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Not that we can afford it...we can't, really...but DH has decided that we're going on a little trip in a couple weeks. Just a 3-day jaunt to Niagara Falls.

Now, I love to travel, I truly do! I'm anxious about this trip because of the money situation, we're barely keeping head above water right now, but you know, sometimes you have to seize the moment. (sigh) We'll do it on a shoestring, staying out of town if we have to.

But you know what's silly? Or sad, depending on how you look at it. I dread making the plans and doing all the stuff needed to go. Every time we make plans as a family it all falls on me. Setting the date, finding a motel, getting maps and travel guides, planning our activities, packing, figuring out how to keep the kids entertained...everything but driving. All my DH has to do is carry the heavy bags and load them then slide over into the drivers' seat. And then if anything goes wrong it's totally MY FAULT. I am sick of it. I just wish for once HE would take the initiative, make the hotel reservation, decide what we're going to see while we're there. I don't mind doing my share, I just get sick of doing it all.

OK, rant off. :)

Anybody been to Niagara? We'll be staying in the U.S. I guess, I'm not sure about border regulations nowadays. Tips, advice, experiences welcome.
 

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View is much better.. do not waste your money parking on the US side..
passports are not yet required.. any young children? you might want to have birth certificates for each.
Go to Niagara on the lake and spend an afternoon walking around the shops..
Then spend a few days taking the hundreds of Wine tours..
 

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Nohoa Homestead
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edayna said:
Not that we can afford it...we can't, really...but DH has decided that we're going on a little trip in a couple weeks. Just a 3-day jaunt to Niagara Falls.

Now, I love to travel, I truly do! I'm anxious about this trip because of the money situation, we're barely keeping head above water right now, but you know, sometimes you have to seize the moment. (sigh) We'll do it on a shoestring, staying out of town if we have to.

But you know what's silly? Or sad, depending on how you look at it. I dread making the plans and doing all the stuff needed to go. Every time we make plans as a family it all falls on me. Setting the date, finding a motel, getting maps and travel guides, planning our activities, packing, figuring out how to keep the kids entertained...everything but driving. All my DH has to do is carry the heavy bags and load them then slide over into the drivers' seat. And then if anything goes wrong it's totally MY FAULT. I am sick of it. I just wish for once HE would take the initiative, make the hotel reservation, decide what we're going to see while we're there. I don't mind doing my share, I just get sick of doing it all.

OK, rant off. :)

Anybody been to Niagara? We'll be staying in the U.S. I guess, I'm not sure about border regulations nowadays. Tips, advice, experiences welcome.
with the internet now days it's so painless to make travel arrangements. I do it all the time and it just takes minutes.

I have been to Niagra Falls and personally, I wasn't terribly impressed. It's just a big waterfall and the initial level of awe wears off in about 5 minutes. I did enjoy "Niagra on the Lake" which is a little community about 20 miles away on the Canadian Side. They have an amazing graveyard that has graves from the war of 1812 which is neat to see. They also have an amazing little English Pub (or did have back in 1996), which most probably you wouldn't be too interested in since you will be toting children with you.

Anyway, I think they have a casino too which is fun, but again, not much interest for a family (nothing for the kids to do while you are having grown-up fun).

donsgal
 

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We went 2 years ago, our friends went 3 weeks ago.

I agree about checking online for room rates. See what hotels have in your travel range. You can get some good deals.

Lots of hotels have really good continental breakfasts. Our friends had everything but meat! Even eggs, waffles, pancakes doughnuts, you get the idea!

All of the Falls things cost alot of money. The ferry, behind the falls & such. But you can walk, sight see, maybe pick one paying thing to do. Eat in the US, less trouble converting money. The waitress at Denny's really messed up our bill & wouldn't fix her mistake, cost us $20 extra. Be careful with converting money in Canada, we only had trouble at resteraunts. We did find a really nice, off the path Mexican rest. in Canada. It was quiet (did have a bar, we didn't drink) & very reasonable.

We ordered pizza, delivered to the hotel, pretty cheap. Then watched a movie in bed :p

All in all, we stayed 4 days, 3 nights & spent about $200 (not including hotel) for 3 people. We stayed in Canada & walked everywhere.

Our son was 10, we liked just people watching, watching the falls, walking upstream & there was a free museum, feed the gulls, he had fun with the gulls. :rolleyes:
 

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Red Roof in in Hamburg, New York- Route 62 cheap and a and a cheap chain restaunt near.

Stop off at a store and buy stuff for a picnic at the falls
cost per person for the Maid of the Mist say 20 bucks, Gas spendy check out the Indian reservation to buy it (one maybe 20 miles from Hamburg) contact Luv them Wings (something like that or Rouen something) they live there.

Delay the trip till The Erie country fair in Hamburg (speedway) it is the Largest fair in the USA. Get a day pass Look for specials on the internet
You can bring your own food their to the fair or eat at the 4h stand or MASON cheap.

the fair is around the 18 of August. Everything is there. You could spend a week there. Used to be able to set a tent up in the parking area. (they even have showers there and a laundry place across the way)

At the fair YOU control the cost. There is alot to do that is free. If you can only enjoy the fair ride this may not be a thing for you. But even so check out special days. example "Cool aid day- bring 10 lables and get 40 dollars of rides for 10" Kids and family day buy a braslet and ride all the rides for free ect. The net.

www.americas-fair.com

Check it out!
 

