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Family's First Trip To Grand Canyon,Sedona,Vegas--HELP!

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Family's First Trip To Grand Canyon,Sedona,Vegas--HELP!

Thinking of taking our two daughters with us on first Western USA family vacation.Want to see Sedona,the Grand Canyon and maybe 3 nights at most in Las Vegas if that is at all do-able.Our girls are ageds 6 and 15.Will travel this summer flying in from NYC.So far,want to see Sedona,Grand Canyon---am very unfamiliar and just do not know what other must-sees are best the first time around.Unsure if it is too far to drive to Las Vegas for a short stay and which order to do things in,proximity of each destination to each other/time needed at each and what sights have more kid-teen appeal.Usually stay in four or four and a half star,more upscale resorts so am open to resort suggestions/ideas/tour names and preferred family tour companies etc.

Just don't know how to get started or if it would be easiest with kids first-time around to do a tour co. Just do NOT want to spend our trip on a cramped tour bus.Hate that idea---rather drive and do our own thing but need structure and guidance.This is all very new to us as I have not been in this area since childhood.Want some touring and relaxation at each destination.Looking for somewhat luxury accomodations that still also provide some kid-teen appeal/activity.Any specific suggestions appreciated so atleast I have some ideas.If any further info is needed to make reasonable suggestions,please ask away.Thanks!!!!

new jersey
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1. Re: Family's First Trip To Grand Canyon,Sedona,Vegas--HELP!

We just returned from a very similar trip with our two daughters ages 12 and 13. Flew from Newark, NJ to Vegas for two nights, drove to the Canyon for two nights, Sedona for two nights, and Phoenix for three. It was amazing! Also the first for a vacation like this. You should definitely check into accomodations at the Canyon as they are probably already sold out but check daily. Send me a PM with more specific questions and I'll be more than happy to help you! It can be overwhelming but we survived and everything was perfect!!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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2. Re: Family's First Trip To Grand Canyon,Sedona,Vegas--HELP!

You do not need to take a tour, you can drive yourself everywhere.

You can fly into either Phoenix or Las Vegas. I would spend at most 2 nights in Vegas, not really a great place for kids. MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay have great pools.

Check lodging inside Grand Canyon Nat Park. There may still be openings. If not, Tusayan has lodging. Nothing really high end. I would spend 2 nights inside the park. Also nearby is Sunset Crater and Wupatki Nat Monuments. Worth a visit.

Sedona has nice lodging and I would spend 3 nights there.

Visit www.nps.gov/grca for more info.

Mesa, Arizona
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3. Re: Family's First Trip To Grand Canyon,Sedona,Vegas--HELP!

I 2nd Casa's advice. Mandalay bay is great. I also recommend the M&M factory on the Strip there is also a game works right next to it.

Drive yourself don't waste the money with a tour. You will probably regret it since you have the means to drive.

As far as the GC boos ASAP. Nothing really luxury at the GC if you want that you will need to stay at a nice B&B in Williams which is 1 hr away or Flagstaff which is also about 1 hr 20 mins from GC.

South Jersey, USA
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4. Re: Family's First Trip To Grand Canyon,Sedona,Vegas--HELP!

Have you made any flight acommodations? If you're open there check both Vegas and Pheonix airports to see who has the best rates. Sometimes doing one-way's works better. Also would leave you open to fly into one and out the other depending on what you decide to do. The draw back there is the rental car. Additional fees for different drop-off locations.

I would rent a vehicle and drive yoursleves, much easier. Check on reservations inside the Grand Canyon South Rim park ASAP if you're planning your trip soon.

Call direct for reservations at 888-297-2757. If you're looking for 4 - 4 1/2 star resorts you won't find it at the Grand Canyon. Acommodations are basic and clean! It's all about the scenery!!

You children will be limited in what they can do in Vegas, especially at night. Might want to spend only two nights at most there and save the days for something else.

Sedona would be a great destination for more up-scale acommodations. There will be others on TA more suited to help in the Sedona area.

SJG

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5. Re: Family's First Trip To Grand Canyon,Sedona,Vegas--HELP!

