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USA Trip with family. 2 Adults and 2 Kids

Travel Forums North America USA Trip with family. 2 Adults and 2 Kids

1. Posted by royroy150780 (Budding Member 18 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Just looking on some advise for people who may have done an extended trip with 2 youngers kids aged 13 & 3. Initially I thought that we would rent an RV and stay in that but after more consideration i was thinking we might be better off renting a car and staying in reasonable but not too expensive motels?? As we will be visiting alot of major cities i feel that it might be a bit too difficult lookiing for parking etc with a large vehicle? Planning on flying into NYC heading down the east coast to FLorida head west thru texas and end up LA & LV. Do you guys thinnk 3 months is enough time and any major attractions along that route would be much apprecaited. budgeting on having between 35k-40k $aus so hopefully the aussie dollar stays strong. i figured that should be enough to enjoy ourselves.

Just looking for any helpful tips advise etc on these matters.

Looking forward to your feedback...


Paul :)

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

I do have one question that will help others to answer yours. What time of year are you planning to make this trip?

Oops! Today is 'Talk Like A Pirate Day' so I should have phrased my comments as "Argh Matey! And when would ye be thinkin' of takin' this little voyage so me mates here on TP can throw out a rope to help ye. Savvy? Much obliged! (TP has a lot of pirates in it's ranks.)

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Sep-2012, at 04:20 by Isadora ]

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2012 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

You realize that you will be paying a royal fortune in drop charges for the rental car when it's not returned to it's rental location?

That trip west through Texas can be extremely long/extremely boring in my opinion. I would fly west from New Orleans to Albuquerque instead, and then continue on, but instead of LA, I'd head north to San Francisco.

I too would like to know when this is planned for (I suggest either Fall or Spring). Winter can be quite wet, and Summer very hot with extreme weather (lately tornadoes, brush fires due to drought and excessive heat).

One hint about motels/hotels - in my opinion, American accommodation is way overpriced and downright cookie cutter boring. I would look for small B&B's instead. NYC is pure hell for hotels - you could easily spend BIG BUCKS there for 4 people (2 rooms). is a good alternative - you can rent nice apartments cheaper if you pre-register with references.

Parking in US cities is difficult and expensive for any vehicle, but how on earth could you park a large RV in midtown Manhattan??? Also be very careful what you leave in the vehicle - car theft is alive and well here.

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Sep-2012, at 10:23 by Daawgon ]

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

I agree with Daawgon on airbnb! Three of us rented a 3 bedroom condo in Chicago (turned out we only needed 2 bedrooms due to a cancellation) for much less/person than any hotel. We chose to cook our own meals at night, enjoy each other's company, relaxed after long days and saved money in the long run. Granted, you don't want to cook every night (you do that at home) but you get tired of restaurant food too. The condos give you flexibility you don't get with hotels/motels.

(Darn, I screwed up on the pirate talky thing again... So much for being a pirate. Sad thing - I'm Captain of the TP Pirate Ship. Grrr!!!!)

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Sep-2012, at 13:16 by Isadora ]

5. Posted by littlesam1 (Budding Member 7 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

You are talking about a long trip covering many many miles. Texas alone is larger than most European countries. Like others have asked, it would be good to know your time period of your trip. If you are talking fall or winter you need to consider weather conditions in the north east and Mid Atlantic.

6. Posted by royroy150780 (Budding Member 18 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Hi People,

Thanks for the initial replies and i should have mentioned when we were planning on travelling. Basically I am looking for departure from NYC in August then departing late October out of Las Vegas.

Driving long distances doesnt worry me as we are from Australia and are used to it. I appreciate one way rentals fees apply but it still seems like a more economical option than renting a RV.

Thats our basic itinerary we dont have any definate plans in place yet as not planning to travel in 2013.

Appreciate any adivse though. :)

7. Posted by Tom Travel (Travel Guru 9 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Your route is quite the one we just did. Started in Juli in NYC, went to Yellowstone, then down to Vegas. We did it a bit faster because there wasn't much to see until we reached South Dakota.

Renting a car or RV is just too expensive for 3 months. We bought a huge RV (sleeps 6). In the state of NY you cant own a vehicle as a non-resident, yoou have to have family or friends who register it for you. Even if we loose several 1000 $ when we sell it it will still be cheaper than renting one + we are now over 2 months on the road and have spent less than 100$ for accomodation. There is a lot of official free camping in the USA.

Staying in cities is no problem as all WalMarts let you park overnight, and as you're self contained you dont need anything but a space to park.

US RVs are unbelievable - we had one in Oz and that's no comparison. Shower, toilet and on-board generator is standard!

8. Posted by royroy150780 (Budding Member 18 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the advise T-A travel. Just wondering what you roughly paid for the RV and has it been reliable? i really think i would prefer the RV experience of being able to stop whenever we feel like it and obviously save lots $$ on acommodation.

Yeah i had heard that Walmart allow you to park which will obviously help in the larger cities.

Has your RV been reliable and what about fuel consumption etc?

Do you think between 35-40k aussie dollars is allowing enough?

Thanks for all your help i want this to be a great trip and ensure that i have everything in place.