NJ to CA
Okay, so my parents have decided to let me plan the majority of a family roadtrip from NJ to CA. Our ideas right now are driving to CA in a rental car (we don't have an appropriate car to take--we lease and would go over mileage if we drove) and flying back. The only thing is that I don't really know where to start. We have agreed to set aside at most 4 weeks for the trip. Given this time frame, I'm thinking a week and a half or so of comfortable driving *and* sightseeing, a little more than a week and a half spent in CA and then an extra day set aside to prepare for the flight back.
Does this sound like a realistic time frame? How much money should we expect to spend for a family of five?
Most importantly, what would you recommend stopping and seeing on the way?
Thanks for any advice, as you an tell I'm just beginning this project and need a good kick to get started!
Welcome to the RTA Forum!
Consider yourself lucky to be able to plan a trip like this. Way too many parents do all of the work and then are surprised when their kids aren't invested in the trip and don't have fun or enjoy the places they have chosen.
4 weeks is plenty of time, and it really gives you the option of seeing almost anything in America. I'd say your first step would be just to start listing off some of the places you have always wanted to visit. From there you can see if they would fit into a logical route and start filling in the gaps with what lies between those points.
In terms of a budget, there are too many variables to come up with a number at this point. The biggest factors will be transportation costs (car rental and gas), lodging (ranging from $20 per night to camp to more than $100 per night in fancy hotels), food (again, depends upon if you cook on the road or always eat at restaurants), and then misc spending on admission fees, gifts, and other things that you'll buy along the way.
4 weeks should make for a great trip!
You can cross the country in about 5 days so having 1.5 weeks will give you about 5-6 days worth of time to play along the way. Wonderful!
Michael gives good advice. Let me just add a few little things:
In addition to making your own list of things to see, ask other members of your family going on this trip to do the same. Everybody should get to pick a few places of interest. Then mark all these selections on a map to see if a general route appears. You may have to leave off some far-flung places for another trip.
Budgets are tricky and full of variables but this should give you some tips for how to get started.
Judy- I agree.
When I was 15 my family went to Italy and we all got to pick 1 place to visit. I chose Pompeii and LOVED the idea that I got to make a decision regarding the trip :)
I'm doing two months cross country with my 8 year old this summer and I'm going to let him pick where we visit in a few places (like San Diego).