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  1. Default South West and California, May 2007

    Me (47) and my wife (46), from Denmark, are planning a road trip to the South West and
    California for 4 weeks starting May 5th. I have toured USA for about 4½
    months in '82 and '83, and had 6 one week business visits after '00,
    Atlanta, Tucson AZ and Dallas, my wife has never visited USA.

    Your itinerary so far:

    Fly into Phoenix
    Grand Canyon
    Monument Valley
    Las Vegas
    Death Valley
    Universal Studio
    (San Diego)
    San Francisco
    Napa Valley
    Utha for more Canyons
    Colorado for the Rockies
    New Mexico
    (White Sands)
    Fly back from Phoenix

    We welcomes all kind tips for things to see and do.

    * Hotel prices; We have calculated $75 pr. night as an average, is that to low.

    * Food prices; We have calculated $25 pr. person pr day, is that to low.

    * Car; We have talk about renting a cabriolet, is it worth the extra money
    or would we just get tired of 'the wind in our hair' after a few hours.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default It looks good on first glance!

    Greetings & Welcome to the RTA Forums!

    At first glance, your itinerary looks pretty good but, hopefully, those with more experience in that part of the country will chime in. I do think it's doable to see all that in 28 days. However, you're going to be doing a lot of driving and not have much time in each location. If that's what you're looking for, it should work. But if you want to spend time in each spot, then you might have to do some more tweaking.

    Hotel prices: Discount chains like Motel 6, Super 8, Days Inn, and a few others, will often be around $40-80/night. $40-50 in the smaller towns and higher in the cities. In fact, in the cities hotels can easily exceed $80. You might want to spend some time on the individual websites for the chains I listed and check out their prices in the various areas you're planning on visiting. However, be advised that these hotels are clean but very simple. You will not get many amenities. If you're cool with that, they should work. But if you want extra amenities like internet service, room service or in-hotel restaurants, etc., you will need to look at other hotel chains that will be higher priced.

    Food: $25 per person/per day is do-able. But this all depends on how you plan to eat. If you're going to eat all meals in restaurants, you will only be able to stick to this budget if you limit yourself to fastfood places like McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, etc. If you want to eat in local restaurants, diners, or family restaurants similar to Denny's or Cracker Barrell, you will go over budget with just breakfast and lunch. One nice meal in a better restaurant, especially dinner, can easily take up your entire day's budget. Another option is to stop at grocery stores and get food from their deli sections to fill a cooler and to eat out of your cooler for 2 of your daily meals and then eating a restaurant meal once per day. You should be able to do that on $25 per person/per day without too much effort.

    Cabriolet: Over here we call them convertibles, by the way. I would go for it. There may be times when you will have your air-conditioning going full blast even with the top down but that will keep you cool while you still enjoy the panoramic view. Be sure and either bring with you, or buy upon arrival, hats with full brims to shield your face and neck from the intense sun you will probably experience in the Southwest at that time of year. I think a convertible is always a good idea and really wish I had one myself. I love riding in those owned by my friends. But, if your budget can't swing it, a regular car may not be as cool but you'll still have a good time.

  3. Default Southwest RoadTrip

    The last part of our roadtrip to USA in May '07 will be from San Francisco to Phoenix. I would appreciate any advice on a scenic route. We have plan to use about 7 days for this trip.
    We plan to visit GC and Monument Valley earlier on the trip.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Traveling Salesman

    With a trip of this magnitude, and trying to see as many places as you've listed, it is going to be very important for you to be as efficient as possible in how you order your stops. If you really intend to make your last leg San Francisco to Phoenix, then the other stops would make more sense in the following order:

    White Sands
    Colorado Rockies
    Monument Valley
    Zion/Bryce National Parks
    Las Vegas
    San Diego/Tijuana
    Los Angeles/Hollywood/Disneyland
    Big Sur
    San Francisco
    Napa Valley
    Yosemite/Death Valley National Parks
    Las Vegas (again)
    Grand Canyon

    This routing is, in essence, a big figure-8. Total driving distance is around 4500 miles, depending on any additional side trips. There are lots of posts and threads on these forums describing the trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas by way of Yosemite and Death Valley. That trip is incredibly scenic, and if you use the Search function, you should be able to find the previous posts without too much trouble. I would think that this is eminently manageable in 4 weeks but, as Judy has pointed out, unless you are planning to eat most of your meals out of a cooler or at fast-food joints, $25/day is a bit on the low side. Of course, the good news is that you're starting your planning early enough to work out these little problems.


  5. #5
    Sparkster56 Guest

    Default Southwest motels

    regarding the motels in the arizona/nevada/utah area....motel 6 is the winner ..ive traveled to the southwest from seattle 7 x's in 6 yrs and have had great luck with MT6.... spark

  6. #6
    Big Pop Guest


    If I were you I'd save myself a day and skip White Sands unless you are going to combine it with Carlsbad Caverns and Guadelupe Mtns NP. I don't think it is worth the extra effort by itself.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default A matter of taste

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pop
    If I were you I'd save myself a day and skip White Sands unless you are going to combine it with Carlsbad Caverns and Guadelupe Mtns NP. I don't think it is worth the extra effort by itself.
    I have to disagree on this, I think White Sands is worth a detour, but if you have enough time to combine it with Guadalupe Mountains and Carlsbad that would only be better! Remember rule #1, there are no boring places. If it seems boring, look again.:o)


  8. #8
    Big Pop Guest


    But I never said it was boring.....;0)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Precisions

    Big Pop,
    I didn't mean to imply you said it was boring, it's just a general reminder adressed to everyone. English is not my native language so I can get a little out of line trying to express myself sometimes, sorry about that:-). White Sands is one of my favourite places in the U.S. and I would do a 100 miles detour anytime just to see it again. But I agree that Carlsbad and the Guadalupe Mountains are also must sees.


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