Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17
  1. Default Cross country with family - route check requested

    Hello fellow travelers,

    We are planning a road trip across US of A - we will start from Philadelphia area & intend to reach Los Angeles, doing just one way & we have about 8 days ... following is what I've come up - let me know if this sounds alright ...

    Day 1: PA to Indianapolis IN (646 miles) ==> longest drive!
    Day 2: Indianapolis IN to St Louis MO (242 miles) ==> spend 1/2 day @ Gateway Arch
    Day 3: St Louis MO to Junction City KS (375 miles)
    Day 4: Junction City to Denver CO (478 miles)
    Day 5: Denver CO to Richfield UT (465 miles)
    Day 6: Richfield UT to Zion National Park (140 miles - via UT 89) ==> spend day @ Zion - stay @ St. George UT
    Day 7: St George UT to LA (whatever remains)

    --thed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    That first day is going to be a doozy -- if it were me, I'd stay around Richmond, IN on the first night. It would make the 2nd day a little longer, but if you left Richmond early in the morning, you'd still have about a half day to play at the Arch. Recommendation for the Arch is to get your tickets to go up (assuming that's what you have planned), with the time, and then go look at the Museum of Westward Expansion or across the street at the old courthouse.

    If you're looking for budget-priced lodging at Junction City, there's a Days Inn and a Ramada at exit 296. A little further on in Abilene, there's a Super 8 at exit 275. Salina has Days Inn, Best Inn, Motel 6, and a Super 8. If you feel you can drive further, Hays has the best selection of lodging.

    In Denver, if you are there on a weeknight, you'll want to stay on the west side of town, to avoid rush hour on your departure morning. The drive between Denver and Richfield is some of the most beautiful interstate scenery!

    St George to LA is about 400 miles, and that's about 9 hours, depending on what time you go through Las Vegas and then hit the LA Mess. If you are doing that on a Sunday, though, you may have to think about more traffic southbound between Las Vegas and LA as the Californians go home after the weekend.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Off on the Wrong Foot

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Starting a multi-day RoadTrip with a killer (and that could be literal!) day is just a bad idea. It will just set you up to be tired and cranky for at least the next day or two. And there's no reason to do it. Keep in mind that you're going to have to load up the car and get out of Philly; that the PA Turnpike is not an easy or consistently high speed route; that you have to get through or around Wheeling, Columbus and Dayton; and that any adrenalin rush you might feel at the start of your journey will wear off well before evening - and you should really plan on pulling up well short of Indianapolis. Richmond IN or even Dayton would make a more realistic target for the first day. That would still let you get to St. Louis in the early afternoon the next day and enjoy the Arch. Remember that you will pick up an hour due to the time change on this second day. And while you're there, be sure to visit the Museum of Westward Expansion beneath it.

    The only other comment I'd make is to be wary about your last day as well. Los Angeles can be intimidating if you've never driven there. And you will likely be driving into the city right around the start of evening rush hour. Be sure that you know exactly where you're going and what Freeways you'll need to use to get there. Have your front seat passenger act as a real navigator and keep track (on a paper map) of how far until the next interchange and which freeway you'll want to take. This is a place where GPS can help, particularly if you have one that shows pictures of upcoming lane splits, but should not be relied on as your sole method of finding your way around.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Considering the children.

    Changing the destination of the first day is the best tweak you can do. You do not say how many are in the family, nor the ages of any children. But I would focus on stopping at least every few hours to give children a break from being restrained in their belts, and let off some of that pent up energy.

    After Denver this is quite easy, as there are many scenic pull offs along I-70, especially once you cross over into UT. For the other routes you might like to check for places in this thread.

    By the time you get to Zion, find parking and wait for the shuttle, there will be no where near 'a day' left to spend in the park. As well as that you will have passed fairly closely to a couple of other NPs which are unique and worthwhile stopping at. If you can make a little extra time, you could take the detour to Moab, and visit Arches and Canyonlands NPs, before heading back to I-70.

    If the children are school age, be sure to enrol them in the Junior Ranger program at each NP you visit. Great activities which will help them remember the place for a lifetime.

