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  1. Default Advice on family moving trip from Las Vegas to Austin

    Hi All - I'm new to the forum and a little out of my element for sure. We've never really done any long distance trips in the car and we have a big one on the horizon in about a week. We will be moving from CA to austin TX and will be spending the week in vegas next week (work). From there we'll start our journey to austin. Me, my wife, 12yr old son, 6yr old son. I don't want to take too long to get to TX as I don't want the kids to miss much school, so I was planning on leaving around friday morning and hoping to get to TX sometime on Sunday (or monday if needed). I have no idea really what would be a good route to take and what would be good things to see along the way. I was hoping to get some advice from you more experienced folks on the forum. I know driving more than 8hrs per day would be really rough on us all, the kids would probably not make it that long before needing some R&R outside of the car. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks all,
    JD

  2. #2

    Default

    You could take US 93 from Vegas to Kingman where you would pick up I-40. At Clines Corners, pick up US 285 to Roswell where you would pick up US 380. At Brownfield, TX, pick up Texas 137 to Lamesa , TX where you would pick up US 87 to Brady where you would pick up Texas 71 in to Austin.

    Along the way, a stop at Hoover Dam and the new US 93 bridge over the Colorado River Gorge would be worth the time. If you are at all in to Route 66, a short side trip in to Seligman would be fun for the kids although it might be a bit deserted at this time of year. There is a huge "tourist trap" at Clines Corners that makes a good place to take a break. In Albuquerque, you could take the tram to the summit of Sandia Peak ( If any of you are not fond of heights, don't do this.) Near Holbrook, you could take the loop drive through Petrified Forest Nat'l Park. This also takes you through a small portion of the Painted Desert. In Roswell, there's a UFO Museum which might be worth a stop if time allows. I'm not familiar with Roswell to Austin so don't know if there is anything worth seeing or not.

    In three days, you're not going to have too much time for stops and, if at all possible, I would try to make it a four day journey. In three days, you'd have to do 425 miles a day and that's a bit much with kids.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    If your top priority is just to get from Vegas to Austin as fast as possible, you can make the trip in 2.5 days, so your goal of leaving Friday and arriving by Sunday could work. The easiest and likely quickest route would be to take US-93 to Phoenix, and then I-10 across Texas, and then US-290 into Austin. You could spend your first night in Tucson or Benson AZ, then Fort Stockton TX on Saturday night, and have a pretty easy drive onto Austin on Sunday. That would even give you time to make a couple short stops each day.

    Having said that, you'll be traveling through some pretty amazing country and near some pretty amazing sites. The Grand Canyon could easily be worked into your trip, as could other National Parks, like the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest, Petrogylph National Monument, and Carlsbad Caverns, to name a few. There are even more possibilities, especially if you open southern Utah up to the possibilities. These things would take more time, and getting there by Sunday wouldn't be very possible, and it would mean missing a little more school. However, the amount of things your kids could learn in a few extra days of exploring these unique place could surpass what they'd learn in a couple days in a classroom. Something to consider.

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

    Default

    The teacher in me is going to side with Michael's comment: "the amount of things your kids could learn in a few extra days of exploring these unique place could surpass what they'd learn in a couple days in a classroom." Hands-on learning CANNOT be replicated in the classroom, when it comes to visiting places that are mentioned here. If you take the time to go through Petrified Forest and let the kids do the Junior Ranger badge, they'll learn more on science than they will in a full unit on geology. Same with Carlsbad Caverns. Travel is extremely educational for children.


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default A journal and the Junior Ranger Program.

    I'd have to agree with Michael that a couple of extra days out of school won't harm the education of your children. On the other hand, you could find that exploring some of the most significant attractions on this planet will enrich their informal education way beyond anything you can imagine. Especially if you give them the opportunity to take part in the Junior Ranger program at each National Park and Monument you visit. My grandchildren regularly spend time out of school to travel with their parents, and keep a journal recording each day's activities. And yes, even a 6 year old can do this with parental help. Tickets of places visited, items found and pictures from brochures, as well as photos taken and a few words to express their thoughts is all it needs.

    Seven year old grandson recently read his journal of a three week trip to Britain, to his class. For him it was reliving the trip all over again.

    Lifey

  6. Default

    I think we should definitely make it a 4 day trip at least and hit some of the sights mentioned. At least the grand canyon and maybe the petrified forest. Will have to see what else we could squeeze in to make it a good, not too rushed, hands-on educational trip :)

    Thanks,
    JD

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Yet another Route Suggestion

    As you may have gathered from the number of different routes suggested to you so far, there's more than one way to get efficiently from Las Vegas to Austin if you have a few days. If you have pretty much decided to include the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest in your travels, and I wouldn't argue with either one, then I'd like to suggest yet another alternative for getting through Texas. That would be to continue eastward on I-40 through Albuquerque (and a visit to Petroglyph National Monument) to Santa Rosa NM and take US-84 east from there. There's an eclectic little museum and Billy the Kid's grave in Fort Sumner, which is also the site of some significant Native American history. Continuing eastward, you'll pass through Clovis NM which lent its name to the earliest culture yet uncovered in North America, and a 25 mile or so detour down to Portales and the Blackwater Draw Museum would be a great educational side trip. Stay on US-84, in fact, all the way to Roscoe TX and a short jog east on I-20 to Sweetwater.

    Next up, you'll be taking some smaller state roads through the West Texas Plains, TX-70, and TX-153 to Winters and US-83 south to Eden, then US-87 south through Brady to Fredericksburg. Fredericksburg is your next historic stop, the LBJ Ranch. Continue east on US-290 through Johnson City to Austin.

    Needless to say, you don't have to tell the kids that any of this is educational.

    AZBuck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    209

    Default

    To add to the earlier suggestions for Albuquerque, in the Old Town area there is the Rattlesnake Museum and the Natural History Museum. You can also look around the old San Felipe de Neri church. The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History has some interesting exhibits as well.

  9. #9

    Default

    In Albuquerque there is also the National Museum Of Nuclear Science & History.

    And, if you're at all interested in Route 66, a drive down Central Avenue will reveal what is perhaps the best remaining collection of Route 66 neon.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default History lessons.

    And isn't one of the oldest houses in North America, in the street behind the church? I do recall visiting something like that.... many years ago. Albuquerque is so full of native and Spanish history.

    Lifey

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