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  1. Default Vancouver BC to New York (then returning) with 2 year old Sept 8-26

    Hi all,

    I would love your advice- we are planning on a road trip from Vancouver, BC to New York (and returning home). Ideally we are going Sept 8- 26. My husband and I did a road trip through all of Canada (West to East then return in 9 weeks... this is going to be slightly different.) We could really use your input.

    Route suggestions please?
    Is this possible in the amount of time? (just under 3 weeks)
    Any suggestions on how to do this well and cheap?
    Favorite things we must do & places we must see?
    Any special mentions of road tripping with a 2 year old?

    Thank you so much for weighing in on this!

    Cheers,
    Anna

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,359

    Default Over the Edge

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You're looking at probably a bit over 6,000 miles to complete this journey. If it were just you and your spouse, I'd say "Go for it!". You could do the driving in a bit under two weeks while taking a few hours out each day for a couple of scenic R&R breaks and a relaxing sit-down meal each day. That would still leave a few days to spend at major attractions en route. But with a two year old? It's jut too much to expect him/her to sit quietly day after day after day after day.... and not get bored, fussy, cranky, etc. I'd urge you to either find significantly more time or shorten the trip by 2,000 miles or so.

    AZBuck

  3. Default Van, BC to NY to LA then to Van, BC with a 2 year old! (Sept 8- Oct 17)

    Hi all,

    I would love your advice- we are planning on a road trip from Vancouver, BC to New York to LA then returning home. Ideally we are going Sept 8- Oct 17. My husband and I did a road trip through all of Canada (West to East then return in 9 weeks... this is going to be slightly different.) We could really use your input.

    Route suggestions please?
    Is this possible in the amount of time? (just under 6 weeks)
    Any suggestions on how to do this well and cheap?
    Favorite things we must do & places we must see?
    Any special mentions of road tripping with a 2 year old?

    Thank you so much for weighing in on this! We were looking at Van to NY and back from Sept 8-26 but I had feedback that wouldn't work well so we are looking to adjust our plans.

    Cheers,
    Anna
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 08-26-2013 at 03:41 AM. Reason: Merged with first thread about this trip idea

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,359

    Default Much Better

    Even though you've added considerably to the number of miles you'll be driving compared to your last posting, you've also added even more time to make the trip. You now have roughly 40 days to cover around 7,500 miles. That means you only have to do about 200 miles a day on average, which is quite maintainable over an extended periods, even with a two year old in tow. So, what should an average day or week on the road look like during such a trip. A typical 'traveling' day might consist of two or three driving stints of a couple of hours apiece with time-outs in between to let the little one run around, get some fresh air and exercise, and feel like he's on an adventure. Such days might cover 400 miles or so. A 'sight-seeing' day might have very little driving, less than 100 miles, being devoted to a major stop such as a large national park. 'Down' days would have no driving at all, being days where the adults take the day off and you just sit poolside or maybe get in some shopping or strolls around a particularly interesting town. You can mix and match these different types of days during the week and easily cover the 1200 miles or so you need to put behind you each week. You should keep that number in mind as you work your way around your route to make sure that you're on schedule.

    That's your mileage 'budget'. Now to your monetary budget and how to stretch that. There are a number of ideas that you can work into your own travel style in the Art of the Cheap RaodTrip. Note that the cost of an annual pass to the US national park system has gone up to $80, but if you plan to visit four or more of the larger parks it is still a bargain. It only covers entrance fees, not camping or other concessions, and it's one year time frame starts at the time of purchase, so don't get it until you roll up to your first park, where the pass will be for sale at the entrance. Since you haven't mentioned camping, I assume you'll be staying mostly in motels. Keep in mind the names of the lower cost chains such as Red Roof, Motel 6, Travelodge, Super 8, and Econo Lodge; and note that you will almost always find lower prices away from major cities.

    Finally, how to make it fun and rewarding, especially with a youngster. As noted above, plan on making at least a couple of short stops each day at state or even town parks so that there's always something fun only a few hours (at most) away. These smaller parks also tend to be free or very low cost for daytime use. Also plan out what your major stops are going to be and how much time you'll want to devote to them, making sure that they fit within your time and monetary budgets. Assuming the shortest and/or most efficient routing of your trip, major stops could include: Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Badlands National Park, Circus World Museum in Baraboo WI, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, New York City, St. Louis, Petroglyph National Monument, Petrified Forest National Park, the Grand Canyon, the Pacific Coast Highway, Point Reyes National Seashore, Chris Epting's article on traveling with children and these other resources.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default the difference a few weeks make.

    Even though you're adding some miles, turning this into a six week trip should make a big difference.

    The key with traveling with a 2 year old is still going to center around the idea of keeping your driving days short, with lots of breaks from the road. Even stopping at a playground for 30 minutes can make a huge difference in keeping a small child from being too wound up. Being on the road for 6 weeks should make it possible for you to limit your driving days, and have days where you don't have to be on the road.

    As far as routes or what to see and do, there's just way too many options for us to even start offering specific suggestions. You're talking about a trip that covers about 75% of the lower 48, and quite literally, there are millions of things you could include on your trip. You really have to start by figuring out a few things that are most interesting to you. Once you've got at least a bit of an outline, then we can help you put things together with more specifics.

  6. Default I90 or I80?

    Hi AZBuck, Midwest Michael and others,

    Thank you for your input!

    We are looking for things for Alex, our 2 year old. He loves trains, planes, animals, etc. We just love meeting people, learning about US history & culture, good food (picnic options), and comfortable places to stay. We are on a tight budget so that is something we are keeping in mind.

    Tomorrow we will head east and definitely want to be in Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington.
    I wonder if I90/ 94 or I80/ 84 would be the route to take so we see the best stuff?

    After New York we would like to head west towards LA.
    When heading westbound, what route do you suggest we take and where are places we need to stop?
    What do you see is the best route to hit Las Vegas, San Diego, LA and San Francisco?

    Last leg is northbound: up the Pacific Coast Highway back home by Wed, Oct 16.

    We would also like to work these places into our route: Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, St. Louis and the Grand Canyon.

    Thank you very much for your time and sharing your experiences and expertise with us!

    Cheers,
    Anna, Chris and Alex

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    There's great stuff along every route, but being that you want to see Glacier, Yellowstone, and Mount Rushmore, I-90 would be the pretty obvious choice, as it is the only highway that goes near them!

    As with any trip, don't get too caught up in route numbers. Plot out the places you want to see, and the roads should become pretty obvious in a lot of the cases. This is where a paper map is essential in your planning (as it will also be when you are on the road.)

  8. Default Salt Lake City & weather

    Hi Midwest Michael,

    Do you think it is worth while for us to go to Salt Lake City?

    Also, do you have any thoughts about what route to take to have the best weather for the next month and a half?

    Cheers,
    Anna

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Weather is unpredictable at best. It seems like you have an extra day or two in your schedule, should you have to hole up because of weather. Interstates get closed only during the worst weather, but you need to be off of it anyway if they close the highway!

    Salt Lake City -- depends on what you want to see. Nearby is Golden Spike National Monument, commemorating where the two legs of the railroad joined back in the 1800s. Within the city itself is the center of the Mormon religion, the SLC Tabernacle. On a good day, you could catch either the Choir itself or the Youth Choir in rehearsal. (One time I sat and watched an hour of the Youth Choir in rehearsal, and loved every minute of it.) The mountains are all over the area. Then there's the Great Salt Lake.


    Donna

  10. Default

    Thank you Donna!

    We have now hammered down a tentative plan with stops at: Spokane, Butte, Yellowstone, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Minneapolis, Chicago, Bowling Green, New York, Boston, Washington, Nashville, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Phoenix, LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and Portland.

    Any thoughts? Any things to take out or put in? If you have any trip advice, please let me know! (Favorite amazing & affordable: places to go, things to do, picnic spots, picnic foods, places to stay, camp- in a cabin, etc.)

    Thanks :)
    Anna

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