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  1. Default Roadtrip from san diego to seattle and back

    its my family's first roadtrip from san diego to seattle. I had experienced driving from san diego to Texas and back, and it was much easier and faster because it was just me and my husband... And now were due to drive up north to Seattle for my cousin's wedding. I refuse to fly because i have a very grumpy 2 year old, and based on what ive been heard about parents getting kicked out from plane because of their naughhty kids, i decided to take our very first family roadtrip... 2 months ahead of planning and im getting frustrated... Anyways, i need help on POI on where and when to stop for gas. And what scenic route should we take and what attractions is worth stopping for???
    Please any advice helps :)

    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    While most airlines will think twice before putting a family out because of children, it's better for the kids all round to be in a car anyway. At least, IMHO. My daughter and her husband decided to drive for much the same reason -- less expensive in the long run, you see more even through the windshield, you're not exposing your child to as many germs, and more.

    How long are you planning for the trip? While this trip can conceivably be done in two very long days on the highway (taking I-5 the whole way), it would be better for all of you to do it in 3 days or even in 4 (one way). You'll want to stop every couple of hours and let your little one out of the torture chamber called a car seat, just to run. You don't have to stop anywhere fancy -- all s/he'll need is a place to run, whether it's at a rest area, city park, or state forest.

    Stopping for gas - if the one who rides shotgun has a smart phone, get the Gas Buddy app (if you don't already have it). You might want to get gasoline when the price is "right", when you're down around a half tank. That's a good time for the non-fueler-up person to take the toddler out for a run. There are gas stations all the way up to Seattle, there's no place with more than 20 miles between stations that I know of.

    Attractions -- and I mention these if you are taking 3-4 days to get up there: DO stop at the Shasta Overlook, nice viewpoint, good place to stretch your legs. Castle Crags State Park might be another place for a leg stretching. Over the Oregon border, is the Rogue River State Park. It's a great place for a picnic lunch. IF you have more time than the 3-4 days, Crater Lake National Park is a great place to check out, as is Mt St Helens in WA and Mt Rainier National Park in WA.

    Big question here: Do you have maps? You need a map. A paper map, not the kind you see on a 5” screen (GPS or your phone) or a 15” screen (your computer). Since you are planning a multi-state trip, a USA map, regional map, or a road atlas of the US will do for starters. Take a pencil, some sticky notes, or other way to mark up the map: what do you want to see? What looks interesting? This is the most essential part of trip-planning, but unfortunately, too many people try to plan a trip without a paper map.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Keeping Mr Grumpy happy.

    Why not bring the book with you?

    As a first family trip, I would definitely do this over 3 - 4 days. You'll soon fall into a pattern. At each stop find something interesting. Most towns have a town park with something like a playground or an old train carriage which children love to climb, especially if you do too.

    It may pay you to book your accommodation in advance, so you have a definite destination each day. You might like to choose a place with a pool to have some fun with the little one at the end of the day..... and to look forward to on subsequent days.

    May I also suggest that you choose a different route with different attractions, on the way home.

    Have a great trip.


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