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  1. Default Dallas, Texas-Grand Canyon-Hoover Dam-Vegas Lights-Fairfield, California

    Hi! I am new to this site and I see it very helpful, just don't know how to use it very well. Can somebody help me with the road trip we are planning. We are from Dallas traveling to Fairfield, California. Since we are travelling trough the road, I was hoping to see some sites along the way. We are on a 2-month vacation so time is not an issue. I am traveling with my 3 kids and my wife. Help us plan our trip.

    1. Route to take to see as much as possible from Dallas, to California that are not far away to the route as much as possible.
    2. Lodging. Discounts and coupons accommodating kids.
    3. Our must see lists are Grand Canyon, Hoovier Dam, Vegas lights/strip.... Or do you think this would be far off the route???

    Suggestions are highly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    The best way to start planning your trip is to get a big USA map, perhaps from AAA if you are a member, or get a Rand McNally road atlas either online (RTA sells one) or from your local big box store such as Wal-Mart. Start flagging the places you want to go, in some way, either with a sticky note or similar. A route would start to form, just by connecting your places. What I see, off-hand, is to take US-287 from Dallas up to I-40 just east of Amarillo. I-40 takes you to just south of the Grand Canyon. You can then catch US-93 up to the Hoover Dam and Las Vegas.

    It's there that you'll need to make a decision. You can go through Death Valley over to US-395, north to CA-120, over the Tioga Pass into Yosemite, and work your way over to Fairfield from there. That will depend on how much time you want to take going from Dallas to Fairfield. If your only sightseeing time is for Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Las Vegas, then you can head back down I-15 to CA-58 over the Tehachapi Pass, then use I-5 north to get up to the Fairfield area.

    Lodging -- There are coupon books for lodging at most state visitor centers and some truck stops and rest areas along the way. You could look online (RTA has a place) to see what kinds of deals you can get. If you are traveling over a holiday weekend, or planning to stay overnight near the Grand Canyon or in Las Vegas, you'd probably do yourself a favor to get reservations. BTW, it's probably less expensive to stay off-strip in Las Vegas, especially with kids in tow, although you can get some incredible deals at Circus Circus (which is very family-friendly).

    Hope this helps, but feel free to bounce back any questions you might have!


  3. Default

    Wow! Thanks, that was very helpful. Based on what I am seeing, the travel is about two days and will require 2 lodging nights. This is our first trip since we lived in Texas and has not done this road trip before. We fly to California. I found a motel after we visited the petrified forest. It is the Wigwam motel. We found their huts amusing and just wanted to take pictures with them :-) From Wigwam Motel, Arizona, to Fairfield, California, I figured I should be stopping in the middle somewhere to get a motel and rest... Any suggestions?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Whoa - slow down! This is almost 1800 miles via shortest route and absolutely cannot be done in 2 days.

    If you are planning on driving from Dallas to Fairfield with only 2 overnight stops, you do not have time for ANY diversions or sightseeing. US-287 to I-40 to CA-58 to I-5, no Grand Canyon, no Petrified Forest, no Wigwam, no Las Vegas. Your 2 overnights will need to be Santa Rosa NM and Kingman AZ.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Furthermore.....

    Three back to back days of 600 miles - 11 - 12 hours on the road - is pretty tough on three kids.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    I was hoping to see some sites along the way. We are on a 2-month vacation so time is not an issue.
    First of all you need to decide how much time you want to dedicate to your trip before we can really help you. Going from possibly 2 months to 3 days is 'slightly' different ! As above, 3 days is not enough time with children to consider and if you want to turn this into a 'mini adventure' for the family with some sight seeing, I would be looking at least a week, but of course you need to consider budget and other factors for your personal circumstance. Just for travelling you will need 4 days that will allow the kids a break from the car and to run around, even if it's in a city park. To visit the GC and other highlights is going to take longer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default I only just noticed....

    2. Lodging. Discounts and coupons accommodating kids.
    In the coupon booklets you are not likely to find accommodation where they will allow five to a room. You will be required to take two rooms, unless the youngest child is very young. This site might be more useful for you.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I've never found 5 in a room - especially if 3 are children - to be an issue at all. Nearly every motel that has the standard 2-double bed layout will allow it. You can typically rent a rollaway bed, or like many families on a budget, either cram 3 kids into a bed or have one sleep on the floor.

    As far as the specifics of this trip, my thoughts are identical to Dave's. Going from a "2 month vacation so time is not an issue" to "Travel is about 2 days and require 2 overnight lodgings" is about as radically different of statements as you could make. The trip can be done in 3 hard days, with 2 overnight stops - but there won't be time for any fun, and you certainly can not visit the Wigwam motel on that pace. Please don't even consider driving the 900 miles (18 hours) from Dallas to Holbrook in one day - that's not just uncomfortable, that quickly becomes dangerous!

  9. #9


    Not sure if you've been to Fairfield, CA before but they've got a great mini golf place nearby called Scandia. It's mini golf, batting cages, paddle boats, go karts. Great for kids and families. Also the Jelly Belly jellybean factory isn't too far away from there in Vacaville, CA

  10. Default

    Hello guys! Thanks for the comments :-)

    The trip going there would be a little haggard as our relatives are off to their vacation going places, so we are hoping to get there as soon as possible. When there, I am sure our relatives will be able to show us places. Thanks Angie for the tip. When I went there, I was still single and did not have any kids. As it turned out almost all of my wife's relatives are also from around that area.

    Now, as for going back to Dallas is a different story. We have all the time in the world :-) We would probably see all we want to see on our way back :-) My children's ages are 10, 5, and 2 years old.

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