A parallax image

Why you should do a family road trip at least once

Posted by Gav Grayston.
First Published Nov 2014; updated May 2023.

It's good to broaden your kids' horizons. We certainly did with this USA Family Road Trip. With a bit of saving, this is something you could do too.

There's a lot more to the States than Disney World. Why not plan a family road trip instead? We pass on our experience of what worked and what didn't...

Like many families, our kids wanted to go to 'Disney World' when they were younger.

We had been to Disney Land Paris before, but Disney World and the other theme parks in Florida appear to be in a different league.

2 weeks standing in line at a theme park is my idea of hell

However, the cost of getting all the family from the UK to Disney World is astronomical. Plus, I think 2 weeks standing in line at a theme park is my idea of hell.

Don't get me wrong. We've been to many theme parks, and they make great days out. Two days are my limit, though. ;-)

So we saved. Each year money was put aside for the 'States Trip'.

But our kids got older each year, and we still hadn't gone.

There's more to the States than Disney World

By the time we had saved enough money (we were set back a few years by growing the family!), our little girl that wanted to go to Disney World was now a teenager.

Many people I know that have taken their family to the USA only went as far as Disney World. I'm not knocking it - they had a great time.

I had been fortunate enough to go to the USA a few times, had gotten off the tourist routes, and knew the place had a lot of things to show my kids. Plus, as a Brit, the USA is not exactly 'foreign' - it's on our TV, and Cinema screens all the time! It would be great to show my family what the place is really like.

...enable us to see a great deal more of the US than just a theme park

Cruising the Pacific Coast Highway had always been a dream of mine, so we started to look at not doing Disney World in Florida and making a road trip on the West Coast instead.

This would enable us to see more of the US than just a theme park, and I knew it would give the kids memories and experiences that would last a lifetime.

Any objections from the kids about not doing Disney World?


OK, so the little girl that wanted to do Disney World was now a teenager, but even our youngest wasn't that interested. It helped that they were involved in the planning, and we included a trip to Disney Land California in the itinerary (though our kids would surprise us with that later).

The West Coast USA Road Trip

This was going to be a holiday of a lifetime!

With a big list of places to see, we set about planning our USA road trip. This was going to be a holiday of a lifetime!

Over the next few posts, we'll cover the planning, the trip, what worked, and what didn't.