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  1. Default Cross country camping trip with young kids

    We are starting to plan a 6 week summer road trip for 2018. Our starting/ending point is LA. And we will have a 5 yr old and almost 3 year old. This will be our first time doing a camping road trip. We plan to tent camp and occasional motel. We'd like our kids to see nature and just create family memories. We have friends in Austin, TX we'd like to see and I'd like to go to Yellowstone, but prefer to stay at a cabin inside the park. I also would love to go to Charleston or Savannah, but think that might be too far. Just found out that reservations have already in opened Yellowstone for next summer-so we might be a little behind in planning.

    Since we have little kids, we want a relaxed/slower paced road trip with maybe staying a couple to few nights in most spots. Our kids tend to do well in the car, but definitely need suggestions for stops to stretch the legs/burn off some energy. Since we can more easily see CA sites, we're mostly interested in recommendations outside of CA. Do people have recommendations for sites to see or good campgrounds for little kids (ones with playgrounds)? Recommended routes? How long of a time should we plan at Yellowstone and where should we stay?

    Thank you so much!

  2. #2


    Welcome! Your kids are at good age where they won't be much issue on long trips. What kind of vehicle you will be traveling with? Are you looking for a basic cabins with bring your own mattress and pillows?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Speaking in Generalities

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It's way too early, and your plans so sketchy as yet, to be dealing in any specifics about route or attractions or anything like that. What I can tell you is that six weeks is plenty of time to visit every place that you've listed as a possible goal. Indeed, you could (kid's comfort aside for the moment) be driven quite comfortably in ten to a dozen days, leaving you a full four weeks to just camp, visit interesting sites, and relax with your kids.

    So at this point, I'd just use an on-line mapping routine to visualize the basic route that would connect all your main destinations in a singe loop. Then buy yourselves a good atlas and start seeing what's along that route. There will certainly be no shortage of national parks, state parks, national forests, wildlife refuges, recreation areas, and other natural venues. Many, if not most, of those sites will also have campgrounds available. The sooner you can plot out your route, the sooner you can start making reservations. That will be especially important if you want to camp in or near some of the more popular national parks such as Yellowstone.

    When you actually start your trip, you should plan on buying am 'America the Beautiful' annual pass at the first national park you come to. That will cost $80, but will give you 'free' admission to all national parks and monuments for you and everyone in your car for a year from the date of purchase. Camping fees, however, are not covered - they're extra. Also plan on signing at least you older child up or the Junior Ranger Program at each park where it's in effect. That will give him/her some age-appropriate activities to perform that will help them get the most out of their park experience. It will also earn them some very nice (and free) souvenirs.

    When you get a bit further along in your planning, we can be more helpful with specific suggestions.


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