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  1. Default Itinerary advice (CA/NV Road trip)

    I've booked my return flights for Vegas (2 weeks) at the start of June for myself and 2 friends, all mid 20 males.

    This is our 1st draft of our itinerary (just a couple of hours of planning)

    Nights 1,2 and 3 will be spent in Vegas and the hotel has already been booked. We've all been before (sept 09)

    Day 4 (thurs)
    Rent our car, hopefully a large pick-up truck. Drive to Grand Canyon village, take a few snaps, then head south west towards San Diego, stop off at Needles and stay there for the night (purely for rest)

    Day 5 (fri)
    Early start, drive to San Diego where we will stay for 2 nights (friday and saturday)

    Day 7 (sun)
    Drive to Hollywood (maybe stop off at Laguna beach for food and rest etc). Stay in Hollywood for 1 night

    Day 8 (mon)
    Get up early, go see a bit of Hollywood. Set off towards San Francisco at about 2pm, Stay over in Merced (mainly just for rest).

    Day 9 (tues)
    Early start again, drive to San Francisco, go see Alcatraz.

    Day 10 (wed)
    Big drive back towards Vegas, planning on stopping for the night in Bishop for rest. Also plan to go to Chinatown (bodie) to take a few snaps.

    Day 11 (thurs)
    Final drive back to Vegas, Stopping in Bad water, Death Valley for pictures etc. Arrive back at Vegas for roughly 1600hrs

    Days 12, 13 and 14 spent partying in Vegas.

    Any advice will be appreciated, this is just a rough plan. I think we might be doing too much in the 7 days that we have the car. Also, the locations for rest are purely chosen using google maps.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Rushed.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You are probably biting off more than you can chew.

    Driving to the Grand canyon and taking a few snaps is all you are going to have time for and really isn't doing it justice. You are also going to have around 10 hours of driving to do that day.

    Merced is a bit out of the way on the way to SF and you might be better staying somewhere along 101, although you will be missing a great coastal drive on route 1 that you won't have time for.

    You could make the drive to Bishop OK but Bodie [which is a Ghost town] would take too much time IMO, plus it is on unmade Rd that would be in breach of your car rental agreement. If Tioga pass is open [CA120] you can drive over the Sierra Nevada and straight past the amazing Yosemite NP.

    To make this trip enjoyable and successful I would recommend you cut back on the miles a bit or the time spent in Vegas.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The Other Edge You May Be On

    I agree with Dave that your plans for the RoadTrip portion of your vacation will have you doing a whole lot of driving in a very short time period for very little reward. The other place where you may be underestimating what you will pay is in your car/truck rental. First and foremost, "mid 20s" is a critical age. If you are 25 then everything will be fine, but each and every member of your troupe who is 24 or less will have to pay an extra $200 ($25/day times 8 days) if he wants to spend even 1 second driving the rental vehicle. And while I'm fairly certain you can find someone willing to rent you a pickup, that is not a typical rental vehicle and you can expect to pay a very hefty premium if you insist on renting one.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    In addition to what Buck mentioned about the cost, a pick-up is really an odd and frankly poor choice for 3 people. Every rental pick-up I've ever seen is only a 2 seater! Even if it does have an extended cab, the back seat is going to be extremely small and uncomfortable for this long of a trip (especially when you've got several days where all you really have time to do is drive.) A pick-up also leaves no place to safely secure your luggage, and it really does not provide any extra benefit as even if it is a 4 wheel drive pickup, because taking it off road is a violation of your rental contract.

    Otherwise, I'll just add that I agree with Dave that you really are trying to do too much in too little time, and its going to force you to drive past some of the world's most amazing sites with barely any time to take a picture. The Grand Canyon day being a perfect example. If you are going to drive there and then back to Needles in one day, you might as well just pick up a post card from your Vegas hotel's gift shop, which will allow you to have the picture without spending 10+ hours in the car to spend 5 minutes taking the picture yourself.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the comments and opinions. I agree, i think we've planned too much in too little time. Back to the drawing board! I think we're all willing to drop San Fran from the plans. It'll have to be on another trip, another year.

    We're all from the UK and aged 24, 25 and 26. Unfortunately the 26 year old doesn't drive! We might be joined though by 2 more friends (24 + 26). I found large pickup rental on the enterprise website (it gives options for large or normal sized pickup), $400 per week inc tax. But i might also rethink the car type and get something more practical. This was also the price without including the younger driver.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    If you are using Enterprise, a much better vehicle choice would be a "full size" car. This will be a 5 passenger sedan suitable for 4 people plus luggage. If you have 5 or more people, start looking at SUV's or vans, not pickup trucks.

  7. Default

    Revision to the itinerary (obviously still early, not very detailed and will no doubt change again)

    Day 4 (Thurs)
    Rent a car (anything large and spacious), 10:30am head straight to San Diego, stay for 3 nights.

    Day 7 (Sun)
    Drive to Laguna Beach, stay the night.

    Day 8 (Mon)
    Head to hollywood, stay 2 nights.

    Day 10 (wednes)
    Leave LA and head for Kingman AZ (325 miles), stay the night.

    Day 11 (thurs)
    Early start in Kingman and head over to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, spend a few hours there and then head back to Vegas for our final 3 nights.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    You've flipped the order, but still aren't giving the Grand Canyon anywhere near enough time to do it justice. Simply put, you're still looking at 9-10 hours of driving alone to do Kingman - Canyon - Vegas in a single day.

    From LA, you need to plan to get to at least Williams to spend the night - and if you can afford staying even closer to the rim, even better - if you want to have any time at all to actually see some of the Grand Canyon and make it back to Vegas in a day. Even there, a half day is the most you'll have, and that time will fly by if you want to do anything other than look over the edge of the rim from the village.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    You've flipped the order, but still aren't giving the Grand Canyon anywhere near enough time to do it justice. Simply put, you're still looking at 9-10 hours of driving alone to do Kingman - Canyon - Vegas in a single day.

    From LA, you need to plan to get to at least Williams to spend the night - and if you can afford staying even closer to the rim, even better - if you want to have any time at all to actually see some of the Grand Canyon and make it back to Vegas in a day. Even there, a half day is the most you'll have, and that time will fly by if you want to do anything other than look over the edge of the rim from the village.
    Yeh thats been discussed between us, we might actually shave a day off Vegas and return on the Friday, rather than the Thursday. This giving us plenty of time around the Canyon if we find a place to stay near there.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    A tip - the 7 Mile Lodge in Tusayan only takes walkins, they do not take reservations and seldom answer the phone. It's the cheapest motel in town and it's pretty decent. If you don't luck out, there's plenty of reasonably priced hotels in Flagstaff and a few in Williams, or you can get a room at the higher priced places in Tusayan.

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