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Road trip with largish family


rjand6more
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I would love to hear about those who travel with a crock pot. Advice? Meal ideas? I am thinking about doing this to save money on eating out but haven't wrapped my head around it.

 

All of our travel/trips revolve around a competitive activity our kids are in.  The group pays our hotels but we are on our own for food and gas.  Even then it's a stretch for our budget so it's about keeping costs as low as possible.  One of the places we travel food costs are almost double what we pay at home, we bring EVERY SINGLE food item with us.  Because we are not traveling for vacation, it's not that big of a burden to bring the food.  If we ever were in a position to take a vacation, I would definitely prefer to have the option to eat a few meals out.

 

Meals we do

chili, shredded meat (beef or chicken) with gravy served over rice or on buns, sloppy joes, tacos with or without beans, precooked brats. Many of these things can be heated in a microwave but sometimes we end up in hotels without microwaves and then we rely on the crockpot. I've also just taken some leftovers along for the first couple of days till the frozen food is thawed. 

 

I precook and freeze as flat as possible.  Then I have a small cooler where only frozen food goes.  Other fresh foods are kept in a separate cooler.  The frozen food provides it's own ice pack for up to 48 hours (depends on the temperatures where you are traveling).

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Look at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. It's a historical reenactment of a seaport. It's a lot of fun and well done.

 

Look at hotels in NJ instead of NYC. If you stay out near the Meadowlands, the bus ride into Manhattan isn't that long. You can also get free parking at some hotels. Bus fare would add up but it might be offset by free parking and no tolls.

 

Either get an EZPASS or carry lots of cash with you. Those tolls really add up in NY, NJ, and Maryland.

 

Prepay for parking in DC with Parking Panda. It's cheaper and less stressful.

 

Many of your destinations are better without a vehicle. I wonder if it would be better to fly into Boston and then take a bus to NYC, Philadelphia, and DC. Buses are cheaper than trains and there are lots of bus options. With that many people it may not be worth it. You'll have to look at the math.

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Our very rough plan:

 

Chicago to DC( a stop somewhere in between for a day)

DC for 2 days

Philadelphia for 1-2 days

NYC(one dd DREAMS of living here) for 1-2 days

Boston for 3 days

Maybe Montreal(many hours out of the way... but I would LOVE to go!)

Toronto 2 days-Niagara Falls 

Head back to Chicago(some short stops along the way)

 

 

 

Some hotel websites don't let you book for even the number of people that it says will fit in a room, so I play with the numbers of guests just to see what is available/what will fit us. 

 

Check these places for NYC, Best Western Plus, Marriott Marquis, Hotel Beacon, Salisbury Hotel

Boston, we rented through VRBO

The Embassy Suites at Niagara Falls has rooms four beds and a pullout couch

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Yes- The Homewood Suites is near the Lincoln Tunnel and there is a parking garage a block (or so) away. You would not want to drive to the Double Tree unless you were used to the traffic of Times Square. I think they'd have to valet your car.  

The location of the Homeward Suites isn't my favorite, but it is fine. I've stayed there with one of my kids and it was safe. Our car was fine in the garage and as it is only a couple of blocks from the Lincoln Tunnel, it was an easy in and out of the city.

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Yeah, 7 is impossible. Two rooms are a must. Seven people (most of which are adult or near-adult size) in one room is not a pleasant time for us.

 

7 is not impossible. 

We have 5 kids and travel a lot and have no problem booking rooms for 7 people.

 

 

Homewood suites was our top favorite, but we have found some new ones we like too.  You can book 7 or 8 people in a 2 bedroom room from homewood suites. 

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Some hotel websites don't let you book for even the number of people that it says will fit in a room, so I play with the numbers of guests just to see what is available/what will fit us. 

 

Check these places for NYC, Best Western Plus, Marriott Marquis, Hotel Beacon, Salisbury Hotel

Boston, we rented through VRBO

The Embassy Suites at Niagara Falls has rooms four beds and a pullout couch

 

Mental note to myself.

Thanks

 

 

 

 

Yes look at Residence Inn, Homewood Suites, Embassy Suites, Staybridge Suites 

They all have free breakfast and meals on week nights too.   It saves us tons.  We don't even eat lunch.

 

Plus they all have big rooms that could fit all of you.

 

 

Spring Hill Suites and Hyatt house have rooms that could fit you too and free breakfast. 

 

 

 

I would look at VRBO too. 

 

I don't travel with a crock pot.  I like to travel as light as possible.

