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  1. Default Time management?-Kenosha,Wi.>Grand Canyon

    What is the best way to figure out how much time we will need for our trip? We plan on driving from Kenosha, Wi. straight to the Grand Canyon then to the Four Corners monument and also to see some family in Greeley, Co. for a couple days we will be taking turn's driving 4hrs. at a time between my husband and I. Napping while the other drives. We have two kids, 15 G & 11 B. We are also bringing our 7yr. old yellow lab. We would love to camp but think that might be pushing it with time. We have 10 days(with a couple on the back burner for emergencies), there and back. We usually map out corky landmarks/monuments to stop at when we take our fill up breaks but this time we are going to try and hit some of the diners drive-ins and dive restaurants for when we need to stop and eat. Im not sure if we should go south then west, north then back east or do do the other direction circle. or just do as mapquest says go west then south and reverse the same way?

    Roadtrippers seems to be a good site. I just haven't figured out how to change the route without pulling the white dots and messing up the map.

    what other site could you recomment. We are also a retired Navy family. Not sure if there are any cheaper facilities for that reason.

    Thank you for reading my frustration's. I hope i made some sense in what I was trying to ask. This is my first post to this site.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Kenosha to the Grand Canyon is about 1800 miles, which requires a minimum of 3 days travel each way. Even those are long days being on the road for at least 10-12 hours a day, with very limited time to stop for anything beyond food, fuel, and letting the dog run around for a bit. Considering you're traveling with kids and a pet, planning for 4 days each way - making lots of little stops each day, would probably be a lot more enjoyable for everyone involved. For that matter, I don't know what stopping at diners/dives would keep you from also visiting quirky landmarks along the way.

    As far as how to plan your trip, I don't see any significant difference in the direction you travel, but I would certainly be looking to use different routes for your trip there and your trip back. I would also not at all discount a good paper map/atlas. First, real maps are essential for travel - and can not be replaced by a GPS - but they will give you a big picture look at all of your options and what will be along your way in fashion that you just can't get on a computer screen.

    Of course there are tools online that can also help you plan, with this site of course being one of them. RTA's Map Center is designed to help you find personally recommended sites right along your path.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default What about the children?

    Following Michael's advice will ease some of your frustrations. Laying out a good sized map of the US will help as well. Get a good overview of what you are planning and where you are going. Then go online and see what there is along your chosen route which interests you.

    To ease your frustrations even further, why not get the children to do some of this research. The whole trip will be much more interesting for them if they have an investment in its planning.

    Enjoy the planning, it is such a large part of the trip.

    Lifey

  4. Default

    Thank you so much Michael. You have given me some vital information to implement. It took us one day to travel to Florida from Kenosha. While stopping for breaks and cool landmarks. People told us that, that was fast. With that in mind do you still think it would take 4 days for us to get there? I agree with you 100% about the paper atlas. we bring one on every road trip and sometimes i have a printed direction sheet and we use our gps. Over planning slightly i know. I like to have back ups and sometimes backups for those backups. lol

  5. Default

    I think your idea of getting the kids involved is an amazing idea. I will do that! thank you

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Getting from Kenosha to Florida isn't just fast, it's dangerous. Even at its closest point, it's a 1000 mile drive, which is just way too much for 2 drivers to safely do without stopping for real sleep. It had to take you about 20 hours on the road. Doing something like that, especially while traveling with children, is strongly discouraged on this site.

    Having said that, driving 1000 miles in 1 sitting is vastly different from trying to cover anything close to that over multiple days. Think of it as the difference between a marathon and sprint. The inevitable fatigue you'll have after the first day is going to increase multiple times over when you try to get back on the road for day two.

    600 miles a day is the absolute maximum that can be recommended over a multiple day trip. That also happens to be roughly along the same lines as what professional drivers are allowed to do. As was mentioned, that will already be at least 10-12 hours on the road before you add in anything beyond the minimum, basics stops.

  7. Default

    It did take us about that amount of time.

    The perspective you gave on the differences of traveling multiple days with the marathon and sprint is what i need to hear. This is why I am asking those who have more experience than I / we do! Thank you for the information. It is helping me bring things together.

    I'm thinking I will see if there are any camp sites along the way. This will be cheaper and more dog friendly im sure. I think we might travel south then west, see the sites and stay a night and then go north and visit family for a day or two and head home.

    Do you think we will have enough time that way? I do appreciate your helpful information

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    These days, if you are card-carrying retired military, you can stay the night on most military bases at quite reasonable cost.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Making it memorable.

    If you can take the emergency days off the back burner and add them to the trip, you will find it could make for a memorable trip. A couple of days with family, a couple of days at the GC and 7 - 8 days there and back. That should give time to check out things of interest along the way.

    A couple of suggestions. If they have not done this in the past, make sure the children keep a daily journal of the trip. It need not be lengthy, and can (should) include what they did / see in words, drawings and photos, as well as any souvenirs such as entry tickets. There is no right or wrong way to do this, so allow them each to develop their own style. It might surprise you.

    The other is, make sure, if you possibly can, to take in a sunrise and / or sunset over the canyon. It is an experience not to be missed.

    Lifey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Camping is a great way to spend the night while on the road, especially when traveling with a family and a dog. Its not usually hard to find good spots to camp - your atlas should have good option, like state parks with camping, marked right on it.

    If you do camp, keep in mind, it will require some extra space, which I suspect will already be at a bit of a premium traveling with 2 kids and a large dog. Camping doesn't have to take a lot of extra time, but it will take some, as campsites are a little farther from the highway, and you'll need time to set-up/tear-down, and it does usually mean that you'll want to be off the road by sunset so you don't have to set up in the dark, or run into problems with setting up camp after quiet hours.

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