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  1. Default California Budget Holiday

    Hi All,

    I am planning a trip for July 2007. We are a family of three from Scotland and are pulling towards the state of California,Nevada,Arizona for the attractions and changing scenery compared to new england and surrounding states on the east coast! (Hope its the correct choice)

    We have been quoted $650 for renting a car for 3 weeks(Pontiac g3). We hope to start our journey at Los Angeles going to - Las vegas - Grand Canyon - Yosemite - San Francisco and back to LA along the pacific coast line.
    I am not too sure on what budget i should be looking at for staying at low cost Motel chains for three people. I have been looking on other websites and some past travellers have said a budget of $50 (3) a night could be done, which seems a bit low to me. Can anyone give me a safe amount to put aside for the trip.

    One other quick question if you all dont mind. Its quite a journey i think it may be around the 2000 mile mark for 3 weeks and i know petrol (gas) prices in america are known to be cheap. How much should this jounrey cost gas wise?

    Sorry about any ignorance regarding this subject but we have never been to the usa so any advice would be a big help.

    Cheers

    Stuart

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Always refreshing to know it is "cheap"

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottishhighlander View Post
    I am planning a trip for July 2007. We are a family of three from Scotland
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    I have been looking on other websites and some past travellers have said a budget of $50 (3) a night could be done, which seems a bit low to me. Can anyone give me a safe amount to put aside for the trip.
    Here is an informative post about budgeting contributed by Moderator Judy.
    One other quick question if you all dont mind. Its quite a journey i think it may be around the 2000 mile mark for 3 weeks and i know petrol (gas) prices in america are known to be cheap. How much should this jounrey cost gas wise?
    We built a free tool for you.... See that Red Fuel Pump symbol "Fuel Cost Calculator" on the left hand column of this page? If you click on it or this link you can obtain both current pricing & MPG for most US vehicles and use a handy-dandy calculator for obtaining that data for your own situation.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  3. #3
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Aim Higher

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottishhighlander View Post
    I am not too sure on what budget i should be looking at for staying at low cost Motel chains for three people. I have been looking on other websites and some past travellers have said a budget of $50 (3) a night could be done, which seems a bit low to me. Can anyone give me a safe amount to put aside for the trip.

    One other quick question if you all dont mind. Its quite a journey i think it may be around the 2000 mile mark for 3 weeks and i know petrol (gas) prices in america are known to be cheap. How much should this jounrey cost gas wise?
    Greetings, Stuart, and welcome to the Forum.

    Lodging in the U.S. is very hard to pinpoint. Different areas have different going rates. One low cost Motel Chain that offers fairly good quality is Motel 6. Their rates can rage anywhere from $68 to $90 or so depending on Location, Time of Year, and day of the week.

    For example, with an arrival date of July 11, 2007, departing next day, an overnight pre-tax rate for 3 at the Motel 6 in Williams, AZ (directly south of Grand Canyon off of I-10) is $74.99/night US Funds. If you were to go into Flagstaff, 30 miles east and stay at the Motel 6 off of Butler Ave, you're looking at an Internet Rate of $47.69, on Standard Rate (onsite) of $52.99/night US funds for the same room. You may also try Super 8 Motels.

    As far as a budget would go, I would definately say you'll want to double if not tripple your $50/night budget. You may find some great deals (such as Flagstaff above), but its always best to be on the safe side.

    As far as gas prices go... we haven't had 'cheap' gas for quite awhile, by U.S. standards. Although many areas are seeing petrol down around $2.00/US Gallon, these days it's much better to budget at around $3.00/US Gallon.

    Just remember, it is always better to aim high and come in under budget.

    -Brad

  4. Default Californian Deserts - is there anything to see ?

    Hi,

    I am planning a trip to usa. Los Angeles up to San francisco along the pacific coast line, Across to Yosemite,down to las vegas and Grand Canyon then back to LA for the return flight.

    I am a bit concerned however of the travel route from Yosemite too Las Vegas or las vegas to LA. I have tonnes of holiday brochures describing that the desert region between them are visualy stunning (around Death Valley,Mojave) My concernes is that the trip could be very baron with hardly any sights or towns to see for miles besides deserts, which at first i am sure is breathtaking which is the reason i want to try to fit it in the itinerary but can get quite monotonous after a while.

    Any help will be appreciated.

  5. #5

    Default Barstow

    I always sleep on the stretch of road. Cant tell you what's there. There are little towns along the way. If you travel it at night you wont see a thing, but in the sunrise over the desert is really a sight to see, as well as the sun set. stick to the day for this trip. But watch your speeds coming through Barstow, its about the 1/2 point between LA & LV. All the cops do it stop people. There is a cafe along the way that has some fame. Cant recall it, but I am sure someone on here knows all about that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default State of Mind

    I know I would never call the vast open stretches of Mojave monotonous, in fact, I'd say the "visually breathtaking" discription from your guidebooks is much more accurate.

    But its all about your state of mind, if you think something is going to be boring and not worth seeing, then you'll probably meet your expectations. If you accept that there is something to see everywhyere - whether its the desers, mountains, or plains - you are much more likely to find the beauty that is out there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Seems unfathomable to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottishhighlander View Post
    My concerns is that the trip could be very barren with hardly any sights or towns to see for miles besides deserts,
    While it is true that you can find places in the southwest where towns are relatively few and far in between, the entire country is a tapestry of mountain ranges and deep basins --there is no part of your route that could ever be described as monotonous -- the biggest problem is that I really doubt you have allowed sufficient time to cover that much distance in that time period. I know that three weeks sounds like a lot of time -- but on some of the roads, if you stop and enjoy the view, it is going to take quite a while.

    Mark

  8. Default Barren but not monotonous...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottishhighlander View Post
    [ ... ] I am a bit concerned however of the travel route from Yosemite too Las Vegas or las vegas to LA. I have tonnes of holiday brochures describing that the desert region between them are visualy stunning (around Death Valley,Mojave) My concernes is that the trip could be very baron with hardly any sights or towns to see for miles besides deserts, which at first i am sure is breathtaking which is the reason i want to try to fit it in the itinerary but can get quite monotonous after a while.
    Hmm... The desert regions in the area you'll be driving through are barren -- not much vegetation and at times sparsely inhabited. Lack of rainfall = less vegetation = why they call it a desert. There aren't a lot of people in places, and due to the scale of region, sometimes towns and villages can be quite far apart by UK standards (think 100 miles as local...)

    On the other hand, the range of topography can be amazingly different -- from high mountains up over 10,000' high to flat dry lakes to steep ravines and washes. The colors of the landscape can be amazingly vivid -- from Canary yellow to brick red to brilliant white to coal black -- and sometimes blue, green and every other color.

    If you just stick to the highway and zoom through, it can seem monotonous perhaps -- but on the routes you are taking there are the options of some very interesting side trips. Death Valley for one -- another is if you have the time to side trip through the Mojave Natural Preserve which has everything from huge sand dunes to deep caverns to volcanic cones and flows to huge "Forests" of Joshua Trees.

  9. #9

    Default

    Hi Stuart
    I am Charles from Newcastle
    We four are off from Toronto at the end of July and flying out of LA 25 th August.
    Not yet seccured a car. any advice?
    I have traveled from Chicago to Seattle before but so years ago.
    Have you booked Flighgts we found very good deal through Air Lingus via Dublin. You are lucky to have prestwick.
    Hope to chat about stuff over the coming months.
    Charles.

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