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edayna I'm a hop skip and a jump away from Niagara Falls so I can give you a few ideas. Niagara Falls is nice but its not a 3 day event by itself. Pick some place to stay and drive to area attractions. If you like Kenny Rogers the Seneca Niagara Casino will be hosting a free no tickets required outdoor concert on Friday August 25th. That casino is on the US side and offers free parking. I use the casino to park and walk the 2 blocks to the falls (save me the parking fee's). I also walk across the bridge into Canada because I hate driving where there are alot of people. The fee for walking the bridge is 50 cents per person and it takes quarters or bills. You pay only when you cross from Canada into the US. At night the Falls are colorfully lit and some nights there are fireworks (I can't remember which night)

The town of East Aurora in Western New York is home to Fisher Price and a celebration called Toy Fest (also durring the August 25th weekend) here is a little bit about that area http://www.eastaurora.org/visitors.aspx

If your into architecture and history there is Frank Lloyd Wrights Darwin Martin house. http://www.darwinmartinhouse.org/

There is the Corning Museum of Glass http://www.cmog.org/

As for where to stay. Most hotel rooms are going to be between $80 and $120 a night for a basic room. The Evangola State Park offers camping that is much more reasonable and can be used as a homebase. Not to far away is the reservation where you can purchase gas that is 20 to 30 cents cheaper per gallon.

If your family is into old trains there will be a big train show in Buffalo the weekend of September 8th and 9th.

If you have any questions give me a hollar.
 

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edayna don't stress yourself out. Why are you doing all the work and making all the decisions. Gather the information and have a family meeting.
 

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Just went in May. DS & family took me. Was great. Stayed on the Canada side at the Great Wolf Lodge. Way too expensive, I'm thinking, but the kids loved the water park inside.

Didn't do the "Maid of the Mist" but did a jet boat instead. (I posted pics back then) Was really fun but I'm sure it was $$$$$!!

Patty
 

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writing some wrongs
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Discussion Starter #9
We have a Great Wolf here in town -- had DD's birthday party there ($$$$!!!!) so that wouldn't be an attraction for me. :)

We did find the motel online -- Econolodge in NY, "only" $80/night with AAA rate, it looks pretty nice. There's a package deal where you can buy tickets to several attractions including the bus to get around, it'll be just over $100 for all 4 of us, not a bad deal really. I guess after that we'll try to find some free attractions and eat a lot of cheap fast food. :)

I saw the Skylon tower's website and about fell out of my chair at those prices! But it's really not unusual for fine dining. DH said we might have to go just for the creme brulee. :rolleyes:

We're booked now, the trip's a go, the guy next door is watching our dogs & hens, I guess that's that!
 

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I have never been to Niagara Falls so I cannot help you there but I can give you some direction on the planning issues.

What you are speaking of is a Family Vacation. Meaning everyone in the family benefits and, in my opinion, plays a part in the planning and the execution of the vacation.

I suggest that you hold a family meeting concerning the upcoming trip. Have a pencil and paper ready. Start off by outlining the the basic plan for the trip ( ie: destination, time-frame etc...) and then start making a list of what needs to happen to make this trip a reality. Allow for the input of suggestions from your children. Broad topics of tasks would include:

Making reservations at the hotel

Making sure the vehicle is ready for the trip- oil changed, fuel filled, vehicle washed/ vacuumed etc...

Packing- In our house everyone packs for themselves.

Planning road food or meals in the hotel

Entertainment for the drive

Arranging for animal care in your absence

Once the list has been compiled, it is then time to decide which person in the family will handle each assignment or a portion there-of. Of course, it makes sense for an adult and not a child to make the hotel reservations as well as servicing the vehicle, but there are plenty of things that the children can take that will make them feel more invested in the trip. A bonus here is if something goes wrong or is forgotten it isn't always blamed on one person, in the case of your family-You.

We had a grueling road trip last week- a twenty hour drive for a funeral and a twenty hour drive back. Using the planning method outlined above, my children ( who are 13 and 12 ) took on washing their own clothing and packing for the trip, going to the library and checking out books on tapes as well as planning and packing the road snacks for the entire family. They also washed and vacuumed the van and arranged for someone to take the goldfish in our absence. The bonus here was that my oldest daughter arranged to borrow a portable DVD player, something we've never done on road trips, but was a welcome relief on this particular trip.

My husband washed and packed his own clothing and made sure that the vehicle was serviced and ready for the trip and took the dog to the neighbor's house.

I made the hotel reservations and packed the food for the hotel and arranged the dog care and alot of other little details not worth mentioning. It goes without saying that I packed my own grip.

Giving the circumstances, it was a great trip. Everything went smoothly and since we were all involved I wasn't left feeling overwhelmed and resentful.

I would imagine that your family ( and I include your husband here) really has no idea how much work goes into planning a trip. By sitting down as a group and making a list and a plan, it is all laid out in black and white and everyone gets to be involved.
 
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