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Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

Old Jan 7th 2010, 9:08 pm
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Default Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

So, we may not be returning to the UK for a visit this year, if we don't then we'll have 2 weeks vacation and we'll probably take a roadtrip.

We are a family of four, boys ages are 5 and 8yrs. We live 3 hours away from Memphis and I think we could probably do aim to get 5 - 6 hrs west of there the first day. Neither of us want to be driving 8 hours every day, no more than 4 would be ideal, but I don't know if that's practical.

I don't know if we'll have the time or how utterly ridiculous this would be, but if we could I'd like to see Salt Lake City (we have friends there) and Colorado aswell as the Grand Canyon.

Crazy?

Let me know any hints, tips, route planning suggestions, campgrounds (cabins only) or hotels along the way. We'd be going the last week in may for 2 weeks.
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 3:38 am
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Default Re: Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

Well, Google maps suggests 23.5 hours from Memphis to Phoenix, and 26 for Memphis to SLC. So you'll probably have to drive more than 4 per day.

Edit: You might consider flying to one of those places, and renting a car. Beware the extra fees at PHX if you go that way.

Last edited by AdobePinon; Jan 8th 2010 at 3:40 am.
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 4:19 am
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Default Re: Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

Originally Posted by AdobePinon View Post
Well, Google maps suggests 23.5 hours from Memphis to Phoenix, and 26 for Memphis to SLC. So you'll probably have to drive more than 4 per day.

Edit: You might consider flying to one of those places, and renting a car. Beware the extra fees at PHX if you go that way.
Tell me about the extra fees?
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

I like the AAA triptik planner for journey planning - you can mess around with shuffling destinations easily - http://tiny.cc/b9wsL

This also looks like a reasonable sit for info etc http://www.roadtripamerica.com/index.htm

We travelled from Dallas to LA and back over the Christmas holidays for a short cruise - a total of about 3300 miles in all (taking into account a few detours). A total of about 50 hours driving, I think.

Our son is a little bit older than your children, I think, so he can tolerate pretty long days in the car - he takes his laptop to watch DVDs (get an in car charger so no battery issues) and his hand held video game devices and he's all set.

We also got a GPS for this trip which we were really pleased with - found it really useful to check on where there were 'pockets' of motels or gas stations for example.

We mostly don't bother booking ahead for motels - just take our chances each day. We always managed to find something - even when we had run into some pretty bad weather and had to try 3 or 4 before finding any availability - having said that, we weren't too fussy as it was really just somewhere to stay - travellodge, holiday inn express, ramada - that kind of thing.
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

Originally Posted by The Horticulturalist View Post
Tell me about the extra fees?
Many car hire locations at airports tack on extra 'facility fees' and the like. PHX is one of the more expensive ones I've used - I forget the dollar amount, but it pretty much doubled my bill for a 4 day rental.
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 6:31 pm
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Default Re: Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

Originally Posted by AdobePinon View Post
Many car hire locations at airports tack on extra 'facility fees' and the like. PHX is one of the more expensive ones I've used - I forget the dollar amount, but it pretty much doubled my bill for a 4 day rental.
Ah ok, that's really good to know. If we rented from a non airport place in Phoenix (we'd be staying with friends so that's doable) you think that'd be cheaper?

Also, while we're on the car hire thing can you give me any help with what insurance to get. I can check and see if our current insurance covers us for a hire car, but is it usual/advisable to purchase extra insurance and if so what kind etc?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 7:03 pm
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Default Re: Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

Originally Posted by rebs View Post
I like the AAA triptik planner for journey planning - you can mess around with shuffling destinations easily - http://tiny.cc/b9wsL

This also looks like a reasonable sit for info etc http://www.roadtripamerica.com/index.htm

We travelled from Dallas to LA and back over the Christmas holidays for a short cruise - a total of about 3300 miles in all (taking into account a few detours). A total of about 50 hours driving, I think.

Our son is a little bit older than your children, I think, so he can tolerate pretty long days in the car - he takes his laptop to watch DVDs (get an in car charger so no battery issues) and his hand held video game devices and he's all set.

We also got a GPS for this trip which we were really pleased with - found it really useful to check on where there were 'pockets' of motels or gas stations for example.

We mostly don't bother booking ahead for motels - just take our chances each day. We always managed to find something - even when we had run into some pretty bad weather and had to try 3 or 4 before finding any availability - having said that, we weren't too fussy as it was really just somewhere to stay - travellodge, holiday inn express, ramada - that kind of thing.
Thank you, these are great links, I'll look them up.

