Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. Default Sept 20 2016 - Road Trip San Francisco - Yosemite - Las Vegas

    Hi everyone,
    We are a NZ family coming over to the States end of September next year. Our plan is do do San Francisco, Yosemite, Las Vegas, LA, Orlando (Disney Cruise) then flying out of Houston back home. We have 4 weeks for the trip.
    My question is in relation to the first part of our travels where we would like to travel from SF (after having 3 days there) to Yosemite and then onto Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. We will then fly or Lux Bus from LV to LA. Our kids will be 11, 9, and 7 yrs. They are not great at all with long car journeys - can be very, very painful but trying to work out best way for us to do this part without or with driving. If we drive to Yosemite and have 1 or 2 nights there before moving onto LV and Grand Canyon what is the quickest/best way to get to LV from Yosemite with minimum travel time!?! We would like to do a Grand Canyon tour out of LV (would have to be the west rim as kids wouldn't cope with the long travel to the south rim I doubt). Unless of course we could come via the South Rim on the way from Yosemite to LV? I would so love to hear from anyone who has knowledge in this area as I am struggling!!
    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Involve and educate the Kids in the planning.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    It can be difficult with Kid's but a good first step might be to get them involved in your day to day plans and get them interested in the 'rewards' during and at the end of each journey. With lots of short stops to let them run around and let off steam and to talk and educate them about where you are going next might make the journeys more tolerable.

    I would recommend 2 nights in Yosemite and then head over Tioga Pass [CA120] to Mono Lake and then head south on 395 and across Death valley NP on 190. You will need to overnight somewhere and Bishop would be a good spot to break the journey.

    It would be a great shame to miss out on the Grand canyon National Park, a true wonder of the world. Yes you would miss out because the West rim is not part of the NP and is nowhere near as spectacular. I would recommend you drive to the South rim and spend at least one night there and then drive to LA from there rather than back tracking to Vegas. Again you would need to break the journey taking into consideration the Kids.

    What you have to keep in mind is that if the Kids don't like travel they probably won't be any better on a bus than they will in a car. As I mentioned, educating them about where they are going and getting them involved in the planning and travelling with little note books where they can write and draw pictures about their adventures might help. If they feel they are part of it and have a vested interest in the trip they might just travel better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A joint effort will make for a great trip.

    Dave has covered much of your hesitation of travelling with the children. To help in your research and all there is to see along the way, you would be well off getting some really good detailed maps. If these are not available locally, I suggest you order a Rand McNallty road atlas from the RTA store via the link at the bottom of this page. If you order it now, you will have it in a couple of weeks.

    I feel sure that your children will be savvy enough on the internet to do much of the research for you. The maps will have most of the places of interest on them - natural, historical and touristy - and as you research these you will find other attractions which will interest the children and you.

    I doubt that the drive to the Grand Canyon would bother them, it is only slightly longer than the drive to Yosemite, although it could become a full day trip if you take in a tour of Hoover Dam and stop to admire the old historic sites along Rte 66. All these stops will help break the journey for the children.

    One thing I know for sure, if you mention that they do not cope well with long trips, they won't. Children tend to do what is e expected of them. If you are excited about the trip for them, they will be too. Dave laid out some ways you can do this. Another is to let them choose some of the attractions at which to stop along the way, from their own research.

    The great National Parks have another way to get your children excited about their trip, in the form of the Junior Ranger program. This is an age specific program by which the children learn a lot about the parks through activities, and are rewarded with some small souvenirs at the end. For that reason alone I suggest you spend two nights at the Grand Canyon, to have a full day there. Witnessing a sunset or sunrise over the canyon is also an unforgettable experience. In Tusayan, by the south entrance, there is an IMAX theatre with a wonderful picture of the grand canyon. Really helps you to appreciate what you are going to see,

    You have three NPs, Yosemite, Death Valley and Grand Canyon. Be sure to stop at the visitor centre on your arrival at each park .

    If you would like to stay within the NPs (highly recommended) you would need to book accommodation early. Really as soon as you know your definite dates. Accommodation within the parks is limited and much sought after. You would do well to spend some quality time on the national parks website.

    You have the time, and it would be an unbelievable experience for you to drive from the Grand Canyon to Orlando. You could pick and choose the roads and routes to take in interesting stops for the whole family - and there are tens of thousands of them.

    One thing you might like to suggest, which all of my grandchildren do, is encourage the children to keep a journal. (They could even do that during the planning stage.) Get them to record everything of interest to them, what they are looking forward to, from their research, and what they have seen, where they have been, etc. Could even include all the anticipation leading up to departure. If you need any further suggestions, speak to their teachers. I am sure they would be of great assistance. A journal is a great thing for them to have to look back on in years to come. Photos can always be added later when you get home.

    Of course all of that works best if you keep one as well.


Similar Threads

  1. San Francisco to Las Vegas June 2016
    By eddik in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-20-2015, 05:58 AM
  2. Trip San Francisco - LA - NP - Las Vegas - Yosemite
    By Kenncs in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 04-25-2015, 02:16 PM
  3. Road trip San Francisco to Las Vegas - Yosemite, Route 1, Grand Canyon
    By Greenmango in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 09-12-2014, 06:14 AM
  4. Road-trip San Francisco - Yosemite - Las Vegas - Grand Canyon
    By ananmen in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-20-2012, 10:43 AM
  5. RV trip: San Francisco - Yosemite - Great Canyon - Las Vegas
    By splatino in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 05-21-2010, 07:57 AM


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