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  1. Default Travel tips - Traveling from Arkansas to California

    Here's the 411 - my wife's family lives in southern California. SO - she and I have decided to load up our 3 girls (ages 8,5, and 4) for a road trip to visit the family for the holidays. We plan to leave on 12/17 with no scheduled time to arrive in CA. Since we usually fly, I'm looking for any advice on how to make this a memorable road trip both traveling to and from.
    Looking for destination points for overnights, looking for sight seeing, and finally, do's and don'ts for traveling west during the winter. Oh, thoughts on visiting Grand Canyon during the winter as well.
    Any help would be much appreciated!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default It Is the Best of Times

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First and foremost - Congratulations on deciding to take a RoadTrip this time instead of flying. Your daughters are the perfect ages for such an endeavor and will have experiences and make memories that will last a lifetime. Not the least of these memories will be of the parents who took them on such an adventure.

    Assuming Little Rock to Los Angeles, this trip is a relatively straight shot out I-40 with a final finish using I-15 into the Los Angels Basin (or even on to the San Diego area.) That would take around three full days of steady driving with no major stops or detours. I would, of course, urge you to take a day or two longer at least to allow for plenty of out-of-car exercise and sight-seeing. I would also urge you to limit each in-car segment to no more than two or three hours with an interesting short stop at the end of each one.

    In addition to the short stops, you should also plan some time at a few major sites along, or near, your route. Yes, the Grand Canyon is one, but also look at the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, both in Oklahoma City; Petroglyph National Monument outside Albuquerque; Petrified Forest National Park; and Mojave National Preserve in southern California. Also be sure to sign your girls up for the Junior Ranger program at each and every national park and monument you stop at. It's free and not only teaches them about the park but provides great (free!) souvenirs including patches.

    Specifically, the Grand Canyon can be problematic in the winter. The South Rim is above 7,000 feet in elevation, so cold is normal. It also sees its fair share of snow and other frozen precipitation, so you don't want to get too close to the edge - typically there are no guard rails at most of the scenic overlooks. But I wouldn't let any of that prevent me from visiting. Your experience will simply be different from what the summer crowds have.

    At this point, I think you should sit down with your girls and a good map. Show them where you plan on driving. Ask them what they'd like to see and try to get a read on how much they can handle in a day in terms of miles and activities. Only then start planning where you'll stop for the evenings. I probably wouldn't plan on more then 450-500 miles on a day when you're only making short stops, and maybe 300 miles on a day with a major stop. Pushing too much is the biggest enemy of a great family RoadTrip.


  3. Default

    Thanks for the travel tips and advice! I'm planning on setting down with the fam tomorrow to master our plan! Take care!

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