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  1. Default Christmas trip Tucson to San Diego via Las Vegas

    We are coming to the US just before Christmas because our son is studying at University of Arizona, Tucson . We want to travel to San Diego. Any ideas about whether the weather will stop us from going to the Grand Canyon? Best route and what not to miss on the route? Best kind of car to hire for this road trip? Any other recommendations? Love to hear from anyone who has something to say.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Some of the folks on here who are familiar with the area say that visiting the Grand Canyon in winter is nice, because you won't have to deal with the Summer crowds. Still, due to elevation, the Grand Canyon can experience bad weather. It's best to check before you head out, since the weather is so unpredictable (it's been in the 60s here in Massachusetts, when it's normally in the 30s at this time of year).

    There is a lot to see near the Grand Canyon, too.

    When you get into Las Vegas, here is a list of recommended sights.

    Hope this gets you started!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Christmas in the Desert

    The south rim of the Grand Canyon, the side with the bulk of the facilities and view points, is open year round and is absolutely worth the drive from Tucson as long as you've come all this way, especially since you're going to Las Vegas anyway. As Tim has noted, there is lots to do between Tucson, the Canyon and Las Vegas, so if you budget a few days for that part of the trip, you can work around any unpleasant weather.

    If you're coming from the UK, I think you'd be most comfortable with what we call an Intermediate or Mid-sized car. That's a little bit bigger than your average car, but our roads are proportionately wider as well. Also, there tends to be not much of a price difference between this size and smaller cars, but a big price jump up to standard/full-sized and larger.

    The routes are pretty straight forward. I-10 and I-17 from Tucson to Flagstaff, and then I'd recommend US-89/US-180/AZ-64 for an anti-clockwise tour of the Canyon. Then you'd use I-40/US-93 to Las Vegas and I-15 from Vegas to San Diego.


  4. Default Reply to azbuck about our Christmas trip to US

    Many thanks for your info - very helpful. Been reading horror stories about taxes on car rentals! I guess it is cheaper to rent away from the airport. My daughter would love to drive - but she is only 24 - presumably we have to pay extra for her as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Rental Costs

    It isn't always cheaper to rent away from the airport, in fact, I've found several occations where renting at the airport wound up being cheaper, even after some of the extra fees were calculated. I always assumed that competition of lots of options at an airport was the reason those costs sometimes are cheaper.

    Of course the only way to know what things will be like for your trip is to shop around.

    Yes, you'll likely have to pay an extra charge to have your daughter drive, however, it may or may not be a big deal depending upon who you end up renting with. Before I was 25, I rented a few cars on trip and typically found places with a surcharge of only $10-20 per day for the under 25 driver, and once and a while found deals with no extra charge for 21-25 drivers. I found some of the smaller companies are more likely to give deals than some of the larger places like Hertz and Avis.

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