Hi, I'm a senior in high school in Boston and after graduation, before I go to college, my parents will be moving to San Jose. My mom had the idea for a roadtrip (instead of plane) because she wanted all of us to have a last nice adventure together as a family before I leave (and we've had experience driving down to the Key West and back a few summers ago). Sometime this July or August, with my 19 year old sister in tow as well, we'll be taking some of our belongings (for the move but not much), and we're planning to take about a week for the whole trip. I'm planning to get my driver's license before we go and we're planning on alternating drivers throughout the trip. We're interested in stopping by natural scenery/parks in particular. I'm interested in some of the national parks in Utah because we heard it was wonderful for stargazing, and I'm hoping we might be able to stop by Yellowstone along the way. Neither of my parents are particularly fluent in English so they are relying on mainly me and my sister to plan most of the trip and I found this website during a google search and thought it would be nice to ask experienced road-trippers directly.
So let me break my post down into a few questions:
1. What's the best route to take that would stop along places like Canyonlands in Utah (for stargazing), Yellowstone, and other scenic areas? More recommendations for parks/places of interests would be great.
2. What is there to see in the Midwest (basically from Boston to Nebraska-ish that is of interest?
3. How often, and where should we stop for nights, somewhere that is safe while interesting? Hotel chains or small motels?
4. Would it be dangerous to bring valuables along in the car such as money and jewelery? What are the dangers/risks?
5. The car we're taking is 10 years old (just hit 100k mileage two weeks ago) and has had some engine problems in the past few months that we've gotten repaired. One of the auto repair guys said that we definitely replace our tires as well. Would it be the better bet to sell the car before we move and go on the road trip with the new car, or should we take the old car?
6. Anything else we should know/consider? What are some resources we should take advantage of, besides this awesome website?
Thank you sooo much! :)