    Maybe flying into Phoenix and doing SW loop from there would be a better option. I think I'd seriously consider this unless you're particularly interested in showing them Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, etc. You could do a really nice loop from Phoenix that wouldn't involve 10 hr days in the car.

Similar Threads

  1. 1st time road tripper !!!!
    By terylw in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-12-2009, 08:14 PM
  2. First Time Road Tripper
    By Calare in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-10-2009, 06:44 PM
  3. First Time Road Tripper - Time vs. Mileage?
    By adolwyn in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-15-2007, 12:28 PM
  4. First time road tripper
    By TurnerBrown in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-19-2006, 12:48 PM
  5. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-12-2003, 12:57 PM

Tags for this Thread


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