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  1. Default Oct/Nov Trip from Las Vegas to Seattle/Vancouver First Timer!!


    Me and my girlfriend are looking at planning a road trip in Oct/November of this year for 14 days. We are from the UK. We want to do quite a lot of things/places and was wondering whether this would be do-able in the time we have?

    We were looking at

    Heathrow to Las Vegas
    Las Vegas (1 Night)
    Grand Canyon (1 Night)
    Las Vegas Again (1 Night) - Or possibly just get a helicopter tour of GC from LV instead of night in GC.
    Los Angeles - 1 Night + 1 day (to do sights)
    San Francisco - 2 nights
    Seattle - 1 Night
    Vancouver - 1-2 Nights
    Vancouver to Heathrow

    Thats roughly where we want to go. We may drop off Vancouver if it is too much to do.

    Any suggestions where we can populate the other days/nights on route to stay for the night so driving is not too much/far to go in a day?

    Should we be staying in any of the places longer to get more of the sights in?

    From what I have read the weather should be ok/warmish down in California around that time of year, will it be colder up north?

    Some of the things we would like to do along the way are: try to surf for a day, tasting wine for a day/night (Napa Valley?) and generally see other sights along the way.

    How does that sound? Do-able? Or unrealistic?



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

    Default My thoughts.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    With the limited time you have I think it is all a bit rushed and in all honesty I would make the most of your time in the Southwest where you will see more by not just adding on a lot of miles to 'see' different area's.

    With your itinerary as it is, I wouldn't go back to Las Vegas from Grand canyon but go directly to LA. Heli tours from Vegas generally go the West rim which is not part of the National park and won't offer the same views as those seen in photos around the world. So yes, the drive to Grand canyon South rim is definitely worth it. LA is huge and you will spend a lot of the little time you have there in traffic. To go from LA to SF in a day you are missing the spectacular coastal Highway that would need 2 days to complete.

    So Yes, I think you should be staying at places longer and covering less miles but what you have outlined is doable and it is you trip. Yosemite and Death valley NP are just a couple of many things you could add by not heading North. I say this as you say you 'may drop Vancouver' for time sake, but is Seattle worth an 800+ mile trip when you have so many options where you are ?

  3. Default

    Thanks Dave,

    I think you are right and having spoken to my girlfriend she is happy to drop seattle, as she has been to vancouver before and as you said an 800 mile trip just to see seattle is not worth it if we are not going to vancouver.

    Will poss look at flying into SF saty for 2 nights, Then LV for 3 nights, Grand Canyon for 1 night, LA for 2 nights and then back to SF for 1 night. With stop offs in between. Any suggestions on where some nice stop offs are? Or what to do.

    My GF definately wants to go to Yosemite and camp for a night and do some hiking, poss for a day. Maybe disneyland. We want to try surfing, and go to a couple of vineyards, wineries.

    Definately the coastal highway!

    Any suggestions on an itinery/places to go?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A basis to work from.

    Hi Danny.

    With 14 days in total you can make a great trip, but I would encourage you to look around a bit and make the trip your own, that's the magic and freedom that the road trip offers.

    Here are some of my thoughts though. I would check flight and car rental costs into any of the 3 City's as it doesn't really matter where you start in the loop, but there are a couple of good reasons to start in Vegas. When travelling this time of year one of the most spectacular mountain passes that crosses the Sierra Nevada closes around this time of year due to snow fall and by heading from Vegas to SF via Death valley and Yosemite early in your trip you will hopefully get across the pass. If not you can head around the South of the mountains but Tioga is spectacular. The second reason, and the one that might answer the question that you could already be considering [what's the difference SF >LV or LV >SF] is that when heading between SF and LA the Ocean and Ocean side pull outs will be on your side of the road heading South.

    When planning you need to consider that 1 night in Grand canyon [for example] means that you will only be spending a few hours there as it is a 5 hour drive from/to Vegas and a full day on the road from LA.

    To start your planning off, this may [or may not] help and remember you can start from any City. LV 2nights > across Death valley and stop 1 night to the East of the Sierra's.[Lone Pine, Bishop, Mammoth etc] > continue to Yosemite 1 night > explore more of the park and head to SF > 2 Nights > Down coast to LA 2 nights > LA 2 nights >to GC 1 night > Visit GC and stay nearby 1 night >Vegas for another night.

    Play around and when you have things outlined we can perhaps help to 'fine tune' your trip.