Thanks everyone---should have began planning this much sooner for this summer.Now thinking of waiting a couple more years so our 6 year old could appreciate the beauty and nature a bit more.I think I will need more time to plan especially since we would want to spend a couple of nights in GCPark.I want to see Vegas but know it is not very kid-friendly for the most part.Thinking it is back to a beach vacation--likely Cancun,maybe Punta Cana--not sure.Sorry to have bothered you guys but will be back in the future to this forum as everyone is so helpful.Will get there in the not-so-far away future!Thanks!

elsewhere
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6. Re: Family's First Trip To Grand Canyon,Sedona,Vegas--HELP!

Hi DivaKitty,

I am in the same boat as you were ... traveling to the GC area for the first time with kids (three daughters: 14, 14 and 19). We will be based at my in-laws' rental condo in Las Vegas. Las Vegas was NEVER on my radar screen of places I wanted to go, but the condo is available, furnished and free and so that's where we'll be headquartered.

I am in the process of trying to figure out trips to GC and surrounding sites. I definitely want the kids to see as much of the Grand Canyon as possible, as well as Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and probably one glitzy show in Las Vegas. Maybe that AdventureDome place. I think it's probably too far to drive to Sedona/Phoenix on this trip.

Anyway, my point -- and I do have one -- is that if you are considering a Mexican Caribbean vacation this year, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Iberostar Paraiso Maya near Playa del Carmen. We stayed there last August with our kids and it was great. An all-inclusive with very nice rooms, beach and food; great pools, including a wave pool and a lazy river; kids club for ages 4-12; decent evening entertainment. LOTS of off-site excursions, including Mayan ruins, snorkeling, ziplining, etc.

Check out TripAdvisor's Playa del Carmen forum for more information and reviews. My screen name on that forum is "newtoplaya." :-) Good luck with your planning!

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7. Re: Family's First Trip To Grand Canyon,Sedona,Vegas--HELP!

Hi NEWTOCANYON---it is so funny that you recommended the Iberostar Paraiso-Maya as we all were there last August too! What a small world! Did enjoy it quite a bit and it is a great place for families with kids of all ages.Putting the GC-Sedona-Vegas trip on hold for a couple of years and will put more time into it when it draws near.

For now,it is back to Mexico,first choice either Cancun (second time),Riviera Maya and thirdly Puerto Vallarta.Just eliminated my Punta Cana plan and now it is back to looking...Wanted some place new with prime beach,calm water but more luxurious yet active---a hard combo for the family thing,I know...Asking around on those boards but if you have any related good ideas,feel free to write or send me a private message.Thanks and enjoy your travels!!!!

elsewhere
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8. Re: Family's First Trip To Grand Canyon,Sedona,Vegas--HELP!

Ha! That's an amazing coincidence about the IB Maya.

I agree that a family situation can complicate the pursuit of luxury, as it seems that most upscale resorts are adults-only. The Fairmont Mayakoba is one AAA five diamond resort in the Riviera Maya that accepts kids under the age of 13. Have you checked it out?

http://www.fairmont.com/Mayakoba

Please let us know what you decide, and good luck!

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9. Re: Family's First Trip To Grand Canyon,Sedona,Vegas--HELP!

Hi--checked out the Fairmont Mayakoba.It looks upscale and lovely but not does not seem like there's much kid-friendly activity or a kiddie club for the six year old (if she wants to play with others her own age for a bit or it rains...)Just let me know if anything else comes to mine----I know I am now officially on the wrong forum.Thanks!

Asheville, North...
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10. Re: Family's First Trip To Grand Canyon,Sedona,Vegas--HELP!

Diva Kitty,

See my post "Trip Report-Spring Break -Monument Valley to Green Valley" on this forum , April 16.

Summer is asking a lot from kids, girls especially, for a trip to Arizona. We planned and cancelled two summer trips as we realized temperatures in the 110's were not a vacation. Plan ahead for spring break in a few years.

In the meantime, if you're not set on Mexico, consider renting a villa with a pool on St. John, USVI or St. Lucia. 6 yo's love the pool , hate tourist stuff.