 

 

You could also look at renting a timeshare via Ebay.  They have them all over the place and the fall you would be able to get amazing prices. 

 

 

 

I was just thinking of doing this today.  Dh could work from anywhere so we could really take a long time and explore.

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Look at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. It's a historical reenactment of a seaport. It's a lot of fun and well done.

 

Thank you!  We love this sort of thing.:)

 

Look at hotels in NJ instead of NYC. If you stay out near the Meadowlands, the bus ride into Manhattan isn't that long. You can also get free parking at some hotels. Bus fare would add up but it might be offset by free parking and no tolls.

Either get an EZPASS or carry lots of cash with you. Those tolls really add up in NY, NJ, and Maryland.

 

We have one.  Dh reminded me to check about tolls.  Thank you!

Prepay for parking in DC with Parking Panda. It's cheaper and less stressful.

 

Nice!  I had no idea.  We drive to Chicago but we always pay where we park.  This is new to me.

 

Many of your destinations are better without a vehicle. I wonder if it would be better to fly into Boston and then take a bus to NYC, Philadelphia, and DC. Buses are cheaper than trains and there are lots of bus options. With that many people it may not be worth it. You'll have to look at the math.

 

I agree.  And we are great at flying.  But, it has been years since we took a road trip.  And dh wants to do all the stops.  He has fond memories of family trips. (I DO NOT. lol)

Thanks so much for the info!

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Some hotel websites don't let you book for even the number of people that it says will fit in a room, so I play with the numbers of guests just to see what is available/what will fit us. 

 

Check these places for NYC, Best Western Plus, Marriott Marquis, Hotel Beacon, Salisbury Hotel

Boston, we rented through VRBO

The Embassy Suites at Niagara Falls has rooms four beds and a pullout couch

This list is great.  i will check out the hotels.  We also planned to rent through VBRO in Boston. :)

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Yes- The Homewood Suites is near the Lincoln Tunnel and there is a parking garage a block (or so) away. You would not want to drive to the Double Tree unless you were used to the traffic of Times Square. I think they'd have to valet your car.  

The location of the Homeward Suites isn't my favorite, but it is fine. I've stayed there with one of my kids and it was safe. Our car was fine in the garage and as it is only a couple of blocks from the Lincoln Tunnel, it was an easy in and out of the city.

 

Would we be able to walk to iconic places from here?  Like Times Square?  I will have to study Google maps. lol

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7 is not impossible. 

We have 5 kids and travel a lot and have no problem booking rooms for 7 people.

 

 

Homewood suites was our top favorite, but we have found some new ones we like too.  You can book 7 or 8 people in a 2 bedroom room from homewood suites. 

 

We have 6 kids(1 is in college now.)  We have always had issues booking(especially online.)  We almost always get 2 rooms.  Even suites usually max at 6(according to the "rules.")

 

I just tried to book at Homewood Suites.  I got an error message that 7 people exceeds the occupancy limits.  I may get a different answer if I call.

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Mental note to myself.

Thanks

 

 

 

 

Yes look at Residence Inn, Homewood Suites, Embassy Suites, Staybridge Suites 

They all have free breakfast and meals on week nights too.   It saves us tons.  We don't even eat lunch.

 

Plus they all have big rooms that could fit all of you.

 

 

Spring Hill Suites and Hyatt house have rooms that could fit you too and free breakfast. 

 

 

 

I would look at VRBO too. 

 

I don't travel with a crock pot.  I like to travel as light as possible.

 

 

You could also look at renting a timeshare via Ebay.  They have them all over the place and the fall you would be able to get amazing prices. 

 

 

 

I was just thinking of doing this today.  Dh could work from anywhere so we could really take a long time and explore.

 

Staybridge looks really nice.  For some reason, I thought there was a minimum stay here(like a few days).  Glad it is an option.  Thanks!  We love to eat local food(part of the adventure) so we would not eat the dinners most likely.  Still, having options is great!

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When I travel with my mom, she makes things like huge pasta salads and then we make sandwiches from cold cuts kept in a cooler.

 

She keeps two coolers, one for drinks and one for the pasta salad and sandwich stuff. Then she keeps a crate for paper plates, napkins, and silverware.

 

We stop at parks we find on google.

 

It is so much easier on the kids to play while we set out food and put together sandwiches for them. Tortillas instead of bread can be easy, too:

 

I am planning to do this on a long car ride I have coming up.

