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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Racine, Wisconsin, United States

    Default Family of 5 from WI - UT and back

    I'm a photographer and am going out near Salt Lake City, UT in June to 2nd shoot a wedding. Hubby said, hey maybe we should all go and make it a family thing. We have 3 girls, 4, 6, and 8. We would be traveling in our vehicle and would like to keep the overal trip cost as low as possible, obviously.

    We'll have 2 weeks in June. We thought about going through the Dakota's, Mount Rushmore, possibly Yellowstone, down to UT for me to shoot the wedding, then back through the Colorado's and then home to Wisconsin.

    1. Is 2 weeks enough to drive out and back? I need at least 2 or 3 days in UT to shoot the wedding and an anniversary party.
    2. What other attractions along the way would be appropriate for young children?
    3. Any advice on lodging?
    4. How many hours a day can we travel safely? I can drive when hubby rests, but the kids will be stuck in their booster seats (we have a DVD player in the truck, a Godsend!). We'd have to many frequent stops (I'm assuming).
    5. How do you save money on meals with a family of 5? I was thinking most lunches would be PB&J's. :)

    Thanks for any advice and suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    Two weeks should be enough to drive out and back, but since it's a 3 day trip to UT (6 round trip), and you need 3 at the wedding, you don't have a lot of extra time to play with. You may have to pick-and-choose your activities...maybe one going out, and one coming back.

    Most of the National Parks have the Junior Ranger program these days. The kids have activities to do within the park and then they can earn a junior ranger badge. Yellowstone has the program, but I'm not sure about Mount Rushmore.

    Frequent stops for kids -- yes, that's a given. One rule we established when our children were little was, "When we stop, you MUST use the facilities." They had to "try to go". It worked like a charm. When we stopped for the evening, we tried to find motels or RV parks with either a playground, a swimming pool, or both.

    We have a forum here at RTA, about saving money on the road. Taking a cooler and picnic supplies is the BEST idea for saving on lunches. Many motels/hotels will offer continental breakfasts (some better than others). We also carry snacks and drinks in that cooler -- once you've had to pay $2 for an individual orange juice at a convenience market, that cooler looks inviting!

    For dinners, Drury Inn (a midwest hotel chain) offers a dinner package in many of their hotels. Or, if you don't mind chain restaurants, start joining their e-clubs about 2-3 weeks before you are set to depart. You'll get coupons for free meals, and you'll find out which ones often have "kids eat free" nights. Otherwise, when you check into a hotel at night, you can ask what's a good family-friendly restaurant, and ask about the prices.

    Our kids traveled with us from the time they were 3 mos old. They're now adults and both are looking forward to traveling with their kids.


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