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Thread: Roadtrip

  1. #1
    unscannable Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Default Roadtrip

    ok so our kids are finally at the age where we feel we can start traveling without too many annoyances and we want to head out west. flight price for all 5 of us will be around $1800-$1900. Driving the family car would be too brutal so the only two other options would be to rent a car or an RV. If we rent an RV we will need a car to get around in once we're there. I'd like to do the cross country RV thing but worry it might be way more expensive than flying. I can't decide what to do so I need your input to help me come to a decision.
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    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    No idea, but it sounds like fun
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    Senior Member scattershot's Avatar
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    Ooh - I've always wanted to drive cross country in an RV. I'd say do it, even if it's more expensive. I think your kids would have way better memories of doing that than being stuck on a plane for 5-6 hours.

    If you're going to be hitting major cities, you might want to check out Zipcar for your car rental. Once you set up your account and pay a fee (I think it was $75), then you can go rent a car by the hour whenever you need one. I used them last summer in Baltimore and it was super-easy and convenient.

    Here's the list of cities that have Zipcars - Zipcar availability
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    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    You can hire the Nozflubber Express (87 GMC Safarri) to shuttle you all over the damn place. I'll beat any competitor's offer!

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    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Depending on the city you can try public transportation. It might seem like a hassle, but I find walking around a lot you get a better feel for a city.

    I have a zip car account, it is useful but if you rent a car for the entire day, sometimes it's cheaper to just get a rental. I would use it more in lieu of a cab or to cover long stretches. You have to return the zip car to the original place so sometimes not as convenient as a rental you can drop off at other locations.

    I think an RV could be a lot of fun, make much more memories than flying. The only problem I'd see is driving it into urban areas and sometimes even camp sites and such have special RV routes and 'no RV roads' that make it tricky.
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    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jen View Post
    ok so our kids are finally at the age where we feel we can start traveling without too many annoyances and we want to head out west. flight price for all 5 of us will be around $1800-$1900. Driving the family car would be too brutal so the only two other options would be to rent a car or an RV. If we rent an RV we will need a car to get around in once we're there. I'd like to do the cross country RV thing but worry it might be way more expensive than flying. I can't decide what to do so I need your input to help me come to a decision.
    Just make sure you have a vehicle big enough for the clan, and then stay in the likes of the bigger Super8's. I found them clean and convenient when road tripping the West.

    I've done Seattle->Canada(Vancouver and Whistler)->Eureka (Cali), Sacramento, Yosemite, Carmel, Santa Cruz, Monterrey, San Franciso. Or something like that. Anyway, it was a very fun 3 weeks!

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    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    i remember moving across the country by car as a kid... compared to flying, it's really just as awful having to sit in a car all day. as a form of transportation, i think you should avoid driving for such a long distance, but if that is the vacation then i could see it being fun. just as long as it isn't merely 8+ hours of driving a day, hotels, fast food, with only the occasional attraction... that gets old fast.

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    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    I think the trick to traveling by car with children in tow is to not set any schedule (A Pee would say that, wouldn't she?)

    Those long hours are a set-up for boredom and boredom=bickering. We did frequent stops whenever anything caught our interest. Allow a little more democratic choice than you might at home along the way so everyone gets a pick. Pull over and do a little hiking or have a picnic. Let the kids lead in this and they'll cue you when they need a change.

    And the obvious - the car games. I found a lot of ideas for keeping us amused in the car playing word games and games about what we were seeing as we traveled. There are a lot of books out there to give ideas. Give 'em beads, little hand projects.

    Mixing up the seating arrangement every so often helps.

    I wouldn't want to travel by airplane with children unless they were well-behaved and not too restless. My kids were little whirlwinds.

    When our kids got old enough to travel we did a lot of traveling by motorcycle. That was fun and totally eliminated the backseat arguments. They had to argue by hand signal! Heh.

    I'm sure you know what would be best for your paticular family, Jen. But that cross-country RV trip would be a lot of fun, I think.

    Your first step would be to define what the vacation would be. Perhaps RV would be RV only and not the kind where you'd also rent a car and do other things. My thought would be to try to discover the limitations and go from there. Making the scope too large could be a problem both in money and in patience.

    I know that my kids needed to be prepared ahead of time about their expectations so we didn't run into a lot of whining. You know the drill: "We will NOT be hitting every Chucky Cheese in the states so do not ask!" "You will be sitting for long periods of time and like it!" And like that.

    Edit: What I'm saying? The trip itself becomes the vacation rather than the means to get to the vacation.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

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    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    I say get the RV. I grew up with an RV and it's fun as all get out. And yeah, it gets boring being in a motor vehicle for hours at a time but they're kids, what else have they got to do? They'll spend a lot of time thinking (gasp!) and playing games with each other, talking to you (double gasp!), and seeing the country. They'll never forget it, even if they're at times bored out of their minds. Ahh, memories.

  10. #10
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    When I moved from Georgia to Oregon four years ago, I rented a minivan for a week. It cost me $650 plus around $100 in gas. I believe I would have paid half that if it was round trip.

    I was going to get a full size van for around $100 more, then decided against it since gas prices were so high and I wanted a bit of a cushion.

    I have also noticed that many of the rental companies seem to have several discounts based on the sites I checked recently, especially for full sized vehicles.

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