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Old 08-10-2008, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Norcross GA
983 posts, read 4,095,146 times
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My two cents... I believe you can do Disney Anaheim in 3 days. Also join AAA, it's not that expensive for membership and they are wonderful with trip planning services. Also, if you will have a laptop you can get some really good hotel deals along the way by bidding on Priceline. Say you know you are going to stay overnight in the next city coming up then bid and get a room for up to 60% off. Not sure if that is doable but it can cut yr hotel cost in half. Actually, you could do it b4 the trip if you have it all mapped out and know where u want to stop and stay overnight. U mentioned the half way point.

Also I would suggest planning the trip around Disney's non peak season. U are likely to get better rates and deals.
Last, I would look into a rental van. You can also bid on those! You don't want to have any mechanical issues with yr vehicle. You may never have a problem but soon as you take this trip here it comes!
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
510 posts, read 1,844,140 times
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Gas mileage is going to be different if towing a camper.

We drove from Charlotte, NC to Muskegon, MI last summer, we rented a mini-van, it was very reasonable, you have to call around. If you rent/turn-in at a major airport, it will cost anywhere between $50-100 more (taxes, surcharges, etc..), we rented from Avis (I'm pretty sure) at a small airport in Concord, NC. Alot of hotels also have rental agencies in them. If you belong to a warehouse club (Costco, Sam's or BJ's) they have discounted rates also.

I would also suggest the TV with a DVD player, MP3 players, handheld electronic games, if there is room a PS2 or Wii (Don't forget the movies and games). Switching the seat arrangements may help, mine never wanted to sit up front-I offered, our older one didn't want to drive, so we actually never did it. Cell phones (ours have unlimited plans), so they can talk, text their friends. A laptop computer, that will also help out when your at a hotel for the night or playing games on the computer, even checking your route (don't forget all the cords). Get an outlet converter from Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, you can plug one end in the cig lighter, the other uses a regular outlet to plug in a laptop, Wii, etc...

Our boys then were 14 and 16, so they slept most of the time. But they had many options when they were awake. They're not big readers, plus it makes the younger one carsick, so we didn't bring books for them.

Purchase a current atlas to bring with you. If there are traffic jams, you'll be able to possibly take another route. Plus some kids might find it fun to look for the next "landmark" or exit.
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:39 AM
 
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
10,791 posts, read 7,687,222 times
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The way we did Disney with our two, who were 6 & 8 at the time - we stayed near the park, got there as soon as the doors opened. Headed to the most popular rides first, spent the morning in the park then headed back to the motel for lunch and a rest, and a cool-down in the pool.

Went back around 3 or 4 pm and did the less crowded rides, although you do have to expect long waits anyway. The night fireworks were a must-see.

We were at Disney for 3 days and felt that was a nice, unrushed way to do it. The rests in the middle are a must, as far as I'm concerned. Disneyland is so big and to try to pack in an entire day with young kids - you're asking for misery. And sore feet, legs, backs and heads. It's a bit of a sensory overload for some, so small portions are good.
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:56 AM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
39,300 posts, read 18,819,760 times
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The drive from LA to San Fransico is very long....AND THRU SOME OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SCENERY IN AMERICA! You don't want to have to make good time on the road.....you want to meander and enjoy it. Personally I would cut the time in LA. (I don't like that city.) San Franscisco is a fun town....the kids will like the little cable cars..... They are fun.

Yosemite is amazing! But with the fires it may not be the best time to go there....but if you can arrange to make it part of your trip home....it is wonderful.
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:42 PM
 
4,270 posts, read 13,969,414 times
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I've done Houston to Phoenix and let me tell you it was borrrrrring. I think your kids are old enough though that they should be fine. I didn't read the whole post but personally, I think road trips are really fun.

