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  1. Default UK Family driving in August SF,LV,GC, Yosemite

    Hi to everyone from the cold UK ! Bewildered by the size of the USA and the amount of posts on this site, so asking a few basic questions to get us started. We are taking the kids (15&10) on their and our first trip to USA late July early August. Around 14-16 days. Tickets not yet booked. Thankfully they are not into Disney but like us want to get a taste of the country in all its splendour - open space, cities, ocean, malls and burger joints. Our current plan is fly to Vegas (2 nights) drive to Grand Canyon (2 nights) then to Yosemite (3 nights) - concerned here because don't want to fly halfway across the world to be stuck in a car, any way to break the journey? Lake Tahoe (3 nights), Beach (Carmel, Monterey?) (2 nights), San Fran (2 nights) then fly home exhausted. We are active but not serious outdoor nuts, we like water and walking but are looking for time to relax as well as be awestruck. Is this a doable trip, the plan is roughly anitclockwise. Want we don't want to do is spend too long in the car at any one stretch with the kids screaming in the back saying they miss their friends ! Our preference is for real small town America feel not endless commercialism. Any help most welcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default First Step: Look at your map some more

    Quote Originally Posted by mike o'riley View Post
    Hi to everyone from the cold UK
    It's a bit chilly here on this side of the pond this year too, but it's going to a nice hot summer here. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    Bewildered by the size of the USA
    This seems like a good assessment -- looking at your destinations -- you can reach all of them -- but not in the order you listed in your post above (unless you really do want to spend 12+ hours in the car most days).
    Our current plan is fly to Vegas
    Looking at your route, it would seem to make more sense to start the car journey in Phoenix -- spend a couple of nights at the Grand Canyon, drive to Las Vegas and thence on to Yosemite via Death Valley and Tioga Pass. But Lake Tahoe doesn't make much sense unless you drive from Las Vegas directly to Lake Tahoe and back south again to Yosemite and thence over to the coast. Summer along the Monterey coast is going to be foggy and cool -- there's still plenty to do -- but it won't really be beach trip... (unless you don't mind long pants and sweatshirts).

    Here are some threads to begin reading for ideas....

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-04-2009 at 04:22 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mike o'riley View Post
    Tickets not yet booked.
    Our current plan is fly to Vegas (2 nights) drive to Grand Canyon (2 nights) then to Yosemite (3 nights) - concerned here because don't want to fly halfway across the world to be stuck in a car, any way to break the journey? Lake Tahoe (3 nights), Beach (Carmel, Monterey?) (2 nights), San Fran (2 nights) then fly home exhausted.
    Mike,

    Before you get too set on your route, look into flights and car hire. Most often you will get a large cost added for picking up a car in one city and dropping off in another. Therefore, in general it is cheaper if you plan a circular route. However, in the region you are going to it is often possible to get one way rentals between Vegas and San Fran or LA so check that out early on in the planning process to see if its an option for you.

    A big potential plus for you is that when you book a transatlantic return flight with a scheduled airline you will normally get a free stopover. This means for instance you could book a return trip to LA with a free stopover in Vegas. You could then fly to Vegas and see the Grand Canyon and Death Valley then fly from Vegas to LA and see the west coast and then fly home from LA for the same cost as a return ticket to LA. Even better maybe for your plans you could book an open jaw flight out to San Fran and back from LA with a free stopover at Vegas. Then you would fly to Vegas and explore, fly to San Fran, make your way down to LA (it is easy to get a car with no drop off charges between San Fran and LA) and fly home from LA all for the price of a return ticket to LA.

    UK

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