    Lifey

  5. Default

    Lifey, AZBuck & Donna - thanks a LOT for your responses. Some answers:

    2 kids - 15 & 11 & we will be terminating journey in Ventura CA - so, I guess we'll be spared of the crazy LA traffic & will shave an hour+ on last day.

    Thing with first day was - PA hotels are crazy expensive! ($199 for Hampton Inn in Carlisle - really???) else we were (& now we will) thinking of leaving saturday evening - stay @ Carlisle (or some place around there) ...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Shop around.

    I put in a random saturday during July using the RTA 'search Motels' link to the top right of this page and came up with much better deals, including the Hampton Inn for $135 and others a lot less which should be nice enough just to rest up in. Take a look and search your exact dates.

    Although it would make for a longer last day, Springdale UT is a lovely town to stay in right 'next door' to Zion and it would maximize your time there. In your first post you said you have "about 8 days" and have accounted for 7 days in your itinerary. If you had that extra day it would quite a difference to your travel days as it would allow you more time out of the car.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Making memories.

    With children the ages of yours, here are a few other thoughts, though all the above still stands.

    I suggest you sit down with the children and look at good paper maps, to see what there is along the route you will be travelling. Then you can get the children to do some research into the places they see. Good maps have most attractions marked on them, be they historical, natural or even touristy sites. The more your children have invested in the trip, the more they will get out of it.

    And speaking of that, be sure to encourage them to keep a journal. (Works best if you do too.) Simply by recording each evening, before bed, what stood out most for each one, on that day. This can of course include photos and items picked up along the way. In fact anything which will help them recall each day of the trip. Including what they will get out of the Junior Ranger Program.

    These journals are wonderful to read over later, even years later. My grandchildren all keep journals on each trip they take with their parents.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Try the RTA hotel booking service.

    Quote Originally Posted by thed View Post
    Thing with first day was - PA hotels are crazy expensive! ($199 for Hampton Inn in Carlisle - really???) else we were (& now we will) thinking of leaving saturday evening - stay @ Carlisle (or some place around there) ...
    Not sure where you were looking for that, but I just checked the RTA booking service, and the Hampton Inn in Carlisle is $149 on a Sat night. (I used 1st August.) There are other cheaper mid range hotels. In nearby Harrisburg, there is even a larger selection, all priced less than $199. In fact, only the Hilton, Sheridan and Marriot are more.

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    The RTA booking service works quite well. There are also less expensive hotels available that wouldn't cost as much. My husband and I find the Super 8 and EconoLodge chains to work quite well. A friend of mine stays almost exclusively in Best Western chain. All three chains are well-represented on the RTA booking service, and aren't nearly as expensive as the Hampton Inn chain. Admittedly, Hamptons may have "nicer" furnishings or other amenities, but if you are only looking for a clean place to lay your head at night, those 3 chains work well.


    Donna

  10. Default

    Thanks all - really-really appreciate the feedback & some, well most, ideas are wonderful.

    We are reworking logistics & are considering a night-halt in Washington, PA (we'll leave from Lansdale, PA)

    The additional day I left out was to chill out with family in SoCal, but more I look @ Zion, more I like it - so we might spend the night in Springdale (current hotel booking is @ St. George for that night)

    One thing I did not do is check speed limits and get some feel for these distances & travel times to see if it'll allow us side-site-seeing besides marked ones (St. Louis, Zion, Denver etc.) & have not given a lot of thought for "when to start" - "early risers" or start later in the day - any suggestions are welcome

Similar Threads

  1. Cross country with Kids
    By tyandow in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-13-2011, 06:21 AM
  2. Route 40 Cross-Country
    By Sonya Sombreuil in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-12-2009, 01:43 PM
  3. Cross Country Family Fly-Drive - Need Advice
    By merrymom in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-12-2007, 11:02 PM
  4. Route 50 cross country
    By summergirl85 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-13-2007, 03:43 PM
  5. Cross country with dog?
    By Barb in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-12-2001, 11:25 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES