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Old 04-19-2016, 08:46 AM
 
38,087 posts, read 14,885,535 times
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Pick up those roomsaver coupon booklets (at truck stops and fast food places on major highways, often at state visitor center as well) or check out roomsaver.com though I think it takes you to hotel coupons.com, whatever.

From what I can tell, these coupons are for the hotel rooms that remain unreserved.

We call the day off and ask if they have any of their coupon rooms left, and they usually do. So we give them our name and it's always there when we arrive.

We have stayed at some lovely places with some outrageous breakfasts for fifty/sixty dollars.

It makes last minute change in plans easy and saves money too.
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Old 04-19-2016, 08:51 AM
 
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If you are at all interested in camping, I would suggest you round up a tent, sleeping bags, roll-up foam pads, a cooler, and a car hitch cargo carrier and plan on camping some of the places.

There really is nothing like those conversations around a camp fire.
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Old 04-19-2016, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
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Random Thoughts:

Acadia National Park in Maine is very beautiful. If you do the Quebec City, Montreal, Maritimes thing, definitely include it.

Agree that camping can save you money, and can be easily accomplished with a pop up tent, and some canned beef stew. Intersperse it with regular hotel stays to keep your boys clean and fresh smelling. Remember, you're in that car too!

Second the white water rafting, or just inner tubing on a cold mountain creek. It's the ultimate boy thing for your guys to do. You will be the coolest Mom EVER!

Get a sing along music list for the car rides to get the boys out of their IPODs, PADs etc. They'll groan at your hokey song choices. They'll sing badly to make you turn it off, but persist with it. Make 'em sing some time during the trip. (definitely not a morning activity).

If you visit Pittsburgh, do what the previous poster said about driving in through the Washington Tunnel. I've not done the Pittsburgh thing myself, but I have visited cities where the city has appeared out of nowhere. It's an amazing sight.

Avoid interstates and fast food places. If burgers are a must, hit a local hamburger stand.

Give the boys a daily meal allowance. Tell them what they don't spend on food, is theirs to keep. They will rapidly choose water over soda. Every once in awhile treat them to a bizarre, local brand or flavor of soda they've never had before just so you all can try it.
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Old 04-20-2016, 02:10 AM
 
34,360 posts, read 41,436,735 times
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Sounds like a grand trip but requires a lot of driving,probably 8-10K miles.
On a similar trip i did with family the kids started to get bored after a couple of weeks and a sense of been there done that settled in to most places we stopped at,after 3-4 weeks everything became a blur for them and they started to wish they were back home.
What i learned from that trip was that kids dont necessarily enjoy the same things Mom and Dad like.As an example i thought they would really enjoy their first view of the Rocky Mountains..Wrong, they looked up from their lap tops for about 30 seconds at the magnificent scenery then saying big deal went back to playing with their in car techno gizmos.
Looking forward to some pics and commentary on your adventure.
Best of luck.

Last edited by jambo101; 04-20-2016 at 02:24 AM..
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:29 AM
 
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We found that it took the kids about a week to settle in and realize that their siblings were their only playmates and start having fun with them. We had books-on-tape and Game Boys, but no laptops or iPads, etc. It might take longer now.

We stopped at all the little museums, didn't make any difference if it was John Wayne, or dinosaurs, or birds, or local artifacts, we tried to hit a wide selection. Also, those antique malls that have all the individual booths. Good times.

The Chicago museums and the Smithsonian, of course, are worth the time. Ellis Island rocks. Baltimore Aquarium. There are so many fascinating places to visit. Botanical gardens. Zoos, hot springs, hikes, Crazy Horse Memorial, military memorials...

Our kids complained about being hauled to one odd museum after another, but they always seemed to find something fascinating and now when they travel they look for those places.

What a grand, mind-expanding adventure.

Bon Voyage.
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingsaucermom View Post
My kids have seen Niagara, from the Canadian side mostly. When I lived in Michigan we went to NYC via Sarnia, ON - Buffalo, NY. I've seen it twice and wouldn't mind seeing it again, but it's not a priority.
Did you go on the Whirlpool Jet Boat tour? That was a blast!
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
5,119 posts, read 5,088,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Sounds like a grand trip but requires a lot of driving,probably 8-10K miles.
On a similar trip i did with family the kids started to get bored after a couple of weeks and a sense of been there done that settled in to most places we stopped at,after 3-4 weeks everything became a blur for them and they started to wish they were back home.
What i learned from that trip was that kids dont necessarily enjoy the same things Mom and Dad like.As an example i thought they would really enjoy their first view of the Rocky Mountains..Wrong, they looked up from their lap tops for about 30 seconds at the magnificent scenery then saying big deal went back to playing with their in car techno gizmos.
Looking forward to some pics and commentary on your adventure.
Best of luck.
Yep, I've thought about this. I imagine it's all going to run together in the end, but now is the time and I'm not likely going to have this opportunity again so it will just have to happen. There are a few things that will help though...
1) First 9 days are just me and the boys and I'll be honest: this part is all about mom. My boys are no fans of nature and they've seen the Rockies many times now... but I can't get enough of them and we have to drive east anyway.... at least they'll be looking forward to seeing grandma in the mid-west.
2) 7-10 days in Minneapolis's "Civilization". My kids love visiting their grandma.
3) Next 9 days may be with grandma and although they'll be hot as we traverse the mid-section of the country they'll be too excited about the next part to care all that much.. they know each day brings them closer to...
4) DC-Baltimore-Philly tour with Mexican in-laws!!! My husband's family (4-8 of them) will be joining us for a mid-Atlantic (do I have my geography correct???) tour. They'll be delighted just to have their favorite relatives with them.
5) New England tour with dad (and maybe some of the Mexican in-laws). My husband will definitely be joining us for a second week as we go up to Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and ending in Boston. We will extend an invitation to my in-laws, but not sure if they'll have the time or interest. I kinda hope they do, and I kinda hope they don't.
6) Trek back to Mid-west. We'll stop by my high school friend's home in PA. We'll visit our old home in Michigan... maybe take the UP route (which would be new) to Minneapolis OR cut around Lake Michigan and go through Wisconsin (very, very familiar territory.. we used to live in WI and all my extended family lives there). My older son is especially excited to visit our old home.
7) Another week with grandma (oh, my sister and her family live there too.. we're not very close though...)
8) Last leg home. This might be the hardest part. I can technically do it in 2 days, but I REALLY want to take 4-5 days and go up to Glacier Natl Park and drive the going-to-the-sun route through the park. Grandma showed interest in this too... everything is still up in the air as to which parts she'll join us or not.

So I think it's going to be fine. I think it makes a HUGE difference that different relatives and friends will be popping up throughout the entire trip... can't wait! It's been really fun to plan!!!
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
5,119 posts, read 5,088,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
Did you go on the Whirlpool Jet Boat tour? That was a blast!
No, but just the name makes me wish I had!
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