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  1. Default San Francisco to New York -- Bonding trip

    I really need advice on this. I always wanted to do coast to coast. I live in San Francisco.
    I intend to go on a long drive with my 14 year old daughter during this christmas break. Possible days from Dec 15 to Jan 2.
    I need to be back in San Francisco(where I live) by Jan 3.

    The intention is not too much sight seeing, but spending some quality time with my teen daughter, on a safe route.
    The I80 , if I take is about 3000 miles, but maybe too cold across the midwest/northern states

    How about if I take San francisco to Phoenix - Houston and the onto New York. About 3500 miles.
    Will probably add another 500 miles, but I do have friends I can spend a couple of days with in Phoenix and Houston.

    I have 4 wheel drive Honda SUV, which I iintend to drive to New York, fly back home to SFO and have the SUV trucked back to SFO

    Any advice greatly appreciated,
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Since this is a one way trip, you should be very good time-wise. However, I'd look at renting a car, which even with 1 way fees, I suspect will be quite a bit cheaper than driving and then shipping your own vehicle home.

    As far at the other part of your planning, instead of worrying about weather or distance (you could still see a winter storm going south, but 500 miles really isn't all that much when you're talking about a 2 week trip.), start thinking about what "bonding" means. A bit more specifically, what does she want to do and what do you want to do together. Once you've got an idea about what you want to do, between getting from SF to NY, then picking a route will make more sense.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Be sure to ask the teen what SHE wants to do! When my daughters were that age, they really were not thrilled about sitting for long hours in a car with the parents unless there was an incentive on the other end. When they helped plan the trip, they were very happy, because they could see that there was something for everyone on vacation.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Not my idea of bonding.

    I would have to agree. If this is to be a bonding trip, at least some, if not most, would be best planned by the fourteen year old.

    But why all the way to NY? Why all this time in the car? Whose idea is it to go to NY? There is so much closer to home which would make for a fantastic bonding trip, with lots of sharing time at attractions and sights. And more importantly, opportunities to get away from each other. That too, is an important part of bonding.

    I would be rethinking this trip.

    Lifey - mother of five

  5. Default

    Thanks everyone. I checked with my girl. She actually wants to got to Orlando for the Harry Potter World. She said she is OK with spending 5+ days on the road with her old man.

    So it's San Francisco to Orlando.
    Now the question is should I take I40 or I10. I want drive during the day for say 10 hrs and check in to hotel for the night.
    Greatly appreciate any advice.

  6. Default San Franciso to Orlando -- Bonding trip with 14 year old daughter

    I had posted earlier that I intend to drive from SFO to NY during the christmas break with my 14 year old daughter, on a bonding trip.
    On the advice of fellow travellers here, I checked with my girl again, and she would rather go to Orlando for the Harry Potter World.
    I need advice on whether to take to I10 or I40. My basic idea is not sight seeing but quality time with my daughter.

    I am looking for a safe route, drive during the day for say 10 hrs and check in to to a hotel for thje night.
    Please advice on I10 or I40 and what stops should I do in between. Thanks in advance. Appreciate your help.

    Moderator Note: Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip - even if you've changed the destination, knowing your original plan is still helpful for others who want to give you ideas.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 12-17-2011 at 05:17 PM.

  7. Default

    Oh, it's about a 10 day trip, with 2-3 days in Orlando. And fly back home.

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

    Default step one down, now to step two

    If you really want to be bonding, then I'd start looking now for what things you both want to see along the way. There really is a big contradiction when you say you don't want to do any sightseeing but you want to spend quality time together.

    Sitting in a car together for 10 hours a day, for 5 or 6 days in a row is really not quality time or a quality roadtrip. Its basically a speed run, and frankly, even if she's ok with it, its going to get old fast. What will make for quality time is what you see and experience together, and can talk about together for years to come. If you only worry about getting there, you will really have missed out on the chance to bond.

    Certainly there are plenty of resources on this site to help you find some ideas, but again, this is something you should be working together on. That's where you are going to get the answer about which route between I-40 or I-10 will be the better choice for you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default What teenagers say and what they mean ...

    Further to the point of spending quality time together...

    Are you taking into account the time it takes for 14 year old girls to get out of bed, shower, hair, nails, make up, etc. etc. etc. Having been one, and having had two myself, I think you best not count on early starts everyday. That wouldn't be quality time. Similarly, at each stop, make sure you program them to her time frame. Teenage girls can take some time for the essentials, and can take ages to decide what they want to eat / drink / snack, etc.

    You will get close to quality time, if you start stepping into her shoes, and programming this trip to her time frame. It is one thing for her to say she does not mind spending days on end in the car with her Dad. It is another thing for it to actually happen. Be prepared for a change of mind, then be prepared to adjust the trip accordingly.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Shuffle along each day,

    You won't want to be on the road for 10 hours a day every day as suggested, but you shouldn't have to be with 7-8 days in which to get there. A 10 hour day wil be somewhere around 550-600 miles covered miles with time for short breaks and to fill with gas. If you start by dividing your trip into these 550-600 mile days and see where you end up, you can then get a good idea of what is in between and where you might want to spend some time and make a shorter day and then 'shuffle the pack' once more.

    Example along I40 route. You could get a 'good start and get to Needles/Laughlin on night 1 and night 2 you would be looking at possibly Albuquerque for night 2. Oklahoma could be next up. However, from Laughlin you could detour to the south rim of the Grand canyon [what a memory that could be] and stay in either Flagstaff, or how about a Wig-wam in Holbrook ? Your next stop is then better suited to Amarillo, not Albu and so on. Your daughter might want to leave her mark at Cadillac ranch.

    This is what the others are suggesting, it's yours and your daughters choices that matter and sitting down together to work it out is where the 'bonding' begins. Make it your own trip because that is what will make it special. The above is only meant to be a guide to how you you could go about the planning. Once you have worked on your route options and decided which offers you the most you will have a plan 'B' also, which might be a handy back up if the weather decides to have a say in things. Once you have got that far we could help to 'tweak' your plans or make suggestions along your chosen path.

    Enjoy the planning !

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