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  1. Default 2 week cross country road trip

    So I finally can take our family cross country roadtrip in July for 14 days. This is the plans tell me what you guys think. It will be me and my wife driving (mostly me). My 5 year old and 15 year old sons. We will be driving my wife's 2008 mazda cx-9 that has plenty of room for the kids. We take long roap trips up and down the east coast about 3 times a year. Kids are great on these trips!

    Day 1 Philly-Mid Ohio 7 hours
    Day 2 Ohio-Mid Kansas stop in St. Louis for the arch 14 hours
    Day 3 Kansas-Zion National Park stop in vail,co 14 hours
    Day 4 Zion- Grand Canyon North rim stop in bryce canyon 3 hours
    Day 5 Grand Canyon-Vegas 5 hours
    Day 6 Vegas-Yosemite 7 hours
    Day 7 Yosemite-LA 5 hours
    Day 8 LA all day
    Day 9 LA-Tucson,AZ 7 hours
    Day 10 AZ- San Antonio,TX 11 hours
    Day 11 San Antonio- New Orleans,LA 8 hours
    Day 12 New Orleans-Atlanta 7 hours
    Day 13 Atlanta-Philly 12 hours

    *We have a extra day in here to either rest or do san diego, also could take out Yosemite cause it is 8 hours off track if we need to catch up days. All hours listed are drive times between locations. Roughly 7,000 miles and a budget of $10,000 for gas, hotels, & activities.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'll simply tell you right now, your plan is way too optimistic. You are using travel time estimates that must be coming from a computer program, because they simply do not reflect real world travel times. The "14 hour drives" (which are far too long for an extended family trip to begin with) could easily take 18 hours + when you factor in even short stops for food, fuel, rest - and that's if you don't do anything fun to keep the kids from killing each other!

    You literally have a trip where you will have no time at most of the places you've listed. You're going to end up exhausted, and that's certainly going to carry over to your family and their ability to enjoy the ride - especially your kids.

    The real problem you have is that while 2 weeks sounds like a long time, it basically takes 5-6 days to drive at a fast pace from coast to coast, and that doesn't leave a whole lot of time for fun when you've only got 2 weeks. While coast to coast sounds like the textbook trip on the surface, you might look at only going out into the rockies and see places like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. I'd also strongly recommend you not go across the south, simply because that's going to add another day plus of travel, and that's an area you could easily visit again on an east coast trip, and actually have time to see some of it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I'm afraid that to make a coast-to-coast round trip, you need another week. If all you have are 2 weeks, I'd rent a car and fly back or cut your scope way back. All you are going to be doing is driving and sightseeing out of your windshield!

  4. #4


    As the others have said, that's a lot of long drives. No time to do anything on those long days. I'm planning a west US trip for 40 days so I try to get a good pace going where I see what I can and try not to be driving all day. My longest driving days are nothing but driving, and the longest day is 11 hours according to Google Maps which obviously will be minimal on the stops as to not drive until night. But even that might be too long and I'm considering revising that to shorten it. But if you want to see anything limit your trip to a certain area or lengthen your time spent on the trip. 14 hours cooped up in a car with others will get anyone get agitated with each other even if they get along well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default 'The Chorus'.

    To join in with the chorus, your trip is [sorry to say] way to unrealistic to make it a fun family road trip. With a little time out of the car for short bathroom and food breaks, stretch the legs and fill with gas while travelling on major Highways, you can figure roughly covering 550-600 miles in a 9/10 hour day, which is far too much to expect Kid's to endure day after day. "Roughly 7000 miles" is going to be the equivalent of 12 such day's to get around, and you will most likely add a whole lot more miles with detours into City's and around parks.

    With 2 weeks, I would go with one of 2 suggestions above and shorten your trip dramatically, or fly out, perhaps Vegas, and start touring from there in a Rental.

  6. Default

    Thanks for everyone's opinion I think to cover the most important part of my trip (west coast) I will fly into vegas or phoenix; rent a car and do everything in the west coast for the 2weeks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Sounds like a good idea, let us know if you have more questions as you start reworking your plan.

  8. #8


    Your trip is WAY too ambitious. I am currently planning a cross country trip of 6 weeks and think that is not enough time. My wife and I are from NY and we did Yosemite a couple years ago. One of my favorite places EVER! We spent 3 days there and that was barely enough. Favorite thing to do there was hike the Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls. It may be a bit ambitious for a 5 year old.
    We preferred Bryce over Zion too. Vegas needs no hype. I agree with others, maybe a rental and flight home might make it doable.

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