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  1. Default Planning our trip for 09

    My sister in-law, her daughter and I are coming to the States on the 29th May 09, we have planned so far to pick up our car and drive to Lake Elsinor, spend a nite or two then drive to Vegas and spend three nites, after that not sure.
    My sister in-law and I have been to the States twice before, 2006 and 2007.
    We just loved your country and cant wait to come back.
    I couldnt get the hang of driving on the wrong side of the road but my sister was great so she will be doing all the driving and im great with a map.
    We want to go to montana and sanfran then drive the coast back to LA.
    We land on the 29th May and fly out 27th June.
    My niece is having a birthday on the 2nd June so we want to be in vegas for that.
    Any idea on what we do and where we go after vegas, not sure on distances so is montana an option, what would be the best route to take.
    Hope I have given you enough info to help me with our trip, still a ways off but want to make sure we get it right this time.
    Thanks for any help you can give us, cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default So many options.

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A forums,

    If Montana is on your "to do" list then it is certainly possible with your time scale. I would think you are looking at around a 3000 mile trip with side trips, if you wanted to hit the Oregon coast before heading to San Fran then add approx 300 more, of course all very rough estimates depending on your chosen destinations along the way.
    If you left Vegas on the 3rd or 4th of June and returned to L/A for a couple of days before flying out you still have 20 + days on the road, so you would be looking at covering less than 200 miles a day. You will want to spend longer in certain places and the mileage will vary as such.

    All that said, we will need to know what you are looking for, the things that appeal before we can help you piece a route together, such as natural wonders, city's and how long you wish to spend behind the wheel and how much in one spot.
    There are so many options you could spend your entire time within a few hundred miles around Vegas and not scrape the surface of whats on offer.

    I would have a look at an on line mapping program such as Google maps that will give you an idea of mileages [although travel times are very over optimistic] and have a search of the many threads on the forums and pop back with an outline plan and we can help you piece it together.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default And Here are a Few

    As Dave pointed out, knowing your particular interests would help, but still we can list some of the highlights to give you an idea of what's available on a general Las Vegas, Montana, San Francisco RoadTrip. These would include Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in southwest Utah. At your first stop at a national park, be sure to get an annual pass, it will pay for itself in short order. As you drive up through Utah, you'll have to decide between continuing up I-15 to Salt Lake City and the Great Salt Lake or heading east on I-70 to see Arches National Park and then turning north to visit Dinosaur National Monument. In either case, you should then look at using US-89 up through Wyoming to visit the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.

    For the drive back to San Francisco, I think I agree with Dave that the best scenery is found by heading first to the Oregon coast. I-90 is the major highway, but for a slower pace and to get a feel for crossing the continental divide, try US-12 through Lolo Pass and the Nez Pierce lands. then it's down the Columbia River gorge to Portland then south to San Francisco alternating between the coast and inland attractions such as Crater Lake and Napa Valley.


  4. Default Planning trip for 09

    Thanks for your advice, it all sounds wonderful.
    I would love to see some ghost towns and we have seen montana in movies, it looks beautiful so thats why we chose to go there.
    I guess it realy doesn`t matter what we see as it is all new to us.
    Thanks again for your help and I will ask more questions as our trip gets closer, wish I had of known about you all on our previous trips.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Your welcome.

    You are right, it is wonderful.

    Thanks again for your help and I will ask more questions as our trip gets closer
    We will look forward to it.

    Here's a link to whet your appetite,Some great pics in this report.

  6. Default car hire, best options

    Heading over your way in late May 09, could anyone tell us the best way to hire our car and suggest size.
    Last trip we hired through travel agent but have been told we can do it cheaper ourselves online or just roll up on the day.
    Also the size is a problem, we dont want anything to small as we need plenty of room for our luggage, three women with three lrg cases each minimum.
    Your shopping is to good to pass up.
    Our last car was a pontiac, 4 door hatchback. Befor that we had a PT cruiser but there was only two of us on that trip.
    Our travel plans are LA, Las vegas, head north towards Montana, not sure how far we will get just keep going untill we have had enough, want to go to Sanfran then down the coast back to LA. Hired through Alamo last time, short walk from airport marriott motel to pick up the car.
    Thanks for any help you can offer,

    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 10-13-2008 at 05:40 PM. Reason: Merged with original thread about this trip

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default work

    Generally if you do the work of searching for a good deal, you can find a deal that is better than a travel agent - since you don't have to pay a commission or fee if you do it yourself. That does mean you might have to spend more time searching around for the deal that works best for you, using the various sites online. Of course, if you do that, you'll also have to make sure you check all of the fine print and make sure everything like the car size and pickup location will work well for you. None of these things are especially hard, but they are things that a travel agent would usually take care of for you.

    I wouldn't recommend just showing up if you want a good deal. You might be able to negotiate if they have some extra cars available, but its not a route I would try myself and you'll probably pay more than you would if you comparison shop beforehand.

    As far as size goes, I imagine a full or standard sized car would work pretty well for you. When you shop for cars, the websites will give you a estimate of how much you can fit into each car (and you can usually fit in quite a bit more than they estimate, if you pack carefully.)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Yosemite.

    Hi Girls,

    I agree, you are better off searching for car rental deals on the Internet and booking before hand.

    You may also find the links in this thread useful for the L/A >Vegas >SF part of your trip.

    I would also reccommend a detour [time permitting] to Yosemite when around the S/F area.

  9. Default car hire

    Thanks for your reply Michael,
    I will start checking them out.

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