Last updated: 07:00 PM ET, Mon September 05 2016

Opinion Home | Are We There Yet: Tips For Family Trips

  • Janeen Christoff | September 5, 2016 7:00 PM ET

    Cross-Country Road Trip: Driving in NYC

    Cross-Country Road Trip: Driving in NYC

    PHOTO: SeaGlass Carousel in Battery Park. (All photos courtesy Janeen Christoff) 

    When we headed out on our cross-country road trip from New Hampshire, we chose our first stop to be something similar to how we spent our summer: next to a lake, lots of hiking and swimming, not too many people. We found that at the George Washington Campground in Rhode Island on the border near the tiny town of Putnam, Conn. 

    The idyllic George Washington Campground in Rhode Island.

    It was everything we wanted for our first end-of-summer campground. We spent our two days swimming in the lake, hiking around it and just enjoying the outdoors. 

    It was our next stop that was going to present us with more of a challenge. We were driving right into the heart of New York City, barely skirting Manhattan and staying at a tiny RV Park in Jersey City. It was definitely a far cry from the summer, where nature was constantly at our doorstep. 

    Driving in the Big Apple with a motorhome is not the most relaxing experience.

    One of our biggest concerns was the kayaks we had stashed on top of the RV. They are tall – really tall – and made us almost the height of a big rig truck, even though we were only in a small motorhome. Needless to say, this made for a stressful drive as we were faced with a barrage of low bridges, big tolls for big bridges, low-hanging city electrical wires and the relentless traffic that New York City is known for. 

    However, it was all worth it in the end to be taking the ferry over into the city with our kids, walking with them around One World Trade Center and riding the Staten Island Ferry to get a good look at the Statue of Liberty at night. 

    Taking our kids to see places like One World Trade Center made the journey worth it.

    There were also those special moments that can only happen in a big city.

    We got caught in a downpour and ran into a Mexican restaurant for cover. So we decided it was dinner time – and it ended up being delicious. 

    We strolled through Battery Park to the Staten Island Ferry and came across the SeaGlass Carousel which became the perfect refuge once again as the clouds sprinkled us with rain.

    Wishing we had brought a better camera for night photography of these two and Lady Liberty.

    On the Staten Island Ferry, we managed to score some ice cream and see the Statue of Liberty. With the help of the ticket sales guy, we were on the quickest ferry back to Jersey City at the end of the night. 

    Our day in New York City taught us that it is good to sometimes leave things to chance and not to plan every single moment of each day. The best moments of this day were the most spontaneous, because just being together in a beautiful place is what made it fun.


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Janeen Christoff Are We There Yet: Tips For Family Trips

Janeen Christoff Janeen Christoff caught the travel bug while living in London, England. After two years on the road, she settled in Los Angeles and focused her writing on what she loved best — exploring the world. Today, she’s a well-traveled mother of two, an adventurer and a world wanderer who writes about destinations around the world for Want to know where she is headed next? Check out her blog at
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