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Would we be able to walk to iconic places from here? Like Times Square? I will have to study Google maps. lol

Well, the iconic places are pretty spread out, so you could just hop on the subway. (I don't mean that snarky!) People in NYC are shockingly helpful. The hotel is near Macy's and Penn Station. You can walk and see lots of things. You are not far from Times Square and some people consider that area part of it. We saw shows and then walked back from the theatres when it was about 45 degrees at night.

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When I travel with my mom, she makes things like huge pasta salads and then we make sandwiches from cold cuts kept in a cooler.

 

She keeps two coolers, one for drinks and one for the pasta salad and sandwich stuff. Then she keeps a crate for paper plates, napkins, and silverware.

 

We stop at parks we find on google.

 

It is so much easier on the kids to play while we set out food and put together sandwiches for them. Tortillas instead of bread can be easy, too:

 

I am planning to do this on a long car ride I have coming up.

 

With having bigger kids, it's just so much harder to have enough space to take coolers and such.  At least my youngest is out of a stroller.(Although it is easier for our whole family to stick him in there and let him nap while the rest of us continue on with whatever activity we are doing.)  

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Well, the iconic places are pretty spread out, so you could just hop on the subway. (I don't mean that snarky!) People in NYC are shockingly helpful. The hotel is near Macy's and Penn Station. You can walk and see lots of things. You are not far from Times Square and some people consider that area part of it. We saw shows and then walked back from the theatres when it was about 45 degrees at night.

 

That's very helpful!  I am not too familiar with the subway.  I am not as adventurous with kids.  I will have to just get past that!:)

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We have 6 kids(1 is in college now.)  We have always had issues booking(especially online.)  We almost always get 2 rooms.  Even suites usually max at 6(according to the "rules.")

 

I just tried to book at Homewood Suites.  I got an error message that 7 people exceeds the occupancy limits.  I may get a different answer if I call.

 

Just a question, where are you trying to book homewood suites? 

 

we always book on hotels.com

Never had a problem

 

ANd it shows you how many the room can hold.   I always see 8 for the rooms we book there. 

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Just a question, where are you trying to book homewood suites? 

 

we always book on hotels.com

Never had a problem

 

ANd it shows you how many the room can hold.   I always see 8 for the rooms we book there. 

 

Actually I called today. :)  I try to see what's available at their websites.  I talked to a manager today.  She said you just need to call.  Some of their hotels accept more than what is allowed.  She said the standard(not the  500+ crazy expensive suite!) with 2 queens and a sofa bed are 6 max, BUT some can increase to and extra adult and an extra child.   

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7 is not impossible.

We have 5 kids and travel a lot and have no problem booking rooms for 7 people.

 

 

Homewood suites was our top favorite, but we have found some new ones we like too. You can book 7 or 8 people in a 2 bedroom room from homewood suites.

Yes, you can but in my experience, that is more expensive than two rooms at lower end hotels. I have not found a suite that officially sleeps seven that is cheaper than two rooms. They may exist, but I have yet to find such situation.

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7 is not impossible.

We have 5 kids and travel a lot and have no problem booking rooms for 7 people.

 

 

Homewood suites was our top favorite, but we have found some new ones we like too. You can book 7 or 8 people in a 2 bedroom room from homewood suites.

Yes, you can but in my experience, that is more expensive than two rooms at lower end hotels. I have not found a suite that officially sleeps seven that is cheaper than two rooms. They may exist, but I have yet to find such situation.

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I haven't read the whole thread, but different locations of Homewood Suites may have different size configurations in the building.  There is one in Burlington MA that can handle 7 if you book far enough ahead, but there are other locations in MA that don't have that size.

 

I prefer to book directly on the hotel website after searching at Hotels.com.

 

We have 8.  Lately, we have just been getting two rooms, sometimes two smaller suites or "suites" (bigger rooms that pretend to be suites).

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I haven't read the whole thread, but different locations of Homewood Suites may have different size configurations in the building.  There is one in Burlington MA that can handle 7 if you book far enough ahead, but there are other locations in MA that don't have that size.

 

I prefer to book directly on the hotel website after searching at Hotels.com.

 

We have 8.  Lately, we have just been getting two rooms, sometimes two smaller suites or "suites" (bigger rooms that pretend to be suites).

 

That's kind of what the manager told me today.  She said different locations have more 2 queen suites.  AND only some locations allow that 5th kid.  BUT, some locations allow and extra adult AND a child=8 people.  You just have to call and ask.

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Yes, you can but in my experience, that is more expensive than two rooms at lower end hotels. I have not found a suite that officially sleeps seven that is cheaper than two rooms. They may exist, but I have yet to find such situation.

