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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Villa Rica, Georgia, United States

    Default Family road trip July 2015

    We live in Atlanta Ga. and we're going to drive 20 west to Lake Havasu, Az. I think after 20 it's 10. The southern route. On the way home were going to take 40 east. the Northern way. We are taking exactly 2 weeks. We have a 12 yr old and a 6 yr old. We'd like to hear any suggestions of places to stop and see along both the southern and Northern route. We want this to be as memorable as possible for our children. Of course the Grand Canyon is on the list. Thank you ahead of time :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Get the children involved.

    Hi Jeanie, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    One way to make this trip truly memorable for the children is to make sure they have an investment in the trip. the 12 year old, and maybe even the 6year old (with a little help) should be able to do some research for you to find places which they would like to visit along the way.

    A good place to statt is to go to the Map Centre on the green bar above, and check out the attractions. Other programs have similar infromation. By visiting the website of towns and cities and other places along the routes check out what they have to offer at the time you are travelling.

    I take it you are planning this with good paper maps, and not just your electronics. Good maps such as are produced by AAA (free to members) and Rand McNally have a wealth of information on them, including historical sites, touristy sites, State parks and forests and much more.

    Be sure to enrol the children in the Junior Ranger program at National Parks and Monuments you visit. It will teach them (and you) a great deal about the places visited, and give the children some nice souvenirs to take home.

    Buy each child a book in which they can write of their experiences each day. Keeping a journal makes the journey memorable for years to come. Items which can be included besides their thoughts are, photos, stubs from entry tickets drawings,, items found along the way, pics snipped from brochures, etc.

    There is a whole section on this site with valuable information on family roadtrips. You might like to check that out as well, And lots more.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Keep It Small Scale

    When planning a trip of this scope, it is tempting as an adult to do things on an adult scale. But the trip will be far more enjoyable, and memorable for the right reasons, if you keep in mind the attention span, habits, interests, and tolerance levels of the younger members of the troupe. A few simple examples: The adults would probably be very comfortable driving 500-550 miles a day, day after day. But that's an awfully long time to expect a youngster to sit still, especially a six-year-old. Plan on at least two or three smaller stops each day where they can just get out of the car, run around, and explore a bit. Such stops will really lighten the load on everyone.

    Consider 400 miles made good a pretty good day. Yes you could do more, and you will need to be 'on the road' ten full days at such a pace, four out and four back, but such a pace can be maintained almost forever without overtiring the kids. I'd also suggest that you pre-plan where you're going to stop each night and do your room shopping from the comfort of your own home. That will be one less thing to fret about on the road. And you can make sure ahead of time that your motel has a pool and/or free breakfast, and/or free wi-fi, and/or whatever else you think you'll need.

    All that's left then is to plan your major stops and to apportion your four or five remaining days to those major stops. Yes, the London Bridge and the Grand Canyon, but also consider Petrified Forest National Park, Kartchner Caverns near Benson AZ, Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo TX (your kids are actually encouraged to bring some spray paint and leave their own graffiti on the ever changing 'art work'), White Sands National Monument, Petroglyph National Monument outside Albuquerque, Mud Island in Memphis, etc. The list could quickly get longer than the time you have available to attend to it. Which brings me to my final point. Don't try to pack too much into this trip. It's far better to travel at a relaxed pace than to have an "If this is Tuesday, this must be ..." bucket list kind of trip where all you end up doing is putting check marks next to a bunch of place names without ever having truly experienced, or having let your children experience, the sites you've driven so far to see.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 09-22-2014 at 05:41 PM.

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