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  1. Default California (Flagstaff via SF & LA -> San Diego)

    First of all hello everyone,
    I am a student from Europe planning a roadtrip coming summer.
    We will probably start end of June (18.) and we would like to go for +/-14 days.
    We will start in Flagstaff (AZ) with 7 people. Preferably we would like to rent a big van for a little more than 7 passengers, so we have more space for our luggage. My first question is, if you can tell me addresses of trustful car rental services in the area of Flagstaff?
    Our planned route looks like this:
    Flagstaff -> Las Vegas - Yosemite - San Francisco - Coast - L.A. - O.C. - San Diego
    We think this route is doable in +-14 days... But what do you guys think?
    Furthermore we planned to book only those hostels/hotels/motels which will be in the big cities like L.A. & S.F. The other ones we would like to arrange by ourselves. What is an appropriate price for a hostel/hotel/motel in this area?
    Which tips / suggestions can you make?

    It would be very nice if I will receive some answers to my questions, it would help with our planning.
    THANK YOU very much in advance.

    Greetings,
    Felix

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

    Default Yikes! Seven People in one vehicle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    I am a student from Europe planning a roadtrip coming summer.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! I hope you and the other six travelers are already real good friends? Even if you are, you probably ought to have everyone take our roadtrip compatibility quiz and make sure you are all planning on the same style of trip. [Note: Are these seven adults or are some of the travelers children? If most are children, the logisitics of having seven people aboard might be easier....]
    We will probably start end of June (18.) and we would like to go for +/-14 days.
    The distances are reasonable for the 14-day span, the pass into Yosemite should be open by then, but not guaranteed.
    My first question is, if you can tell me addresses of trustful car rental services in the area of Flagstaff?
    Any national chain is fine. Personally I use National -- but there are ample choices and this thread discusses many of the options.
    Furthermore we planned to book only those hostels/hotels/motels which will be in the big cities like L.A. & S.F. The other ones we would like to arrange by ourselves. What is an appropriate price for a hostel/hotel/motel in this area?
    Actually in the big cities there are more choices available, here are some tips about lodging options and saving money in general. Be sure to look at the bottom of this page for more ideas.

    Happy Planning

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-21-2006 at 11:49 AM. Reason: clarification

  3. Default Its a doable trip in 14 days

    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    First of all hello everyone,
    I am a student from Europe planning a roadtrip coming summer.
    We will probably start end of June (18.) and we would like to go for +/-14 days.
    We will start in Flagstaff (AZ) with 7 people. Preferably we would like to rent a big van for a little more than 7 passengers, so we have more space for our luggage. My first question is, if you can tell me addresses of trustful car rental services in the area of Flagstaff?
    Our planned route looks like this:
    Flagstaff -> Las Vegas - Yosemite - San Francisco - Coast - L.A. - O.C. - San Diego
    We think this route is doable in +-14 days... But what do you guys think?
    Furthermore we planned to book only those hostels/hotels/motels which will be in the big cities like L.A. & S.F. The other ones we would like to arrange by ourselves. What is an appropriate price for a hostel/hotel/motel in this area?
    Which tips / suggestions can you make?
    Hello Felix, and Weldome to the Roadtrip America forum!

    First, its a very doable roadtrip in about 14 days -- you could do the trip without too much push in about 6-7 days, so you have time to stop and visit places and enjoy them. As a rule of thumb it's a full days drive from Flagstaff to Las Vegas, another full day's drive to Yosemite from there, about a half day's drive (or a bit more) to SF, about a 2-3 day drive down the coast from SF to LA (depending upon what you want to see, do or stop at). From LA to OC is between 30 minutes and an hour, depending upon where you are in the LA area. From OC to San Diego is about 2 hours.

    Hotels/ Motels/ Hostels etc -- Mid June will be right after school gets out for most people. It isn't the big time of vacation (that's late July through August), so the places to stay will be open, but not amazingly crowded. If you're heading for a specific place, and want to stay right there (for example, in Yosemite valley) you'd probably be advised to get reservations. Similarly, some of the popular beach hotels might also be full up -- at least on the weekends. However, the odds of you being able to call ahead by a day and getting a room reserved is very good in most places is almost certain -- and in most places where there are a number of hotels as options, you'll probably be able to just show up and find a room. (You may get a slightly lower rate if you reserve at room, though -- depends upon the hotel/ motel). But if its a highly desirable place, without a lot of options for different hotels/ lodging/ etc -- you might want to book a room at least a few days in advance.

    Prices will vary in hotels, depending upon location, quality and amenities. Depending upon where you stay, you should be able to get a reasonable hotel for between $40-60 per person per night. Some hotels are less expensive, and others will be more. Hostels will be somewhat less expensive, and a campground will be around $20-30 per night for a campsite, but you would need camping equipment.

    Car Rentals -- You might go on line and check out some of the major car rental chains which have offices in Flagstaff. I'm not sure who those are, but the major chains like Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Dollar, or Budget probably have a location there. All the major car rental companies are pretty reputable, and have web sites which spell out what you can rent, estimate how much it will cost to rent, and where you can pick up and drop off the car. You need to check on if they rent to folks under 21, if that is applicable, and what exactly they'll need to rent you the car (International or state-issued driver's license? Passport? Proof of insurance??) And be aware, there is sometimes a one-way dropoff fee if you rent in City A, and then return the car in City B.

    Depending upon where you are at in your planning, an option would be to start the trip in Phoenix. Phoenix is a couple of hours drive south of Flagstaff and has a more major hub of an airport to fly in and out from, and might give you a larger set of car rental agencies to pick from. It would be about a half day's to a full day's drive to return to Phoenix from San Diego (5-7 hours drive), if you wanted to do a loop trip back to Phoenix.

    From a tip standpoint? Hmm.. once you get a bit more detail on your planning there are people on this board who can give you a lot of detail on places to visit and how to do things to make it more fun and easier to do. But right now, I'd just note that June may be a warm month to visit the southwest US. Temperatures may be over 90 deg F during the day through the deserts, so you'll want to make sure you drink a lot of water.

    You'll probably want to have a small ice chest in the vehicle -- pretty much everyone on the board carries a small ice chest on their road trips and uses it to carry water or other non-alcoholic drinks as well as the basics for making lunch (sandwiches, fruit, etc) on the road. This gives you some flexibility on your trip, and saves a bit of money compared to buying lunch all the time, and usually is a bit healthier of a choice for lunch. (FYI -- open alcoholic beverages in the car can get you a hefty ticket by the local police just about anywhere, even if the driver is not drinking.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Starting Options

    You might consider starting from a city other than Flagstaff. Air service into Flagstaff - and I also suspect van rental options - are going to be much more limited than if you started from a major city such as Phoenix or Las Vegas. From either of those cities you could easily drive onto Flagstaff and continue on your trip.

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