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  1. #1
    gonetoday Guest

    Default Houston >Disneyland >San Diego

    We are planning a road trip for next month. We want to see the Grand Canyon on the way to Disneyland and then go to San Diego for a couple of days. We want to take the southern route through Las Cruces, NM on the way home.

    We would also love to see Route 66, as my kids are big Cars fans.

    Do you have suggestions for places to stop to see along the way? Places to eat? To stay? Is the Wigwam hotel a feasible place to stop overnight, given our route?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default How much time for driving.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The thing you have not told us is how long you have for the journey each way. The Wigwam hotel would be a nice experience, but it would be a hard two day slog from Houston which is not much fun, especially for the Kids. If you have enough time and can take a more relaxed approach and get there on the third night of your trip it would work better. You could however get to the Grand canyon on night 3, but then the Wigwam motel wouldn't be the ideal choice for dividing those 3 days equally. Depending on their ages, the Kids might like to stop at Cadillac ranch near Amarillo and let loose with an aerosol can.

    After the Grand canyon you could take an old section of route 66 through Seligman to Kingman and then possibly through Oatman, home to the wild Burros.

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

    Default Just Add Time

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Everything you've listed is possible as long as you have enough time. Two weeks would be about the minimum needed for the kids to have a good time. Less than that would turn the trip into far more of a thankless job than an adventure and at a week, you'd only have time for the driving and none to actually do anything.

    With that understanding, here are a few other places along your general route that the kids might like: Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo where they are encouraged to graffiti some old cars (a bit off the direct routing), Petroglyph National Monument, Petrified Forest National Park, several smaller national monuments in the Flagstaff area as well as Lowell Observatory where Pluto was discovered, the Grand Canyon, the section of old US-66 (now signed as AZ-66) between Seligman and Kingman through Peach Springs that served as the visual inspiration for Cars, the Mojave National Preserve, Balboa Park in San Diego (lots of neat museums and the zoo), Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Yuma Territorial Prison, the Pima Air and Space Museum, and Fort Lancaster. You should plan ahead on the national parks and monuments that you plan to visit, since it might be worthwhile to by an annual pass at the first one you come to if it looks like otherwise you'd have to pay over $80 in entrance fees. And in any case, be sure to sign your kids up for the Junior Ranger Program at each one you come to - that's free!

    AZBuck

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

    Default

    AZBuck was right on. I might add that we went almost directly from San Diego to Houston, two summers ago, in 2-1/2 days of very hard driving. We stopped at Phoenix to check in with family, then the next stop was Ft Stockton and then Houston's south side (Johnson Space Center area).

    With cooperation from your kiddos, you *could* possibly stop at that "sleep in a wigwam" spot. Your first night could be at Amarillo, or just short of it since that's about 600 miles. Then, the next morning, take them out to Cadillac Ranch (if that's your cup-of-tea), and then go straight through to Petrified Forest National Park. Do a drive-through there, and spend the night in Holbrook at the tee-pee place. Get reservations first, so you don't run into problems.

    The next day, head to Grand Canyon. Stay at least two nights there, so that one of the days you can catch a sunset and the other day, a sunrise.

    From there, it's a long day's drive to Anaheim to Disneyland. If you've never been, you might want to allow a couple of days. If you've been to Florida's parks and not the original, I can give you some hints about what's different. Oh, on the way you can squeak in a drive through Seligman and Peach Springs.

    It's an hour and a half or two hours down to San Diego. Depending on what you want to do here, you could allow a couple of days or a week. We have a lot to see and do.

    From here it's at least 3 days home, as said above. More if you'd like to stop and see something else.


    Donna

  5. #5
    gonetoday Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    The thing you have not told us is how long you have for the journey each way.
    Woops! Our time is a little bit flexible, but we were planning 3 out, 2 days in Disney, 3 days in SD, and 2 or 3 days home.

  6. #6
    gonetoday Guest

    Default

    Thanks for the replies! I've made the Houston-LA drive many times as a kid, but this will be my first attempt as an adult. I'm wondering if our trip is a little ambitious :/

    We really have only 10 days, and Disney is the only non-negotiable. Kids are 4 and 9. A few years ago our 9 year old made the trip to Disneyworld in a grueling 1 day each way and did great. The trip was very enjoyable despite 17+ straight hours in the car each way. The 4 year old hasn't been farther than the FL panhandle in a day. Should we rethink this?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    I have to admit, 17+ straight hours in a car would be grueling for me as an adult, not to mention downright dangerous for the driver. One reason that commercial truckers are limited to 10 hours/600 miles driving is the fatigue factor -- kills too many people.

    When we were raising kids, we figured that 500-600 miles in the car for one day was plenty for them and not much better for us. We tried to find a motel with a pool, or (when we were RV'ers), an RV park with one. The kids did much better if they figured on going for a swim when they got in. Yes, we had our disappointments, such as the pool that was closed for maintenance, or because there was a terrible storm outside.

    We would always stop at least every couple of hours, at a rest area, or other place where the kids could just run, do cartwheels on the grass, etc. That was another thing that helped our kids.



    Donna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default I am so pleased he survived !!

    It's a 3 day drive each way with time to take short breaks from the car, eat and clear the mind, so yes you do need a re-think. You won't have time for detours and stops along route 66 and if you took I40 out you would barely have time to peer over the rim of the Grand canyon and take a photo.

    A few years ago our 9 year old made the trip to Disneyworld in a grueling 1 day each way
    I am not sure you realise just how dangerous it was for your child to have been in a vehicle for 17 hours + straight. Even with 2 drivers the fatigue levels would have had a similar affect on the ability to handle a 2 ton machine at high speed to that of a drunk driver. To do the trip in 18 hours would have required speeds in triple digit numbers when you allow for time to stop for gas, bathroom and food breaks and to deal with city traffic. This type of travelling is like playing Russian Roulette, you may get away with it once ot twice if you are lucky, but the luck will run out. Please have a safe and enjoyable break.

  9. #9
    gonetoday Guest

    Default

    I'm not sure why I feel the need to defend myself, but here goes: The trip from Hou to DW is 14 hours. It took us 17. Clearly, we stopped, just not overnight. We also traded driving, no one drove for more than a few hours without a break. No one ran the risk of fatigue. We were all good, and my kid did more than survive, they had a great time. Thanks again for the tips.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Only in the fantasy world of online mapping programs -that never have to slowdown or stop for anything - could cover the nearly 1000 miles from Houston to Orlando in anything close to 14 hours. 17-18 would be the bare minimum travel time needed in the real world.

    The more important thing is that despite your protestations, no what you did was not safe, and it is an absolute certainty that you were impaired by fatigue, because no human being on earth could be in a car -even as a pasenger- for the hours you are talking about with being affected by fatigue (even if you didn't "feel" tired). That is the reason professional drivers are forbidden by law from attempting anything close to that kind of distance without an overnight stop. The point is, what you did was in fact dangerous, and if you attempt something like that again, you may not be so lucky, especially when you've got so many more miles in front of you this time.

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