 

 

Yes.  This.  I have had an awful experience actually getting connecting rooms when I book them, though.  That is worth some $$ to me for us all to be "together."  I don't know what that dollar amount is though. lol

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We have done AK to NJ/FL two years in a row now with 4 kids under 8. It is about 12,000 miles and 20 days on the road, plus days visiting family. All I am going to say is headphones. They all need headphones. Lol. There is a kind that sits inside a headband for the littles.

 

Since we have food allergies, I had to pack 10 days worth of food in my minivan trunk. I am sure you won't want or need to do that (lots of grocery stores where you are passing through) but keeping a fair amount of food with you and a meal plan saves a ton of money. Bringing your own cereal and milk and protein shakes as breakfast options, buying deli meat, bread and bagged lettuce for lunch, etc. It is also far more convenient than trying to figure out what suits everyone, is close by, etc. Makes a huge difference in how many miles you can cover in a day.

 

We camped many of the nights but you are headed to urban areas which makes camping out if the question for me. One way to save on hotels is to drive through the night. Only if you and DH are safe to do it. Most of your destinations area less than 1 nights dive apart from each other though so maybe not!

 

I would definitely NOT drive in NYC. The subway trains are awesome. There are tons of places in NJ to park and ride in, either bus, train, or PATH train (which is also a subway) if you get as close as Jersey City/Hoboken.

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We have done AK to NJ/FL two years in a row now with 4 kids under 8. It is about 12,000 miles and 20 days on the road, plus days visiting family. All I am going to say is headphones. They all need headphones. Lol. There is a kind that sits inside a headband for the littles.

 

Since we have food allergies, I had to pack 10 days worth of food in my minivan trunk. I am sure you won't want or need to do that (lots of grocery stores where you are passing through) but keeping a fair amount of food with you and a meal plan saves a ton of money. Bringing your own cereal and milk and protein shakes as breakfast options, buying deli meat, bread and bagged lettuce for lunch, etc. It is also far more convenient than trying to figure out what suits everyone, is close by, etc. Makes a huge difference in how many miles you can cover in a day.

 

We camped many of the nights but you are headed to urban areas which makes camping out if the question for me. One way to save on hotels is to drive through the night. Only if you and DH are safe to do it. Most of your destinations area less than 1 nights dive apart from each other though so maybe not!

 

I would definitely NOT drive in NYC. The subway trains are awesome. There are tons of places in NJ to park and ride in, either bus, train, or PATH train (which is also a subway) if you get as close as Jersey City/Hoboken.

 

Oh man.  I feel so lucky we don't have to deal with food allergies!  Hats off to you and all the planning that is required just to eat!

 

Dh does not want to drive in NYC.  Me neither!  Parking and riding in is a great plan.  

 

Headphones were a great distraction for the 4 year old on our last flight. :)

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Yes, you can but in my experience, that is more expensive than two rooms at lower end hotels. I have not found a suite that officially sleeps seven that is cheaper than two rooms. They may exist, but I have yet to find such situation.

 

We like to be all in one room  if possible.

 

We just stayed at Staybridge suites in orlando a 2 bedroom suite for $120 a night

Free breakfast and evening meal

 

And Hyatt House in Orlando

101 a night for a room with 2 queens, bunk bed, and pull out  Plus free breakfast

 

And not to sound like a brat, but I don't like staying in lower end hotels.  

 

We did in California and while some of them are ok.  Some turned the kids feet black.  Anyhow the nicer places have better breakfasts, which ends up saving us a lot of money. 

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If you were going to one city, hopefully you could rent a 2 or 3 BR Timeshare with a Kitchen and your family would be very  comfortable. You want to go to so many cities, for such short stays, that I think this will be difficult, but not impossible, to arrange. I think there is a chain called "Homewood Suites" or something like that that has larger accommodations.  You might look at AirBNB, but be aware of the FINE PRINT. A fully equipped apartment, equipped like a Timeshare, if you can rent one for such short stays, would be perfect.  I think in a hotel you would be unhappy.   GL and enjoy your vacation!

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If you were going to one city, hopefully you could rent a 2 or 3 BR Timeshare with a Kitchen and your family would be very  comfortable. You want to go to so many cities, for such short stays, that I think this will be difficult, but not impossible, to arrange. I think there is a chain called "Homewood Suites" or something like that that has larger accommodations.  You might look at AirBNB, but be aware of the FINE PRINT. A fully equipped apartment, equipped like a Timeshare, if you can rent one for such short stays, would be perfect.  I think in a hotel you would be unhappy.   GL and enjoy your vacation!

