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  1. Default NYC-CHI with 2 kids. Please help

    I have always wanted to do a roadtrip, and I am finally ready to take the plunge.
    I will be taking my friends jeep grand cherokee since my vw is not very reliable
    I am 30 and have a 6 year old daughter and a 14 year old son. They are both very athletic. My son is very into photography and is looking forward to photographing life outside the city.
    I want this trip to be mostly about discovering charming communities, local food, beginners hiking/kayaking/biking. We want more camping out and less hotels.
    I am planning on leaving within the next 18 days and am aiming for the trip to take no more than 7-10 days.
    I was hoping to up and visit the coast and the mountains, than cross over to canada... either Montreal or Toronto. Would love to visit the Niagara Falls. Then on my way back from Chicago come back thru the states and make a few stops along the way.

    I would love some help planning my stops, and the best route to take. I also don't know how camping works in these places, so if you have some advice, this would be great.

    I am very excited to hear the responses.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome aboard RTA!

    Camping can be a lot of fun. You can look for state and county parks as a good source. Check most paper maps or atlases...those state parks with camping facilities usually have a little green triangle by them. If you are a AAA member, you can get their CampBooks for the areas you are going to be in.

    Crossing into Canada will be great, but you'll need passports to come back to the US side.

    For charming communities, try driving US 6 through Pennsylvania or US-20 through NY State!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You will need a passport or an enhanced driver's license, and the kids will need their birth certificates. There may be an insurance and permission issue at the border with a borrowed car.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    There may be an insurance and permission issue at the border with a borrowed car.
    Just make sure you have all the relevant papers in the car, and check with your friend that they have insurance coverage in Canada. The most commonly asked question at the border is... "Who's car is this?". When I drove a friend's car over the border (several times) I just responded with his name, and the place where he lives. All was well.


  5. Default

    ohh, didnt even think about the borrowed car.

    What is the best way/place to find places to stop.
    Does it make sense to drive up the coast.
    Are there places you'd recommend to camp out.
    How would you handle gear, do places rent these out or should I buy and travel with them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some, But Not All, Answers

    I just got back from taking my grandchildren (and their mother) across the border in a rented car, and as others have pointed out, as long as you have proper identification for everyone (passports strongly recommended) the other paperwork will probably not even be asked for. The key word, however, is 'probably'. To be on the safe side there are a couple of 'documents' that I would suggest that you have on hand. The first, since you don't mention that the children's father will be accompanying you, is permission from him for you to take them out of the county. A simple signed and notarized statement to that effect will suffice. A similar statement from the owner of the Cherokee would also be advisable. You might want to check with your local bank, as they often offer free notary service to their customers.

    Now to your questions. The best way to determine a route and places to stop is to consult a map and see what's available and, more importantly, what appeals to you and your children. You cans start by playing around with the Map Center that will show you attractions near any route you choose. You know better than anyone here what you want to accomplish out of this trip. But if you want to include some mountains, then I'd look at starting out by generally heading north and seeing the Catskills and Adirondacks, then spending some time in the Thousand Islands area before hugging the northern shore of Lake Ontario to Toronto (great zoo), curling around to Niagara and then cutting across Ontario to Sarnia, crossing back into the US there and traversing southern Michigan to Chicago. You could then return to NYC via the Indiana Toll road and Ohio Turnpike to around Sandusky and perhaps visit either the Bass Islands or Cedar Point Amusement Park, then on to Cleveland for the Natural History Museum or Cuyahoga Valley National Park before completing the return trip using US-6 across northern Pennsylvania.

    As for where to camp, there is probably no better consistent source than state and provincial parks. Often known to (and used by) only the locals, these offer quieter, less crowded settings than is typical of national parks, and they are considerably better and cheaper than commercial campgrounds. I know of nowhere that rents camping equipment, but you can probably find just about everything you need at a reasonable price at thrift stores or resale stores such as Play It Again Sports.


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