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  1. Default Road trip with kids from NJ to Grand Canyon

    In August, we are planning a 18 day round trip starting in NJ to the Grand Canyon and back to NJ. We want to stop throughout the trip and see the sites. What do you recommend seeing? What is the best route to travel? Do you think that is enough time?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Stop or Two a Day - And Never the Same Road Twice

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First of all, congratulations on starting your planning early. That more than almost anything else will help assure a successfully RoadTrip. That said, it is probably a little early to be talking details and specifics, but some general rules-of-thumb to help your own planning process are certainly in order. The first task is picking a route and destination that will fit comfortably in your time frame and that you and everyone in your family can enjoy. With eighteen days to get from the east coast to the Grand Canyon and back, that is certainly possible. Second, plan on taking two completely different routes out and back to maximize the amount of your trip spent discovering new places, people, and events. Third, look for places along those routes that interest you, even if they aren't on somebody else's "must see" list.

    OK, with those basic rules in mind, here is the next level of planning. Decide on your basic route. One possible basic routing out and back that would let you make the most of your trip would go something like this. Head west from wherever you're starting in Jersey to I-81 south along the Appalachians to I-40 west to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. YOur way back would be (very roughly) US-160 to US-191 north to I-70 east and use I-71 in Ohio to get up to I-80 back to New Jersey (or stay on I-70 to I-76 if you're from southern Jersey.) You may decide to use those, portions of them, or something entirely different. That's entirely up to you.

    Next get a good set of maps or a fairly large-scale atlas and start looking along those routes for places you'd like to stop and investigate. Along the routes I've listed, some standouts would be Gettysburg, the Smoky Mountains, Memphis, the Petrified Forest, Arches and Rocky Mountains National Parks, the old Oregon Trail, the St. Louis Arch, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, etc., etc., etc. There are also many smaller venues where you can take a break, have a picnic lunch, get some exercise, or learn a little history. Once the adults have a basic plan, show it to the kids and let them have a look to see if there are any places they'd particularly like to see that are on the route or not too far off. The main point here is to get everyone involved and having at least some say in where you stop and what you'll see.

    As part of your planning, decide on a sustainable pace. You'll have to average about 250-300 miles a day. Keep that in mind as you progress. You'll want days with no driving (e.g. at the Grand Canyon) and days with a bit more, and maybe even schedule two or three days off during the trip where you do nothing but relax poolside. This is especially important if you are going to do this with only one or two drivers.

    There will be plenty of time for you to come back (again and again) for specific recommendations as your plans firm up. But for right now enjoy the daydreaming part of the RoadTrip planning process where all the possibilities still lie before you and you haven't had to make any of the hard choices on what to leave out, yet.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 11-05-2014 at 08:31 PM.

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