 

Thanks!

 

Normally we are destination people!lol  This trip is obviously out of my comfort zone.  I don't really like road trips. My dh does and has fond childhood memories.  We have only been to the east coast twice(once with kids).  NYC would be sad to drive by for my dd(I wouldn't mind a bit!)  So we would have to stop there.  

 

I guess after thinking it over, It's the symbols we most want to see(Capitol building,Liberty Bell,Times Square,Niagara Falls) in those cities.  I have always wanted to go to Boston, so that is the place we will do the most exploring.  My kids(and ME!) do so much better with frequent stops.-I have a blood clot in my past, so Dr. recommends them anyway...I figured, if we are going to stop, it might as well be to walk around and see something.lol

 

And....this is a warm up for trip to the west.  In a couple years.  I will need that much time to recover.lol

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You'll want to get tickets in advance for the Capitol building from your Congressional representative.

https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/plan-visit/book-tour-capitol

 

If you want to go inside the Statue of Liberty, especially the Crown, you'll need to get tickets in advance for that. The younger kids might be too short for the crown.

 

Several of the places you've listed have junior ranger programs. My kids really enjoy them. They vary by location so some are better than others.

 

https://www.nps.gov/inde/learn/kidsyouth/juniorrangerbooklet.htm

 

Your older kids might enjoy the Constitution Center in Philadelphia. It's near the Liberty Bell.

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Hi

 

We've done yearly road trips with 6 kids for the last 20 years. We've always had good luck with Comfort Inn and Suites and Mainstay Suites. Packed microwave food, bottled water and crockpot. Stayed at least 2 days in the same place. Younger kids don't care for hotel hopping. NYC recommendation: stay north of the city and take the train in. Long day so stay at the hotel the day before and relax. I lived in the city and won't drive it anymore. I graduated from SUNY/Potsdam so I highly recommend allotting some real time in Canada. There is plenty of free things to see and do. We have some great memories now that the kids are grown.

 

Susan

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You'll want to get tickets in advance for the Capitol building from your Congressional representative.

https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/plan-visit/book-tour-capitol

 

If you want to go inside the Statue of Liberty, especially the Crown, you'll need to get tickets in advance for that. The younger kids might be too short for the crown.

 

Several of the places you've listed have junior ranger programs. My kids really enjoy them. They vary by location so some are better than others.

 

https://www.nps.gov/inde/learn/kidsyouth/juniorrangerbooklet.htm

 

Your older kids might enjoy the Constitution Center in Philadelphia. It's near the Liberty Bell.

 

This is great!

 

I was thinking we might just enjoy the capitol from the outside. :)

 

My 10 year old ds would LOVE the junior ranger programs!  Thank you!

Edited by rjand6more
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Hi

 

We've done yearly road trips with 6 kids for the last 20 years. We've always had good luck with Comfort Inn and Suites and Mainstay Suites. Packed microwave food, bottled water and crockpot. Stayed at least 2 days in the same place. Younger kids don't care for hotel hopping. NYC recommendation: stay north of the city and take the train in. Long day so stay at the hotel the day before and relax. I lived in the city and won't drive it anymore. I graduated from SUNY/Potsdam so I highly recommend allotting some real time in Canada. There is plenty of free things to see and do. We have some great memories now that the kids are grown.

 

Susan

 

Thank you!  I am hoping to make some memories.

 

Exactly the kind of tips I was looking for about NYC. :)

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I took an all day sightseeing bus tour in Washington DC, many years ago. I remember in the Capitol, watching a Senate Committee for a few minutes. Touring the White House, etc. There are so many things to do, in Washington DC that it is mind boggling. The Smithsonian Museums, etc.  Also, I took an all day sightseeing tour in NYC once.  Went to the Statue of Liberty and crawled up inside the head to peak out.   Empire State Building, etc.  If we ever have the chance to go to NYC, I would like to go to the 9/11 Memorial.  I hope you might consider reducing the number of cities, so you can remember more than just packing and unpacking the car.  I worked for about 3 months in Boston and while there are lots of things to see there, I would rank Washington DC as #1 and NYC as #2.  It depends upon your interests and especially upon the interests of your DC. Enjoy your trip!

