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  1. Default LA, San Fran, Las Vegas back to La - 30th birthday I need help!

    Hi all,

    Really appreciate it if anyone could offer me some help on my first road trip in the US.

    My girlfriend and I are arriving in LA from London in late March for her 30th birthday, we plan to spend a couple nights in LA then hire a car to drive up the pacific coast highway to San Fran. From there drive down to vegas and then back to LA to fly back to home, we have 14 days for our trip and would really appreciate any help on the following:

    Where would be a good place for our first night in LA (Sorry, have never been before)
    Do you think it would be better to hire a car on the internet before we arrive or when we get there?
    I'm told we should spare about 5 days for the drive from LA to San Fran, does that sound about right, and any suggestions for must see places on the way?
    Finally (honest!) what would be the best route from San Fran to Vegas and again any must see places on the way and how long should we give ourselves for this journey?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer me.


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

    Default A starting point.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    When we fly from London to the Southwest USA we generally spend a night close to the airport where often you can get a complimentary bus ride to the Hotel. It just gives you a bit of time to adjust the body clock and get well rested after a long flight.

    Usually you can get pretty good car rental deals on-line and it often seems cheaper to book from this side of the pond. It's worth doing some shopping around for the best deals for when you travel.

    Five days to travel between LA and SF is a very relaxed pace and depending on how the rest of your itinerary turns out, could be done in 2 or 3 days. You could consider going to Vegas first and then have the Ocean on your side of the road coming South from SF. It would also be possible to include a visit to the Grand canyon and other attractions to consider would be Death Valley, Sequoia NP and Yosemite NP.

    Note that the Sierra Nevada passes will still be closed due to winter snow accumulation on the high ground, so you will have to plan to go around the South via Bakersfield or all the way North to Tahoe.

    This is how it could work but you will have to play around with it to suit your pace and interests. LA 2 NIGHTS > GC 2 NIGHTS> LV 2 NIGHTS> Death valley 1 NIGHT > Yosemite 2 NIGHTS> SF 2 NIGHTS > coast to LA 2 NIGHTS.

    That would be a busy pace but possible, more importantly it will give you things to consider and 'play' with. You will find much info throughout the forums on this very popular area, so I would look around a bit and when you have some ideas to share or questions to ask, please do.

  3. Default Thanks

    Hi and thanks for the feedbck, really useful.

    I hadn't really thought about going round anti-clockwise but sounds like this might be a better option.

    Thanks again for your help.


  4. #4


    Hi there

    If you are booking car hire from the UK you should definitely book before you go. You must make sure that you book from a uk site (eg. or similar) rather than the US versions of site (e.g This is because the UK site will include the insurances that British drivers need (I believe this is to do with the different ways that US and UK drivers are insured). If you book with a US site you will need to buy insurance when you pick the car up and this could be very expensive.

    In general car hire in the US when booked from the UK is very reasonable so you should be able to get a good deal.

    Have a great trip


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