There's not much to do on I-10 from the stretch starting in San Antonio to El Paso but once you're out far enough, at least you can drive 85 mph. Have fun!
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:44 PM
 
12,617 posts, read 28,098,945 times
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We did a three week trip from Denver to Idaho, over to Oregon, down the California coast, over to Arizona and back to Colorado with our three kids when our kids were 15, 13 and 7. No electronics except personal CD's, just lots of books and car games. I very much disagree with bringing all the toys. The first day may be painful but, for us, it turned the whole trip into something we will never forget because we ended up talking to each other, sharing books and playing games together. My boys are huge gamers and it's a big deal for them to give up their toys but they know that's the deal for vacations. Thank goodness they like to read as well.

We do alot of road trips and have never taken anything except music and a laptop for basic stuff once we get to our destination. okay a gps, we love our gps.

I agree with joining AAA. Just get it for one of you. This year we saved money on car rentals (free tank of gas when renting with Hertz), Lenscrafters - 30% off cost of glasses, free passport photos, free maps (I just get them whenever I think we're going somewhere) and they will even send city maps for any city directly to you.
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,288,042 times
Reputation: 1598
I think you have a decent schedule. I have never spent more than a day at Disneyland, but then again I only live twenty five minutes away from it. It would be more rushed, but you could technically do DLand one day and California Adventure the next and be done with Disney. I do like you having three days so that you don't feel rushed. You could maybe go to the beach in the late afternoon one day also.
Here is a possible recommendation:
Day 1: Drive (all day, start early). A half way point is Willcox, AZ. 10 hours from San Antonio and 9 hours from Anaheim. There are a variety of affordable motels that will be fine for the night like Days Inn, Best Western, and Super 8.
Day 2: Drive (all day). Night in Anaheim, check out Downtown Disney if you have the energy.
Day 3: Disney
Day 4: Disney
Day 5: Disney, in the late afternoon/evening drive to Los Angeles hotel, spend the night (1 hour)
Day 6: Universal Studios or Hollywood Blvd during day, in the late evening drive out of the LA area and spend the night in Santa Barbara (two hour drive, at least out of LA traffic)
Day 7: Drive up 101, then at San Luis Obispo switch to highway 1 to Big Sur (4 hours nonstop). Afternoon and evening in Big Sur.
Day 8: In afternoon drive to Monterey Aquarium. Lunch in Monterey. Then head for SF. Evening in SF.
Day 9: San Francisco sightseeing
Day 10: San Francisco
Day 11: Drive to Yosemite (4 hours). Do some afternoon hiking. Get a little yurt or camping cabin in Yosemite.
Day 12: Hike Yosemite, it is beautiful. You could start drive to Texas in the evening, make three hour drive to Bakersfield and stay there, tons of hotels and motels.
Day 13: Start drive home to Texas, good half way point from Bakersfield is Bensen, AZ (10 hours), hotels like Holiday Inn and Best Western.
Day 14: Bensen to home is 10 hours

That is just my suggestion. I think you can fit it all in. I think you would love Yosemite, it really is a must do in CA!!! The hotels should be reasonably priced in places like Bakersfield or Bensen. It will be pricey in LA, SF, and Anaheim.
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:57 PM
 
2,765 posts, read 6,509,727 times
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Lots of great information here, I live in California and have never made a trip to Texas or vice-versa. I'm curious about something though, I heard from some people that running into Deer is a problem when your driving in and out of Texas, true or false?
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,288,042 times
Reputation: 1598
Quote:
Originally Posted by j760 View Post
Lots of great information here, I live in California and have never made a trip to Texas or vice-versa. I'm curious about something though, I heard from some people that running into Deer is a problem when your driving in and out of Texas, true or false?
It was a problem when we lived there in the 80's. Not sure if it still is today, but we probably drove back to So Cal to visit family and friends 20 times when we lived in Beeville and deer were everywhere through Texas. We almost hit one once and my husband drove the car off the road into the grass. Thank God we were ok! I too would like to here from current TX residents if it is still like that.
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:53 PM
 
12,617 posts, read 28,098,945 times
Reputation: 7155
Granted, I've only visited Texas once, but we have tons of deer out my way. My husband has hit four or five and I've hit one. They tend to jump into the path of vehicles. The only thing you can do is to pay attention and always look for the rest of the group- they hardly ever travel alone so if you are lucky enough to see one, look around for the rest of the gang.
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