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Your Best tips for touring the U.S with a large family !

Perth Australia
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Your Best tips for touring the U.S with a large family !

Hello, Aussie mum here planning to embark on a long cross continent trip to the U.S (driving).

So, Americans, and seasoned travellers, could you give me your top trips for surviving a U.S road trip with the kids.

Lighthearted posts are also welcome :) !

Cheers

Perth Australia
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1. Re: Your Best tips for touring the U.S with a large family !

Oh and I should add, we have 5 children between 10 and 3, plus Grandma in tow :)

Lake George, New...
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2. Re: Your Best tips for touring the U.S with a large family !

I don't suppose "don't do it" is the advice you want...but with that said...make frequent stops along the way - in the US that is easy because there are a lot of corny things along the roadside, i.e. "South of The Border" in South Carolina and there are many family friendly activities as well. But it depends on time of year, where you will be etc. So what is your itinerary so more specific suggestions may be made?

Florida
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3. Re: Your Best tips for touring the U.S with a large family !

If you start in the west Colorado mountains are beautiful , then Branson Missouri is very nice a little commercial but the kids will like it on to the east chattanogga Tenn has a great aquarium and atlanta GA has theme parks and stone mountain is nice , There is way too mush to see accross this vast land to do it all in one trip the north east is beautiful , but then again a southern route through the desert provides for some more adventure. if you go through the center and go up and down you should see lots

Newbury Park...
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4. Re: Your Best tips for touring the U.S with a large family !

Friends of ours spent 5 weeks traveling the US this summer with 5 kids (oldest was 7)and had an amazing time. There only comment was they wished the kids were older so they'd have more memories - but it was worth it anyways. One fun thing they did was take pictures of all the different license plates from each state and stopped at the "Welcome to " signs and took pictures with the kids.

Be prepared to spend more on food than you anticipate and to eat some not so good meals along with good ones. Find parks, Chuck E. Cheese or other generic play places to allow your kids to stretch, run and play.

Try to book hotels with pools - my kids always get out energy in the evenings after long drives.

Bring plenty of activities, music and even books on CD.

Have a plan - but be flexible. Realize that the kids (or you) can get sick.

Enjoy the planning and the trip !

Perth Australia
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5. Re: Your Best tips for touring the U.S with a large family !

WOW great tips thank you !

Our kids are seasoned travellers, but this will be something again for them.

Our loose itinerary has us flying into San Fran, spending a couple of days there, then flying to Toronto or Buffalo to do a winter Niagara experience, then to NYC for a weekish to co-incide with the Macy's parade, I am hoping to get at least a night or two in Boston, but haven't worked out when yet, then hire a car and drive south via Civil War areas, onto DC, Then Atlanta, then across to Nashville, Memphis, then on to Texas, taking in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston. Along the Gulf coast to N.O and then follow the coast then over to Orlando/Cape Canaveral.

Maybe Miami, then straight back up the coast for Christmas in Virginia (what's that historical town ? ) then back to NYC for another few days and NYE.

Phew, I am sure there will be many changes to this yet though.

Perhaps some suggestions ?

Pacifica, CA
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6. Re: Your Best tips for touring the U.S with a large family !

You should check out this great website for traveling with kids www.trekaroo.com

I use it all the time to look for kid friendly places to take our kids. We just for back on a road trip from San Francisco to Seattle and I used the site to get ideas and hear from other parents about what they enjoyed.

They have a tip article about surviving road trips by playing games.

trekaroo.com/traveltips/…

Perth Australia
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7. Re: Your Best tips for touring the U.S with a large family !

Wow , excellent, thanks :)

Cleveland, Ohio
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8. Re: Your Best tips for touring the U.S with a large family !

Ok I am going to help with some knowledge I have. I can not help much with SF. Niagra falls is fun for kids with lots of activities. I have stayed at radison by the falls and have gotten good deals. I suggest staying on the canadian side. The down side is many things will not be open that time of year.

NYC is fun get a NYC with kids book full of information. I stayed on the parade route hotel and it made it easier to do with kids. Google the macy parade and it has alot of information. You can see the floats being blown up the day before fun time in new york. A few of my daughters favorite activities.

ice skatind at rockefellar center, Natural history museum, FAo schwartz store, horse carriage thru central park, chinatown.

Washington DC plan earlie to secure white house and other tours. We rode the subways everywhere. There is a lot of walking in DC. Do the monument night tour a beautiful tour with kids to see the monument.

smithsonian are great for kids. My kids liked the changing of the guards at arlington cemetary.

Boston is a nice but haven't spent time on vacation there.

follow the coast down to florida possible stop in myrtle beach, charleston,and savannah.

then on to florida I would not overlook Disney it is fabulous for kids and adults. I would then head for texas from there see New orleans then do Texas

Why not fly into Ny first then do california after Texas.

keep in mind many places will be chilly.

West Grey, Ontario
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9. Re: Your Best tips for touring the U.S with a large family !

Hi;

Without considerable winter driving experience, I would NOT suggest driving for the first part of your trip. Either take a bus or fly.

That would start from the Toronto or Buffalo part to the Washington DC part of your trip.

Best Regards

Central-NJ
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10. Re: Your Best tips for touring the U.S with a large family !

Welcome to the USA! 8 people traveling in a car. Make sure it is a nice passenger van with headrests and DVD installed, or even rent a RV.

If you're traveling in the spring to fall, you can camp your RV in various parks (more cost effective) and be able to cook some 'home made' meals. And if you can get into the National Parks, you'll see why people from the Old World wished to settle in the Americas.

Besides the other tips received, there are lots of $1 stores in towns where you can purchase 'rewards' for the kids who does not say "are we there yet" during the duration of the trip (that includes Grandma).

You should include some cities ofcourse. DC is a great place to go with lots of attractions that are free (and not). Parking will be a hassle in big cities with an RV, and will be costly. But you can get to an outside town and use public transportaion to visit ie. stay in Virgina or Maryland and take train in. Or stay in NJ and take Path train to NYC.

Rent the movie RV with Robin Williams/Chevy Chase or Steve Martin for some laughs/warnings b4 going.

Schedule some theme parks along the way ie. Six Flags, Water Country USA/Busch Gardens (VA), others. if you're traveling in the winter, there are Wolf something hotels with indoor water parks.

Br

In Pa, you can visit Lancaster country where the Amish still live as they did hundreds of years ago, eat at their very fresh & simple restaurants, see shows.

Buy baby wipes to keep clean in car (it even helps takes stains out of clothing), keep garbage bags on hand, lots of snacks. Stop every 3-4 hrs to stretch, along the rest stops - bring balls or frisbees, limit the kids' liquid intake to 1/2 hr to 1 hr before your scheduled stops.

Join AAA or some road assistance service for the trip to get maps, travel assistance and hotel discounts.

And enjoy, keep your humor and remember the antics from the movies you've watched. If it will go wrong, it will. Hope to see you on the road!