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  1. #1

    Default Going to FL from AZ with kids

    So I have decided to do a long distance road trip experience this summer and thought it would be fun to bring my granddaughters(ages 5 and 8) along. I have driven the CA coast and done the AZ to CA trek a number of times so I know what my time behind the wheel limits are. They have done the 5 hr drive to and from CA-AZ also, so I know pushing another few hours on them is going to be tough. I want to make it fun and educational for them and have a few planned places to head to, Grand Canyon being one. I would like help planning a route with some fun stops along the way that are also not going to be all day stops, but more of a point of interest type stop. Is the I-10 best, or heading over from the Grand Canyon and going along the top of NM, TX and then down through LA and into MS and finally FL? Our end point is the West side of FL (St. Petersburg)

    ps, I read a thread from a few years ago from a guy who was trying to do it in 3 days and you all gave him a hard time, he never reported back on his trip which bums me out, I was really looking forward to reading how that went. For the record I don't plan on getting there in three days.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    6,936

    Default Reports can benefit others.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Your grandchildren are at a wonderful age to enjoy and benefit from a roadtrip. You might like to check out this thread when looking for places to stop and things to do along the way. One which comes immediately to mind is the Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo. Graffity is encouraged. Bring your own spray paint.

    Be sure, when visiting any National Parks to sign the girls up for the Junior Ranger program. They will learn a lot and have some great souvenirs to take home.

    How much time will you allocate to this trip, and I assume, the return journey. The little ones would probably find it interesting if you choose a different route there and back.

    Quote Originally Posted by louilou View Post
    ps, I read a thread from a few years ago from a guy who was trying to do it in 3 days and you all gave him a hard time, he never reported back on his trip which bums me out, I was really looking forward to reading how that went. For the record I don't plan on getting there in three days.
    Sadly very few members who seek advice ever report back to tell us how it all went, how relevant the advice was to their trip. Sure look forward to hear how your trip went. We have a special forum for roadtrip reports.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 04-22-2014 at 07:44 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default It's all part of the package

    Here are some tips about traveling with grandkids written by veteran roadtripper Anne Sponholtz
    ps, I read a thread from a few years ago from a guy who was trying to do it in 3 days and you all gave him a hard time, he never reported back on his trip which bums me out,
    Like Lifey alluded, it's part of the culture here on RTA --On any given day more than 90% of the people reading the threads and posts -- never register and never post anything. Of the ~ 9% who do register, fewer than 40% ever post anything and of those, a very tiny number post reports that describe their trips.

    That being said, there are still scores of active members and some continue to come back year after year -- using the site to plan new trips and reporting on the trips they've taken.

    We're passionate about safe road trip practices on this forum -- and we will continue to offer our road-tested advice about trips that we consider to be unsafe. It's part of what we do here.

    Your grandkids are older than babies, but here are some more tips about traveling with that age group as well, should it prove helpful at some point....

    mark

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

    Default

    I wish more people would post their experiences after we've given them some advice, too.

    Planning your trip with two different routes keeps everyone more interested and looking forward to what's ahead. I-10 has its pros and cons, as does I-40. There are short and long stops along both roads. There's more than those two ways to route, too, using many combinations. For instance, our trip from San Diego through Phoenix to Florida used I-10, I-20 through Dallas and Vicksburg, US-49 through Mississippi, to I-10 and down I-75 to Orlando.

    Your 8 year old granddaughter is old enough to look at a map and see if anything on it interests her. She also could quite possibly be a wiz at finding a place from the map, on the Internet! (Never underestimate the power of an 8-year-old!)



    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    10,060

    Default Car-Kits and other tips

    And, of course, I really like the notion of using Car Go-Kits for children on a road trip. More about Car-Kits can be found in the article I penned a couple of years ago on planning Family Road Trips.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    10,749

    Default A different challenge day after day.

    They have done the 5 hr drive to and from CA-AZ also, so I know pushing another few hours on them is going to be tough.
    It will be even tougher doing it day after day so it's really important to have enough time to have shorter days as well, or even a day out of the car. With kids of that age just getting out of the car for an hour to run around a local park would be considered fun.

    On a journey like this you would have thousands of attractions and route combinations to choose from, here are 169 of them found within 100 miles of one possible route that have been checked out by RTA members.

    [You can zoom in and out of the map and click on the markers for more info.]



    There are many other reaources available by looking around this site and once you have a few dots on the map and give an idea of timescale, I'm sure we will be able to help 'fine tune' your trip.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default Creating lasting memories.

    It is some years now when my granddaughter's grade 1 teacher suggested she keep a journal of her three week long trip. The child's mother (my daughter) got some brief instructions from the teacher. This resulted in her and her younger brother (with the help of their Mum) each keeping a journal of that trip, and the many subsequent trips this family has undertaken.

    All it takes is to sit down with the children at the end of the day, each day, and get them to recall their most interesting experiences of that day. These can then be recorded (by each child) in their own journals - either in words, drawings, cut out pictures (from a brochure), entry ticket to an event or photos taken. Even something picked up along the way, such as a leaf, could bring back memories for that child.

    My, now almost four year old grandson recalls the trip to Britain he made with the family a year ago, simply by going through the journal he made with his mother. A circle with a stick figure inside reminds him of the London Eye. Other events are recorded in a similar childlike manner. His six year old brother shared his journal with his class during 'show and tell'.

    It is an age appropriate way to record the trip and how it all went... what was most interesting and exciting. Just like you recording your experiences and pictures in the Field Report Forum.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    4,546

    Default

    To tag onto what Lifey suggested, regarding the trip journal, why not make a trip to the store before departing to pick out "a special journal"? It can be an ordinary spiral notebook, or a special diary or journal, as long as it's new to the child. My kids always loved new notebooks, whether it was for a family car trip or a new school year. Something about the anticipation, probably, but it was also that one's personal notebook.


    Donna

  9. #9

    Default

    Thank You for some great info to look at. I thought it would be fun to do a Passport type journal for the trip, They can mark places they have been to and any points of interest as well as any other fun facts. I think I read about getting stickers at stops and also post cards. That really got my granddaughter excited, so that is her and moms project over the next month. Two different routes is a great idea as well.
    I would like to keep the trip to a week going there as hotel and gas is going to gouge me and maybe 4 or 5 days coming back. My car is not very roomy so I am considering a rental, but that is another added expense. Will also look into campgrounds along the route.
    Last edited by louilou; 05-01-2014 at 10:05 AM. Reason: add text

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default Rental vs. Own.

    Quote Originally Posted by louilou View Post
    My car is not very roomy so I am considering a rental, but that is another added expense.
    Balance the thought of a more roomy car with the 'comfort and peace of mind' of your own car, a car with which you are familiar. The other thing to consider is, with young children like yours, the worry of the children spilling something on the seat of a rental, or putting their dirty shoes on the back of the seat, etc. They may never have done any of these. Murphy's Law would have it, that the first time will be in a rental car.

    Lifey

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