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Planning 2018 road trip....HELP!

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Hey all,


I'm coasting (pun intended) around the eastern US for about 9 days in 2018. I'm planning on hitting four parks, three of which are new to me. I will be riding my 100th coaster on this trip, and if I time it right, it will be Fury 325 IF I get all the credits I need beforehand.


Planned schedule:


May 29 - drive to Sandusky

May 30 - day at Cedar Point (for SV credit and some repeats)

May 31 - drive to KI, half day

June 1 - full day @ KI

June 2 - drive to Carowinds

June 3 - full day @ Carowinds

June 4 - half day Carowinds, drive north to KD

June 5 - full day @ KD

June 6 - catch some quick rides @ KD (I305, Twisted Timbers, any credits I missed), then home


My questions are...

- Do I have enough time budgeted out for each park?

- Any good inexpensive hotel recommendations?

- What should I expect for gas costs? (I live in MA)

- Fast Lane?

- What dining plan should I get?

- Are the water parks worth it? (Haven't budgeted in water parks as of now)


Note that I did two days @ CP in 2016, and while I got all the coaster credits, the big rides I missed were...


Iron Dragon VR (I went before they installed it, but I have the coaster credit)

Witch's Wheel



Power Tower

Right side of Gatekeeper


Definitely going to try for multiple SV rides!


Help pls

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The itinerary sounds good to me, it seems like a great trip! I think you've definitely given yourself enough time at each park.


Any good inexpensive hotel recommendations?


Since that trip is so far out I pretty much guarantee that if you start working on this now you can get almost every single hotel if not every hotel free for the entire trip.


Do you have a rewards credit card right now? If not pick a hotel brand and get their card, then cash in on their sign up offer and only use that brand for the trip. I recommend this. There's no annual fee and they're everywhere. If you can spend $1000 total over 3 months (so $334 per month) you get enough points for 4 of those nights right there. Use the card for all of your purchases between now and your trip and I guarantee you'll have a sh*t ton of free rooms. Plus, if you do need to pay for some rooms you get 15 points per dollar spent when you pay with that card (you'll need 7,000 points or so for a cheap room).


I don't want to sound like a commercial, you can use any brand you want (Wyndham is good too but you earn faster with Choice) but pick a chain of hotels and stick with them for the entire trip. Get the rewards card now for the brand you pick and start racking up points.

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Seems all right to me. I like that you've set aside a lot of time for driving. A lot of people budget too little time for that and end up stressing the whole trip.


For Cedar Point, I like the Howard Johnson right outside Cedar Point on Hwy 6 near Castaway Bay. Not the Howard Johnson on Milan Rd, that place is awful.


For Kings Island, I like the Baymont right across the highway from the park.


I've stayed at both of these in the past and have re-booked them for my trip next spring. Great, cheap hotels close to the parks.


I work in the hotel industry, and I'll vouch for Bill's advice regarding Choice. I prefer Wyndham hotels, but only because they typically allow 5 in a room whereas Choice has a max of 4 unless you get a suite (where available). Since I have a family of 5, that makes a difference to me. If that's not an issue to you, I will say Choice usually has more consistent quality than Wyndham. You'll rarely find an unacceptable Choice hotel, but Wyndham's budget brands (Days Inn, Knights Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson) do dip into that category sometimes. Contrast that with Choice, where aside from Econolodge, the brands are almost never unacceptable. You're really not going to find a bad Quality Inn anywhere.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is exactly how we have been doing it. Pick a chain and rack up loyalty rewards. We have been using Choice lately but just because they had locations where we were going. If there is one that you haven't signed up before enroll and take advantage of the sign up offer.

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