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  1. Default Dallas Tx to SunnyVale CA - Summer 2011

    Hello All:
    I sure am glad to find this forum... I have this Road Trip on my to-do list every year and always give in to some excuse or the other.
    So about us:
    >We have 2 kids, a boy 8 and a girl 5
    >Intend to drive my Honda Pilot from Dallas to California on a 12-14 days round trip
    >Plan to spend 3 days each way and about a week staying there with some family
    >Wish to see/ stop over at Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and all other sights enroute
    >Would like plan to stop over for the nights in economical an bed-and-breakfast.

    I would appreciate any and every advice as its the first time with the family on the road. I have dangled this far too many times and now my kids are holding it against me.

    Would like from seasoned and experienced folsk - tips of place to stay and places to sight-see enroute so I can start to create an day-by-day itinerary for my trip.



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

    Default No time for sight seeing.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    From Dallas to Sunnyvale is a full 3 day's drive without time for any major stops like the Grand canyon "and everything else on the way". Each day would be close to 10 hours of driving with only time for short stops, so you might want to re think your initial plan of spending a week at your destination or take a little longer.

    Use the RTA map centre where you can plot routes and see numerous attractions along the way and when you have done a little research we can help to fill in the detail.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not Going to Happen

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Dallas to Sunnyvale is 1,800 miles by the most direct route. That is already too much to try to do in three days, especially where children are involved. You simply don't have time in your "3 days each way" for detours to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, or anywhere else. The only itinerary that fits in the time you've allotted is get up early, drive all day, go to bed late, repeat. To do what you have promised your children you need to set aside at least 5 days one way. Can you do that?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    The Netherlands


    Hi and welcome to the forum.
    Dallas to Sunnyvale via GCNP and Las Vegas already means a 30+ hours roadtrip. If you can take 4 days I'd do:
    ABQ-GCNP south rim
    GCNP-Las Vegas
    Las Vegas-Sunnyvale
    You time for GC and LV will be limited though. Without stops (not recommended with kids that age) it already will resp. be 10,6,5 and 9 hours of driving.
    Make your reservations for GC asa possible or

  5. Default

    Thanks all you folks for a reality check. Yes I guess I was aiming too high - better to find out here online than halfway through my road trip. Really appreciate the advice.

    I plan to modify my plans and post it again to see if its going to be reasonable.

  6. Default My revised plan

    Day 1: Dallas to Albuquerque 650 miles/11 hours - Stay night
    Day 2: Albuquerque to GCNP 400 miles/7 hours - Stay night
    Day 3: See GCNP South Rim 5 hours
    GCNP to Las Vegas 280 miles/5 hours- Stay night
    Day 4: Las Vegas to Sunnyvale, CA 522 miles/9 hours - Destination
    Day 5/ Day 6/ Day 7/ Day 8 - Stay in Sunnayvale CA
    Day 9: San Jose to LA 340 miles/6 hours - Stay night
    Day 10: LA to Phoenix 380 miles / 6 hours - Stay night
    Day 11: Phoenix to El Paso 430 miles / 7 hours - Stay night
    Day 12: El Paso to Dallas 640 miles / 11 hours - back home!

    For a 2 week trip we'd have 1-2 days to spare to either spend in CA or use in the trip someplace where we are stretched too much.
    If this sounds rationale, I'll start to get into details of places to visit and stay the nights. Of course will appreciate any inputs for the same.
    I also need feedback on the feasiblity of the first and last leg of 11 hours each on the road. With 2 kids hmm..?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    That's a lot better, but I think I'd modify it just a bit more.

    Day 1 - Dallas to Tucumcari NM - 475 miles
    Day 2 - Tucumcari to Flagstaff AZ - 500 miles
    Day 3 - Grand Canyon, spend night in Williams AZ
    Day 4 - Williams to LV via Route 66 from Seligman to Kingman - 235 miles
    Day 5 - LV to Sunnyvale - 540 miles

    Last 3 days: Speed run back to Dallas, with overnights in Kingman AZ and Santa Rosa NM

    Reason: There's no point in going through LA without extra time to see some sights other than jammed freeways. However, if you are satisfied with 4 days in Sunnyvale and you have 5 days to go home (total 14 day trip) you could take the Pacific Coast Highway down toward LA.

    Day 10 and 11 - San Jose to Bakersfield with an overnight somewhere in the middle - San Simeon? Take CA-1 down the coast and then CA-46 from Cambria to Bakersfield. Book a Hearst Castle tour.
    Day 12: Bakersfield to Phoenix via CA-58/US-395/I-15/I-215/I-10 (to avoid LA traffic).
    Day 13: Phoenix to Van Horn TX.
    Day 14: Van Horn to Dallas.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Better

    Thank you for heeding our advice. More importantly, your children will thank you. A few (now decidedly minor) tweaks:

    You'll be much better off splitting the first two days more evenly. 650 miles is beyond what the kids will be able to endure comfortably. And if the kids aren't comfortable, you'll be miserable. 500 miles a day, maybe 550, is all you should be aiming for. That would put your first night's stop around Tucumcari, NM. That would also leave a little time each day for stops that will let the kids blow off some steam as well as some memorable RoadTrip venues such as Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo on Day 1 and Petrified Forest National Park on Day 2.

    Just so your aware and don't get disappointed/frustrated. There is no way you can make the drive from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas in 5 hours. You're assuming that you can average 60 mph. With bathroom stops, meal breaks, fuel fill-ups, the above mentioned steam venting stops, and the inevitable visit to the Hoover Dam you'll be lucky to do in 6, with 7 a distinct possibility. As a general rule of thumb, I expect to average about 55 mph when all is said and done, and I travel alone (for the most part) and make minimal short stops. The mileage estimates you get from mapping software are excellent but the drive time estimates are a joke. Don't trust them.

    Similar advice for the return trip. Break it into more even segments and plan on one or two 'fun' stops a day. Piling up the mileage for the last day is going to leave you trying an unsafe final push with that mirage of 'home' always just over the next hill.

    But mainly, adding that fourth day each way will make this a trip that the kids will remember for a while, and not just in their nightmares. Well Done.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default La ?

    Other than adjusting your stops more evenly as suggested, the part of your trip I think you should give a little more consideration to is visiting LA.

    Actually I have just scrolled down and noticed that glc has mentioned this, and basically I am in agreement. You nor the kids are going to be overly thrilled sitting in a traffic jam in LA for hours while you will have little time for much other than seeing the inside of a Motel.

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