We are in the process on planning a month long family road tip (my husband, myself and 2 boys ages 7 & 8) and are somewhat overwhelmed in planning our route. We want this to be "the trip of a lifetime." We are pulling a decent sized high top pop up (currently ho a/c but may install one) behind my SUV and our goal is to stay at some of the National Parks out west. Our travel dates are for 30 days starting mid July and returning mid August.
We would love any advice on route planning, things to do, where to stay, etc... I was shocked to see how fast the campgrounds at the National Parks book up in the summer so I want to get a jump start on some reservations.
As on now our tentative plan is to leave Boston very early in the morning and make our first stop at Niagara Falls. We'll stay at a hotel for that first night and then head to Ann Arbor, MI the next day to visit a friend. From Ann Arbor we are headed to the Badlands, Rushmore, Devil's Tower. We aren't against another overnight hotel stop on the way from Ann Arbor to our first National Park but don't know where we should stop. We want to get out West but we also want to keep the trip enjoyable and exciting for the kids.
We have made 1 campground reservation at Arches National Park for 3 nights right in the middle of the trip. We are novices at road trip traveling and would love any suggestions or sample itineraries.
Here is our idea so far:
Day 1Niagra Falls *hotel
Day 2Ann Arbor *hotel
Day 3Iowa City (??) *hotel
Day 4, 5, 6 Badlands, Rushmore, Devil's Tower *camp
Day 7, 8, 9 Yellowstone, Grand Tetons *camp
Day 10 & 11 Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park *camp
Day 12, 13, 14 Arches, Canyonlands *camp
Day 15, 16, 17 & 18 Bryce & Zion *camp
Day 19 Vegas *hotel
Day 20, 21, 22 Grand Canyon *camp
Day 23 Mesa Verde * camp
Day 24 Head back east (?) * camp or hotel
Day 25 ? *camp or hotel
Day 26, 27 Shenandoah Nat'l Park *camp
Day 28 - 30 head back towards home *hotel
Any suggestions/recommendations are welcome and appreciated!