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  1. #1

    Default Christmas Road Trip for Kiwis

    Hi there,

    Myself and three friends of mine from New Zealand are considering flying into San Francisco this December and doing a bit of a trip around the west coast. We are all in our mid 20s so looking to see some amazing sights and have a good time.
    Our tentative plans so far are for an 11 day trip.
    We plan to leave San Francisco 23rd December and arrive Las Vegas (missing yosemite and death valley) around christmas day. From there we will look to drive to the grand canyon and then to San Diego then to Los Angeles and finishing up again in San Francisco 3rd of January.
    Do you think this trip is possible and will be enjoyable in this amount of time or should we allow more time for it?
    We are going to hire a campervan which we will sleep in so if anyone has any good tips on good camping spots that won't be too cold at that time of year that would be awesome!
    Many thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default cool

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You certainly can have a good time with the amount of time you have, and the basic outline of your trip is the subject of thousands of other threads on this forum, so I would start there first.

    December is very much winter, and that means you will be dealing with cool to cold temperatures. Certainly, the mountain areas like Yosemite or the Grand Canyon are the more obvious places that you'll think about the cold, but remember it still gets quite cool in the desert at night, so even places like Las Vegas might not be as warm as you think.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Time and budget.

    Hello and welcome,

    We are going to hire a campervan which we will sleep in so if anyone has any good tips on good camping spots that won't be too cold at that time of year that would be awesome!
    The RV's are well equipped to deal with the cold generally speaking with good heating and a generator if you are not hooked up to the mains.

    In Vegas you have Circus Circus at the top end of the Strip and South of the strip there is the Oasis resort which we liked. They have a free shuttle bus service that runs to the strip where you can pick up the Strip trolley system. Although it goes around the houses a bit picking up from various other locations and the $20 cab fare is worth it.
    Mather campground is inside the Grand canyon NP and is the best location for the village and rim.

    Do you think this trip is possible and will be enjoyable in this amount of time or should we allow more time for it?
    It's a nice amount of time for the trip but if you have a bit more time to spare and your budget allows it then I would take it and spend a little longer in places or include Yosemite and/or Death valley.

    If you want to travel by RV then that's great, personally I love it, but with 4 of you the cost of one would be in the same region as stopping at budget Motels and renting a car, and as your visit is mainly based on city's a car could be the better option for getting around.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default Death Valley

    If you have the time and interest to see Death Valley, December is one of the best times to go. Instead of 45 degree heat, you'll probably find slightly cool temperatures (not the freezing cold of the high desert, however).

    Are there specific things you'd like to see on your trip (e.g. National Parks)? The northern route from Grand Canyon to San Diego (i.e. I-40 to I-15) will take you by the old Route 66. The southern route (i.e. I-17 to I-10 to I-8) will take you through Phoenix and Tucson for more of an "Old West" feel.

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