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I took an all day sightseeing bus tour in Washington DC, many years ago. I remember in the Capitol, watching a Senate Committee for a few minutes. Touring the White House, etc. There are so many things to do, in Washington DC that it is mind boggling. The Smithsonian Museums, etc.  Also, I took an all day sightseeing tour in NYC once.  Went to the Statue of Liberty and crawled up inside the head to peak out.   Empire State Building, etc.  If we ever have the chance to go to NYC, I would like to go to the 9/11 Memorial.  I hope you might consider reducing the number of cities, so you can remember more than just packing and unpacking the car.  I worked for about 3 months in Boston and while there are lots of things to see there, I would rank Washington DC as #1 and NYC as #2.  It depends upon your interests and especially upon the interests of your DC. Enjoy your trip!

 

Well, We plan on flying to DC in a couple years to just see that city.

 

Possibly the same with NYC.  But, all I care to see there can be done in 2 days, I think.  

 

I love the pictures of Boston.  I never thought it would take me so many years to get there.:)  Plus, we have friends there.

 

We may repeat some of the cities for longer trips later.

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With having bigger kids, it's just so much harder to have enough space to take coolers and such.  At least my youngest is out of a stroller.(Although it is easier for our whole family to stick him in there and let him nap while the rest of us continue on with whatever activity we are doing.)  

 

You have a roof box for your car right? Like a big Thule that you can stuff things into and lock it closed. Totally essential with that many people in a car. I'd rather leave clothes at home than try to travel without coolers/paper/plasticware. 

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I don't know that you need a huge cooler.  You'll most likely be eating breakfast at the hotel (or if you're at an AirBNB type place, you can surely find a store and grab cereal, milk, bagels, or whatever), and you'll probably eat dinner out (or maybe the hotel will have something if you stay at Homewood Suites or something like that, which we usually do), so you're just looking at lunch.  I pack several packages of lunch meat, sliced cheese, and lettuce, along with a little thing of mayo and mustard.  That's really the bare minimum that needs to be refrigerated.  I bring tortillas (take up less room), and kids can put what they want on there and roll it up.  I usually will have a bag of some chips, apples, maybe carrot sticks, and some cookies, and we just use a roll of paper towels for plates, napkins, everything.  No plates or utensils, except for a few plastic knives for spreading things.  It works great for traveling!  We take a lot of road trips, and we have an even bigger family, but it's totally doable.

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You have a roof box for your car right? Like a big Thule that you can stuff things into and lock it closed. Totally essential with that many people in a car. I'd rather leave clothes at home than try to travel without coolers/paper/plasticware. 

No.  We don't have one.  They kind of make me freaked out. I saw one pop open on the highway once.  Almost caused multiple accidents and clothes were scattered all over the highway. :crying:

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I don't know that you need a huge cooler.  You'll most likely be eating breakfast at the hotel (or if you're at an AirBNB type place, you can surely find a store and grab cereal, milk, bagels, or whatever), and you'll probably eat dinner out (or maybe the hotel will have something if you stay at Homewood Suites or something like that, which we usually do), so you're just looking at lunch.  I pack several packages of lunch meat, sliced cheese, and lettuce, along with a little thing of mayo and mustard.  That's really the bare minimum that needs to be refrigerated.  I bring tortillas (take up less room), and kids can put what they want on there and roll it up.  I usually will have a bag of some chips, apples, maybe carrot sticks, and some cookies, and we just use a roll of paper towels for plates, napkins, everything.  No plates or utensils, except for a few plastic knives for spreading things.  It works great for traveling!  We take a lot of road trips, and we have an even bigger family, but it's totally doable.

 

Yep.  That's the plan:breakfast in the hotel.  We aren't breakfast people at all.  We will bring granola bars, too.  We do want to eat out at least once a day on this trip.  We love to experience local foods.  But,budget is important.  Why have I never thought to bring tortillas instead of bread?  Our go-to is egg salad on crackers and pickles.  But, I have found a lunch meat that does not make my fingers swell up. LOL So ham and tortillas is a possibility.:)  Thanks!

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We like to be all in one room if possible.

 

We just stayed at Staybridge suites in orlando a 2 bedroom suite for $120 a night

Free breakfast and evening meal

 

And Hyatt House in Orlando

101 a night for a room with 2 queens, bunk bed, and pull out Plus free breakfast

 

And not to sound like a brat, but I don't like staying in lower end hotels.

 

We did in California and while some of them are ok. Some turned the kids feet black. Anyhow the nicer places have better breakfasts, which ends up saving us a lot of money.

Thanks for the recommendations. We aren't likely to travel to Orlando, but I'll keep them just in case.

 

We tend to travel to national park type areas in the off-season so lodging choices are generally limited.

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