  5. Default

    Thanks for your advice. Haven spoken about it we have decided on 2 options for the way forward,

    Option 1 -
    London - New York (2 night stay in NYC)
    NYC to SFO Flight (2 nights SFO)
    SFO to Yosemite (1 Night Yosemite)
    Yosemite to Monterey (1 Night Mont)
    Mont to San Luis (1 Night San Luis)
    San Luis to LA (2 Nights LA)
    LA to Grand Canyon (1 Night Grand Canyon)
    Grand Canyon to Vegas (2 nights LV)
    Las Vegas to London

    This leaves us 2 nights/days to play with I think we will need to stop on the way from LA to Grand Canyoon as it is too long a drive, any suggestions? Anywhere else we should use the other night for or should we stay an extra night in SFO or LV?

    The other option is to fly in and out of SFO and dont go to NYC. Therefore extending our time in the area to 14 nights.

    Also does anyone have any idea of what I should be budgeting for food and accomodation on the trip per day? I was thinking we would like to spend our time in a nice-ish place while in NYC, LA, SF and LV and then just motels on the trips between.

    I have found flights for around $950 each for all 3 flights. I was also looking at renting an SUV for the 2 weeks for around $510 dollars.

    I just want to try and get some sort of budget in mind.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default All viable.

    Your trip is certainly doable and whether or not you should fly into NY or not is really only something you can decide. It's basically a day in New York by the time you arrive and recover and then the day after leave for SF, personally I would prefer a more relaxed approach and the less time in airports the better. [Maybe I'm getting old !]

    With your 2 'extra nights' I would keep in mind that 1 night in Yosemite and 1 night in Grand canyon will give you limited time at each of these natural wonders by the time you have considered the travel times to and fro. To get an idea of Hotel costs you consider to be 'nice[ish] can click on the 'Travel' link in the tool bar above or use sites like 'Trip advisor' but somewhere between $80 to $120 for a reasonable double with prices starting from as little as $60 [or less] else where away from the City and National parks. I have just been looking on Kayak [add pop up to right of page] to look at combo deals of flight and car etc. There is nothing wrong with an SUV as a preferred mode of transport but it wouldn't be necessary and a standard Sedan would be a cheaper option on hire and gas.

  7. Default


    Will look at cost of a standard sedan then. Any tips on a place to stay between LA nd Grand Canyon? As it seems a pretty long drive for the day!

    Is Kayak good for that sort of thing then on the combo's? I will work out the cost for fuel via your calc.

    I found the costs of flights and car on a UK website, could probably get that down if I shop around a bit.

    What sort of budget would you reccommend for food a day per person? Probably hotel/motel for breakfast if they do it, fast food/sandwich from shop for lunch, fast food/restaurant or evening out for the evening meal.



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

    Default Shopping around is well worth the effort.

    Kayak seem pretty good but I never get tied into one place as deals change all the time and there are a few 'January sale' offers about at the moment, but the only way to find the best genuine deals to suit your dates etc is to search around. I have saved small fortunes on trips by doing so.

    We mainly travel by RV in the US and cook, but when we do eat out it seems so cheap compared to here in the UK. For around $20 per head you can get a pretty hearty meal in a fairly decent restaurant/bar. With a Hotel breakfast I doubt you would need any more than $60/$80 a day for food but someone may come along and say different. Think of eating on a tight budget in the UK as 'fit for a king' in the US ;-)
    [When taking exchange rates into consideration that is]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    To help you with the budget and amplify what Dave has told you - accommodations can cost you anywhere from $50 to $200 a night. I would budget for $100 a night, that should average out. If you rent a standard sedan, you can figure about 15 cents a mile for petrol. Most hotels have a complimentary breakfast of some sort, usually a "continental" type. Fast food lunches can be had for $5 to $7, that would be a burger/sandwich, chips or crisps, and a drink. Plan on $25 for a nice dinner out in a reasonably priced steakhouse or pub, that would include entree, sides, drink, tax, and tip.

    Between LA and GC - Laughlin, Kingman, or Lake Havasu City would be about a 5 to 6 hour drive. 7 to 8 hours would get you to Williams, which is only about an hour or so from the GC and has some very reasonably priced motels. That might be a good bet to spend 2 nights, it will be considerably cheaper than staying in or right outside the park.

  10. Default

    Thanks again,

    I have put some rough figures together for a budget after having a look around at a few sites for hotels and stuff.

    Any chance someone could have a glance over and see if it is realistic, or anywhere where I could save, need to spend more?

    I have added the link to my google docs spreadsheet above.

    Last edited by dannyd2510; 01-21-2011 at 07:34 AM. Reason: Added spreadsheet

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