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  1. Default trip planned for July

    Hello there
    my wife and I are going to Vegas for a lighting show in July and my good lady has said I should plan the trip [as she has already visited years ago]
    Where do I start? We are coming from Melbourne Australia

    we have around 2 weeks
    I like the idea of:
    Getting hitched in Vegas
    live bands
    LA, San Fran, Vancouver?
    should we fly somewhere further like NY? or does that take too long?
    we're not into scenery as such, more like cities and bars [well, we are going to be childless for 14 days
    What's the weather like on the West coast in July?

    I’d appreciate any feedback, it will give me a place to start planning


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default staying west

    If cities and bars are your thing, then it really is hard to beat Vegas. Its hard to be sin city for the large variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants.

    With 14 days you could fly across to NY, but I really think that you could do just as well taking a trip across to LA and San Diego (walking across into Mexico for a night or two). Phoenix and San Francisco would be options too, if you feel the need to spread out farther.

    Weather will be pretty hot in Vegas in July (90-100+ F), it is the desert afterall, but it would be cooler if you head towards the coast.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default The most popular trip here!

    San Francisco-LA-Vegas appears to be the most popular route here. We get scads of questions about it. And it seems like it would be the type of trip you're looking for. You might review some of these discussions for ideas.

    Since it sounds like you're into the bar/clubbing scene, I agree that Vegas is hard to beat. LA and San Francisco are both pretty well known for this as well. But this is not my area of expertise....I tend to be a camper/hiker you'll have to find hints for hot spots from someone else. :)

    You should be aware that you can't drive rental cars into Mexico. Your best bet is to drive to the border and either walk over or take a bus.

    July weather should be great. It's a lovely month.

    Personally, I wouldn't bother with the plane trip to NYC. Unless, of course, this would be a huge highlight of your trip. Is the hassle of another flight and the time it takes worth it to hit the bright lights of the Big Apple? You decide. With two weeks, it wouldn't be my choice.

    Vancouver is too far to go on this trip, imho.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the replies guys
    I have some reading to do from the links and I'm sure to have more questions.
    NYC can wait until next time, you're right, too far for our time limit.
    sounds like San Francisco-LA-Vegas is the go, would like to include Mexico but my partner said Tijuana is really touristy and not a true indication of what Mexico is really like? I guess any place along the border will be the same?

    We went to Hong Kong/China awhile back and found the best times were all off the beaten track away from the tourist ''hotspots''
    Hiring a convertable will be very tempting.
    Look forward to discovering more info

    thanks again

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

    Default Real, No

    Tijuana is not the "Real" Mexico, if by real you mean a good represenation of most Mexican cities. However it is a very real example of the modern Mexican border town.

    By that I mean there certainly are some major toursty sections that cater to people coming over the border to shop and to party. If you are into a party scene, it certainly could be worth checking out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default The thrill of wind in your hair!

    If you get a convertible, you will need to pay a premium for it. Personally, I think it would be worth it. I caravanned through Utah/Arizona/New Mexico with some friends and one of them had a convertible. Oh, how I envied her! Some tips: while it may increase your fuel consumption, she often had the air-conditioning running with the top down for the cool breeze because the air can be quite hot. And she wore a big brimmed, straw hat. You don't want to get sunburned. Also use sunscreen liberally. There were times when the heat or the intensity of the sun got to be too much and she put the roof up but she had it down more often than not. Go for it if you can afford it!

    My best trips have been ones where off-the-beaten-path, serendipitous finds are mixed up with touristy activities. Of course, I'm a fan of the tacky tourist trap. Don't knock 'em. There's something appealing about them. So you might enjoy a trip to see what a Mexican border town is and a few of those other tourist "traps" you'll see here and there along your trip.

    Happy planning and let us know how we can help further.

  7. Default A couple of notes..

    If you want to go into Mexico from the US, just a couple of comments..

    First, please check on the specific passport and/or visa requirements for an Australian to cross the border and back. (Shouldn't be a big deal, but it never hurts to check into it before hand...)

    Second, most rental cars in the US have a clause that they can't be taken out of the US. You can get this waived, but it may cost money and definitely isn't part of the standard contract.

    Third, check on car insurance in Mexico. There are different coverages required for US citizens to drive in Mexico, so I suspect you'll need to do something different for a rental car.

    Lastly, if you want to do "Coronas on the beach in Mexico", you do need to get away from the border. A couple of options here -- one is to go down Baja, towards Rosarita, or Ensenada, or all the way down to Cabo (not a drive option, I'm afraid). There's also an option to go to Puerto Penasco (at the top of the Gulf of California/ Sea or Cortez), which is 30-40 miles from the US border with Arizona. You get to Puerto Peasco through the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, nominally from Tucson or Yuma. I've seen a couple of interesting reviews of the place -- starting to get a couple of good hotels on the beaches there. A smaller, more laid back town I understand.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default I don't think its possible anywhere

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison View Post
    Second, most rental cars in the US have a clause that they can't be taken out of the US. You can get this waived, but it may cost money and definitely isn't part of the standard contract.
    Larrison, are you aware of any company that will give permission to take a car into Mexico? I know some companies will give permission to drive a rental car into Canada, but I've never heard of any company allowing their cars into Mexico under any circumstances.

  9. Default Nothing in writing..

    I've heard (second bar stool on the left -- so nothing in writing) that some rental companies had a means to allow you to take a rental car into Mexico. Added costs, more complications and new insurance and coverage. This came from a friend who used to drive from Alaska to Cabo every year and back. Had to do when his vehicle broke down in San Diego and he needed to get on down to Baja. He was complaining bitterly about what it cost him to get the waiver to take a rental car to Baja and back.

    I also suspect that if you drop your car off in San Diego, you can pick up a new one at the TJ airport as a rental. Just take the trolley down to the border, walk across, and catch a Taxi to the TJ airport. Not the same as driving through, but ought to work..

    PS -- a quick search shows that Advantage Rent A Car does allow traveling to Mexico with a rental. But there are surcharges and extra insurance and etc. Dollar Rent a Car has a similar program for going to Puerto Penasco, and you can't take it any further.
    That web page also has a reference to Adobe Car & Van Rental of Tucson for taking a rental to Puerto Penasco, with similar restrictions. Express Rental has a similar program from San Diego.

  10. Default San Fran to LA

    Hi Guys
    I'm back, got to start putting some work into this now
    flights booked, end of July, over for 2 weeks!!!

    the plan so far is...

    arrived in San Francisco pick up hire car
    not booked yet, looking for a convertible though, have checked out Hertz and Alamo.
    meander down the coast, have 5 days to get to Vegas for a [yawn] lighting show. [well, got to claim this trip somehow :)]
    will visit a theme park
    will go to Mexico for a day [night?] not fussed about taking the hire car across border
    leaving from LA

    so now I just have to fill in a few gaps I guess, trying to check out gig guides in various areas [into alternatives bands, I.E. The Killers, The Bravery]

    don't want to plan it in too much detail
    planning on taking a Satnav and iPod with FM wireless connection

    any thoughts most welcome


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