Found cheap flights to Phoenix, so possible route might be;

Phoenix - Flagstaff - SLC - Denver - Santa Fe - Phoenix,

Or something like that.
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 1:09 am
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Default Re: Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

Originally Posted by The Horticulturalist View Post
Thank you, these are great links, I'll look them up.

Found cheap flights to Phoenix, so possible route might be;

Phoenix - Flagstaff - SLC - Denver - Santa Fe - Phoenix,

Or something like that.
For car hire insurance, I've always just used my own car insurance (at least in the US).

As for your route..... unless you really want to see Denver, I might be tempted to cut that part out and go:

SLC - Moab* - Telluride* - Ridgway* - Ouray* - Silverton* - Durango**** - Pagosa Springs* - Santa Fe

which will give you some of the best scenery you can dream of, and a slew of brewpubs for good measure (a '*' denotes one brewpub in town).
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 1:13 am
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Default Re: Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

Originally Posted by AdobePinon View Post
For car hire insurance, I've always just used my own car insurance (at least in the US).

As for your route..... unless you really want to see Denver, I might be tempted to cut that part out and go:

SLC - Moab* - Telluride* - Ridgway* - Ouray* - Silverton* - Durango**** - Pagosa Springs* - Santa Fe

which will give you some of the best scenery you can dream of, and a slew of brewpubs for good measure (a '*' denotes one brewpub in town).
Thanks that's very helpful, I'm sure my other half will appreciate a good pint or two along the way!

No great desire to see Denver, just thought it looked like a nice wee circuitous route
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 1:38 am
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Default Re: Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

Originally Posted by The Horticulturalist View Post
Thank you, these are great links, I'll look them up.

Found cheap flights to Phoenix, so possible route might be;

Phoenix - Flagstaff - SLC - Denver - Santa Fe - Phoenix,

Or something like that.
If you end up with Phoenix to Flagstaff, time some time out to explore Sedona. It's beautiful and you can book a pink jeep tour for the kids. I bet they'd love that.

You can visit my Dad at the Sedona visitor's center. He'll take good care of you.
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 1:49 am
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Default Re: Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

Originally Posted by Kaffy Mintcake View Post
If you end up with Phoenix to Flagstaff, time some time out to explore Sedona. It's beautiful and you can book a pink jeep tour for the kids. I bet they'd love that.

You can visit my Dad at the Sedona visitor's center. He'll take good care of you.
What's a pink jeep tour? I'll be sure to give your dad a wave!

More questions - Will it be super hot at the end of May start of June?

If you were going would you stay in campsites?
It would need to be in a cabin, but I thought the kids might enjoy it and it be a little more authentic than the usual hotel?
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 2:48 am
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Default Re: Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

Originally Posted by The Horticulturalist View Post
What's a pink jeep tour? I'll be sure to give your dad a wave!

More questions - Will it be super hot at the end of May start of June?

If you were going would you stay in campsites?
It would need to be in a cabin, but I thought the kids might enjoy it and it be a little more authentic than the usual hotel?
Arizona is closing some of its state parks on certain days to save money due to budget problems. (Sounds ridiculous I know, but it's true.) Check your days before you go.

You certainly could camp out. I believe you have to pay to have access to the parks, just a heads up.

Sedona is always several degrees cooler than Phoenix. It would be nice in late May/start of June.

One tip, a lot of tourists go to Northern Arizona (Sedona, Grand Canyon) without reservations. That more often than not is a big mistake. I would make reservations for that area in advance if possible.

A pink jeep tour:
http://www.pinkjeep.com/
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 3:27 am
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Default Re: Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

BIG MISTAKE TO GO TO GRAND CANYON WITHOUT RESERVATIONS!!!!

The motels/hotels right at the Canyon often book up a year in advance.
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

Originally Posted by cindyabs View Post
BIG MISTAKE TO GO TO GRAND CANYON WITHOUT RESERVATIONS!!!!

The motels/hotels right at the Canyon often book up a year in advance.
Thanks Cindy, that'll be why they are $$$. I'll need to go to the library and get some books out about it!

Kaffy, If you were going to do one pink Jeep tour with a 5 and 7yr old, which one would you choose? They look really fun!
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Help plan our roadtrip - Memphis to Phoenix

We did Phoenix - Sedona - Page (Antelope slot canyon & Lake Powell) - Grand Canyon North Rim - Bryce Canyon NP then Zion NP. Absolutely brilliant.

We however carried on our loop via Vegas then Tuscon before finishing in Phoenix.

If you carry on northwards through Utah instead I can hugely recommend Arches and Canyonlands NPs (both near Moab - did those, and more, on separate trips). I love all the big ginger NPs out west but actually enjoyed Grand Canyon the least.
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