OK, OK, I get the idea. Likely best to limit travel time to 8-10 hrs. Some have made comments about travelling through US. Has anyone been this way from Sault Ste Marie, MI:
- 75 south to 28
- 28/41 west into 2 past Duluth, Grand Rapids, Grand Forks
- just west of Minot ND take 52 which at Canada border becomes 39
- head NW on 39 to link up to Hwy 1 just east of Moose Jaw
This adds about 200km but shaves off 5 hours of driving according to Google vs coming north over Lake Superior and into Manitoba via Hwy 1.
In this day of DVD players, IPODs and WII, we have lots of tools to keep the kids busy. We use them judiciously, only on for a while each day and always off when we are passing significant points of interest. We hate them but boy do these tools come in handy come mid afternoon!
We travel the same route you have mentioned, from Windsor to southern Alberta. The highways are in pretty good shape. 28/41 to #2 and straight through to Shelby, Montana. Turn north and 35 miles later you're in Alberta.There are campgrounds along the way that we stay at. Do your research. I would highly recommend going to Waterton National Park in southern Alberta. You`re right in the mountains there. While there in July for 12 days we saw 15 bears, many deer,etc. The Prince of Wales hotel is a place to look at. Very old and beautiful. There is a campground in the townsite if you want to stay there and there are campground around the park, for instance Waterton Springs Campground, where we stay. The wind can make living in a trailer an experience tho`. You can get there via 501 over to Cardston or you can go via Lethbridge, Fort Mcleod, Pincher Creek and then south to the park. Highways are very good no matter which way you go. Anyway many years ago we traveled like you want to with three young kids. The days were very long and a bucket was brought along, just in case. We had a pop up camper back then. We also had a month to see things and it doesn`t seem like enough time to see anything. Now we take 6 days coming out here (we`re in Edmonton until the end of the month and then head back to Windsor). It`ll be two and a half months until we get back home. Still not enough time to see everything there is to see. Have fun and research, research, research. Stay safe.
35 year Fire Fighter(retired)
We are planning a 28 day trip with the kids next year from Parry Sound to Vancouver Island and back through US (Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore, etc).
We lived in BC and so have travelled by car to BC and back. Pulling a trailer with kids is obviously another matter. Our kids are good at travelling as we did some 8-10 hours days last year and 12-13 hour days this year but a 28 day trip with lots of stops is again, another matter.
This will definately be a sight seeing trip, many stops, not much time just hanging out for extended periods and we will be limited to visiting the main tourist stops. Kids can return on their own later in life to explore further if they wish.
I am using Google maps to pre plan a route. I have always found when driving by car that Google overestimates timeframes for travel. So since I will be sticking to or below speed limit I am assuming their estimates are reasonably close to what I would achieve pulling the trailer. But, looking for advice on this.
For example, I have determined we can get to Drumheller in 3 days:
1. Parry Sound to Rainbow Falls Provincial Park (east of Thunder Bay), 960 KM, 13 hours
2. Rainbow Falls to Portage La Prairie, Manitoba (west of Winnipeg), 957km, 12.5 hours
3. Portage to Drumheller, 1200km, 14 hours
Long days but I would like to B-line it to Alberta to take advantage of spending longer stays our there. Have any thoughts or ideas? I am sure some will caution against the rush but it will be hard not to push the family in order to get it all in. Thanks.
We went out west last summer and decided to start by B-lining it to Arizona and taking our time out west and slowly working our way back. We drove straight to Flagstaff in 3.5 days, its about 3300km so similar distance to what you're considering.
We have a class C towing a car so limit our speed to no more than 110k. For us, it was no big deal at all, our 3 kids were busy the entire time.
I would highly recommend that if you do decide to go for it to build some flexibility into your schedule
- do not pre-book your stays at the places you mention, this puts too much stress on having to get that far each day. You can still target these places but if you don't make it no big deal
- add at least 1 more day of down time in drumheller just in case you end up getting there later than planned
We've done those kinds of days several times. When I was a kid and with my kids. I would say it depends on your family. We had fun! Did it in a car, van and pulling a Tent trailer. We made awesome memories including seeing the sun rise on the prairies when I was only 8.
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It'll be a holiday when it's all the time you have. We(wife & I), did it a few times with 3 kids. We did the Ontario to Alberta trip in 3 days. They're long days when you're the only driver but it was done and we had some great sight seeing. Probably most of the answers on this thread came from older people who have the time to take their time when traveling. Go for it PS Mike.
In June DW and I left our home near Ottawa on a Tuesday morning, got to Drumheller at around two P.M. on Friday. We never left before nine in the morning (DW likes to sleep in ) and the latest we stopped was the first night near Longlac, at around 8:30.
The next night was Kenora, then Morse SK, near Swift Current.
I did all the driving and had a sore butt at the end of the day, but I don't mind driving and an adult beverage, or two, took care of the aches.
We returned via Hwy 17, and, though I'm glad we did, the scenery is spectacular, I wouldn't do it again while towing, those hills are murderous, even with the Duramax Allison combo. You'll make much better time taking 11, even if you have to backtrack east a bit to North Bay.
Do the trip, this huge country of ours has many marvels to see and experience, and one of the best ways to travel is with family, with whom you can share memories for the rest of your life.