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Alla from Maui asked

Roadtrip for our move

So call us crazy but we're moving from Hawaii to Maryland at the end of February and we are wanting to do it by driving starting in California. We are shipping our 1 car there. We have 4 kids oldest will be 7 and 1 small dog, we'd like to spend at least 2-3 days in California, maybe go to the zoo and Disneyland not sure what else is worth it. We then want to drive to Las Vegas and stay with family for a couple weeks and then really hit the road. My husband had an idea of staying overnight in each state we see so that we all get rest. We've never moved before let alone road tripped. What driving route would be best for us considering our 4 kids and dog? We cant afford expensive hotels so recommendations on pet friendly affordable motels and also anything that'll be in our path that's a must see or do especially for our kids would be very appreciated. TIA. Aloha!

Maryland (MD)   California (CA)

1 Answer
answered first by
We did this twice when I had small children going from one duty station to another but it  was a long time ago.  From east to west from Norfolk to California with one child 13 months and the other child 3, and from west to east - California to Key West with the children now 3 and 5 years old.  (Those child are now 57 and 55).  Map of the west to east trip
Since it was so long ago, I can't help you with specific motels that are pet friendly but plan your trip out roughly with google maps making each segment a maximum of 6 hours driving and looking for pet friendly places to stay 6 hours ahead of the last stop.  Since most places have wi-fi now, you make reservations from one stop to the next. 
This is what I recommend as a template for the trip.  Get up early, have breakfast, pack a lunch, drive for two hours, and have a rest stop break.  Drive for a couple more hours, eating lunch in the car on the way.  Stop again for a rest stop break.  Drive another 2 hours and stop for the day by 4 oclock at the latest.  If it is warm enough, stop at a motel with a pool or some kind of park or playground.
In California I would recommend the San Diego Zoo, and at least one of the Sequoia tree parks -Yosemite National Park or Sequoia and possibly Monterey Bay Aquarium in addition to Disneyland  Then go to Las Vegas  From there you can do daytrips Boulder Dam and to Grand Canyon National Park or you can just drive to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas.  We went to Four Corners Monument but in those days it was just a square in the road and now it is apparently a big tourist trap.  The other places we went were Mesa Verde National Park and Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve  Then we visited family in Colorado, and again in Texas.  We drove through Kansas as fast as possible.  Gateway Arch is in St. Louis and has a museum with it.  Outside Frankfort (Kentucky) is the Salato Salato Wildlife Center.  Plus Frankfort itself is the state capitol, and both the old and new capitol can be visited and there is a nice little museum there as well.  (And also a candy museum).  In Lexington, KY you can visit the Kentucky Horse Park Charleston (West Virginia) is the state capitol of WV and near there is the New river Gorge  Then go through the panhandle of Maryland stopping at Sideling Hill

Comments (2)

Thank you so much for your answer and advice, you made it sound less stressful and manageable.

It works out OK. On the trip west to east we were driving two cars and had walkie talkies to communicate (no CB radios and no internet in those days)

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