L.A To Grand Canyon via Vegas/Yosemite... Help
Im Stef and im from Manchester, England.
Me and my best friend have booked our flights to L.A for this summer (July 2nd) and are wanting to travel from L.A to the Grand Canyon via Yosemite and Vegas. Were going to be renting a car the day we leave L.A. Im having difficulty deciding on how long to stay in each place, places to visit and the travelling distance between some areas. Ive been to the west coast before but it was a guided coach trip a few years back.
We have approx 20 days to do it in - Our aim is to take in the route with the best scenery
Here is a list of the places that wed like to either visit for the day or stay in. The nights
L.A (HOTEL: stay approx 3 Nights - beaches, theme parks etc)
in Santa Monica / Barbara area (not sure weather to stay or visit)
in the Monterey bay area (Aquarium) (not sure weaher to stay or visit)
in the San Fransisco area (HOSTEL/HOTEL: stay in this area - maybe not the same place though for approx 3 Nights - maybe Sacramento for 1 night?)
Yosimite (camping: 2 nights - Maybe 1 night in Hostel)
Las Vegas area (Hotel: 3 nights) maybe see the area 51 / death valley?
in the Williams area (Motel: 1 Night - visit the Grand Canyon)
Flagstaff (HOSTEL: 1 Night)
in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area (Hotel/Hostell: 2 Nights - water park, 4x4 biking)
Tucson/Mesa (not sure weather to stay or just visit)
Im really worried as ive only passed my driving test 2 Months ago in the UK and the roads seem really different. Ovbiously the main concern is driving on the opposite side of the road. With me having little driving experience the original plan was to travel via Greyhound Coaches but i dont fancy that idea too much now.
Can anyone suggest things to do and places to visit whilst on a rough route to these places? Are the places listed with worth just passing through? Id really like to see Antelope or Bryce Canyon but it seems slightley off route/far. Also really like to see a old ghost town, maybe stay near by or in one. I like the small little interesting villages/towns like Williams & Cowboy country. Quite rural areas too.
As we are staying in the big cities (SF/LA/Vegas) for at least 2/3 days each would it be worth just hiring a car inbetween these areas?
Sorry for so many questions but ive been pretty stressed out trying to plan everything over the past few days.
If anyone has any ideas for this itinerary please let me know, im certainly open to many ideas.
Last edited by nolimit966; 01-07-2010 at 12:58 PM.
Reason: spelling mistake
Cart Before the Horse
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!
Stef, I'm sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, but if you've really already booked your flights on the assumption that you'd be able to rent a car here, you are in for a possibly very expensive life lesson. The simple fact is that if you are under 25, you would most likely have to pay a steep surcharge of $25-50 per day for each underage driver. If you are under 21, as it seems, you will probably not be able to rent a car at all, or only for an exorbitant fee. Also, if there are any restrictions on your UK license, for example limiting the hours during which you can drive or how many passengers you can carry, you will not be able to rent a car. You need to get this taken care of now, before you do any more planning, Get a car reserved, making sure to let the rental agency know your age and any restrictions on your license. You might have a bit better luck trying to do this thorough a UK or European agency than a North American one, but this is something you need to take care of first, before all the other bells and whistles.
Welcome to the RTA Forum!
How old will you be for this trip. Not having much experience won't necessarily mean much, but if you are under 21, it will be virtually impossible to rent a car.
Having said that, Greyhound simply doesn't go do many of the places you want to visit, so a car really is far and away your best option. You'll just want to rent one car for the whole trip, or you'll end up getting killed by one way drop off fees.
Bryce/Antelope Canyon wouldn't really be too far off your route. It could be worked in pretty easily. In the sceme of things, it would probably be easier to add than say, Tucson - which is 2 hours from Phoenix, heading the wrong way to get back LA. You just have to figure out what your priorities are.
Otherwise, I really would recommend just looking around a bit. This is far and away the most popular topic on this forum, with several thousand posts on the subject (you're at least the 3rd with almost this exact same itinerary in the past day alone). Spending some time reading should give you tons of ideas to fill things out.
hi, thanks a lot for your reply! Im 26 years old and will turn 27 a few days after starting the trip. I live near Manchester city center hence the reason ive only decided to do and pass my driving test until my age. ;-)
Ive found a decent one way car hire at approx $32 a day which is really good via Netflights.com, im going to be really nervous driving on the road though.
I am almost certain that i will change the trip to visit Antelope canyon, it looks absolutley stunning. I have also been researching old Ghost towns and villages that we could pass through like Bodie, Calico and a few others. I love the old gold rush/mining towns.... anything historic thats slightly erie i find cool.
We are both on a pretty tight budget as were going to Hong Kong and Auckland New Zealand just before this road trip but trying to pack in and include as much as possible realisticly. Hostels seem to be more expensive that a hotel in most places as Hotels are paid per room & Hostels per person so we have gone for the cheaper option in most places.
Thats so much for your replies
very much so
Yeah, Hostels are usually a good deal for solo travelers, basically the same price as a motel for duos, and actually most expensive for larger groups.
The one advantage to hostels is that at time you can use them to stay in a better location, right in the middle of a city, for the same prices as you'd pay for a motel out in the suburbs. The downside is that those places often have very little parking available.
yer definitely. Another good thing about Hostels is meeting people travelling in the same area, which im really looking forward to.
Thats the major downside to booking hotels and accomodation in advance.
Im going to be confined to that particular route. If i meet a group of people who i may want to travel with, its hardly going to be possible. Ill have to take them with me ;-)
It should be great though, im really looking forward to it.
Thanks for your reply guys. Looks like im going to be using this forum quite a bit :-)
Last edited by nolimit966; 01-07-2010 at 04:36 PM.
Reason: my dodgy English
Hi, has anyone used Greyhound before for travel? Im slightley confused to how things work.
If i buy a ticket going from L.A To Las vegas which takes over 20 odd hours of travel im ovbiously going to be too tired to do the entire trip in one go. Can i get off at any stop and stay in that place for the night... or for a few nights and carry on the journey with the same ticket?
When I bought a ticket from Bradboro VT to Boston MA, I happened to mention to the lady that later I would get a ticket to NYC and then on to DC. She told me if I purchase the ticket to DC, with stopovers in Boston and NYC, I would save a considerable amount.
So the answer is yes... just tell the clerk what you want to do, and they will accommodate it in your purchase.
Another option is to take a hostel shuttle from LA to LV. I don't think it is restricted to hostel guests, though they may take preference. Check with USA Hostels if they still run the shuttle between their hostels. (It is five years since I used it.) It is considerably cheaper and quicker.
Where on earth did you see that it would take 20 hours to go from LA to Vegas? Greyhound is a much slower method of travel because it does make very frequent stops - however, even on the longest trip, its not going to take anywhere near 20 hours. It looks like most trips for this leg are in the 5-8 hour range.
Most tickets are sold from point to point, however, they do have an unlimited pass where you can get off as often as you like over a set number of days.
it was just an example. Say i booked a ticket from Orlando to Portland Oregon would i be able to take a few days break from travelling if i purchased a ticket or would i have to do the lot in one go