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  1. Default Sydney to Canada via USA in Aug

    Hey, one of my friends is going on exchange in Edmonton, Canada, starting September so we thought it'd be a great time to go on a road trip in August through the US ending in Canada. We're going to allow 2-3 weeks, give or take, with the usual tourist destinations along the way.

    The plan so far is:

    Starting point: Sydney ->*Toronto, Canada OR Buffalo, USA?

    WEST COAST
    Niagara Falls
    Salem - is it worth visiting?
    Boston - ditto?
    New York City
    Washington DC

    EAST COAST
    Grand Canyon SkyWalk
    Las Vegas
    Los Angeles
    Disneyland Park CA
    San Francisco

    CANADA
    Vancouver
    Edmonton

    We'll be hiring a car for the whole trip and booking accommodation along the way depending on where we are. We don't want to have a set itinerary either because we might want to stay at certain destinations longer than others.

    Should we fly between the coasts to save time, instead of driving across country? Are we trying for too much? Any other tourist attractions along the way? Do you any other suggestions or changes that might be for the better?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default East to West.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    First of all, you have your East and West mixed up. Ooops ! ;-)

    A lot will come down to how much time you are considering spending in each place from a 'quick' visit to a few days. To do a visit in the East and West of the country to include Canada I would allow at least 3 weeks, or cut back and do a concentrated US trip in one or the other area.

    You won't be able to drop a rental car off in a different country so starting in the US and ending in Canada while driving all the way won't work unless you start in Washington DC [for example] and head to New York, Boston, Niagara and then head to Edmonton before heading back to the Southwest to finish. Even with 3 weeks, I think that would be a little more rushed than you might think with somewhere in the region of 5500 miles to cover.

    You could of course drive East to West and then fly to Canada from LA or SF, or just dedicate your US visit to one side of the Country. There are a Million and one "Other tourist attractions along the way" [ I would certainly ditch the 'Skywalk' and visit Grand canyon National park] and you will need to continue with your research to see what appeals and what you can fit in with your final itinerary. Have a look around the forums and road trip planning pages, sit down as a group and discuss your options and then we can help with the detail.

    One other thing to consider, if any of the drivers are under the age of 25, each one will have to pay a 'Young drivers surcharge' that will add up to a lot of money. I understand it can be up to $25 a day per person. However you can click on this link to find a way around that.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 03-24-2011 at 04:17 AM. Reason: Added info.

  3. Default

    -_- for getting the coasts mixed up, at least you still understood what I meant! Hehe. It's when you look at something for the longest time, your brain starts to think it's right.

    Ok, we've sat down and talked about the trip and this what we've come up with so far:

    *-> Buffalo, 2 nights
    Niagara Falls

    -> Salem, 2 nights
    Hocus Pocus Tours
    Nightmare Gallery
    Nightmare Factory
    Cemetery

    -> New York City, 3 nights
    Empire State Building
    Statue of Liberty
    Broadway - Wicked
    Times Square
    St Patricks Cathedral
    Wax Museum

    -> Washington DC, 1 night
    White House
    Lincoln Memorial

    (Flight from Washington to Las Vegas)

    -> Las Vegas, 3 nights
    Trip to Grand Canyon
    Vegas Indoor SkyDiving
    The Strip - sightseeing

    -> Los Angeles, 4 nights
    Disneyland Park
    Walk of Fame
    Griffith Observatory
    Hollywood Sign
    Chinese Theatre

    -> San Francisco, 3 nights
    Golden Gate Bridge
    Alcartraz
    Lombard Street
    Twin Peaks
    Coit Towers?

    -> Seattle, 1 night
    Space Needle

    -> Victoria, BA, 1 night
    Sightseeing

    -> Vancouver, CA,*1 night
    Sightseeing

    -> Banff, 1 night
    Sightseeing

    -> Edmondton, CA,*1 night

    It's still only a rough guide though. We don't know whether to drop off the car in Seattle or earlier. How is the public transport situation? I also had a look at the Hertz site and it said I could drop off in Canada. Am I missing something? I'll keep the under 25s waiver in mind too cos there will be one.

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

    Default

    There are some rare cases where a company will allow you to drop the car in Canada, however there is usually a rather extreme price premium. If you look at the cost to drop in Vancouver vs. Seattle or Toronto vs Buffalo, I bet you'll find that the Canadian option costs you hundreds of dollars more.

  5. Default

    Yes, I didn't notice a fee but there was one in a Buffalo - Edmonton quote of $500... I'll look at other options. Would you recommend hiring a Canadian rental close to the US border, then?

  6. Default New itinerary

    This is our new itinerary:

    We changed the order of the first leg because we would have had a car in NYC, this way we fly in and bus out of NYC which should be pain free!

    (flight from Sydney to NYC JFK)

    -> New York City, 4 nights, 1-5Aug
    Empire State Building
    Statue of Liberty
    Broadway - Wicked
    Times Square
    St Patricks Cathedral
    Wax Museum
    MoMA

    (bus from NYC to Boston)
    (car from Boston to Buffalo)

    -> Boston/Salem, 2 nights, 5-7Aug
    Hocus Pocus Tours
    Nightmare Gallery
    Nightmare Factory
    Cemetery

    -> Buffalo, 2 nights, 7-9Aug
    Niagara Falls

    (flight from Buffalo to Las Vegas)
    (car from Las Vegas to San Francisco)

    -> Las Vegas, 3 nights, 9-12Aug
    Trip or self drive to Grand Canyon
    Vegas Indoor SkyDiving
    The Strip - sightseeing
    Minus 5 Bar
    Stratosphere rides

    -> Los Angeles, 4 nights, 12-16Aug
    Disneyland Park
    Walk of Fame
    Griffith Observatory
    Hollywood Sign
    Chinese Theatre

    -> Carmel, 1 night, 16-17Aug
    Rest day?

    Is it possible to drive to San Francisco from LA in one hit? We were looking at driving along Big Sur so it'll add more time compared to the freeway.

    -> San Francisco, 2 nights, 17-19Aug
    Golden Gate Bridge
    Alcartraz
    Lombard Street
    Twin Peaks

    (flight from San Francisco to Vancouver)
    (car from Vancouver to Edmonton)

    -> Vancouver, CA, 2 nights, 19-21Aug
    Sightseeing

    -> Chilliwack, 1 night, 21-22Aug
    Sightseeing

    -> Banff, 1 night, 22-23Aug
    Sightseeing

    -> Edmondton, 2 nights, 23-25Aug
    West Edmonton Mall

    The flights are booked so it's time to organise cars and accommodation. I'll go with Hertz because of the under 25s waiver and I've used them before.

    Are there any suggestions or recommendations for accommodation? We would like to stay in places that are cheap but also nice and not dodgy!*

    Is there anything else that we've overlooked?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    You have three nights in LV, and during that time plan on a GC tour. You need to understand that the GC is too far to do as a day trip. If you want to see anything much of the GC NP, you will need to make that a two day trip, with a stay over near, if not in the park.

    Driving from LA to SF via the PCH is a two day trip. You will need to check if the road is accessible before you head that way, as there has been disruption with landslides. Might be open by August.

    See if you can plan on doing the night time trip of Alcatraz. It is a great experience, as well, you see the lights of SF come on as the sun sinks into the Pacific beyond the Golden Gate bridge. But book early, it is always booked out.

    I take it you will be driving the Icefield Parkway from Banff to Edmondton. Doable in a day, if you do not succumb to admiring the unbelievably beautiful scenery of this route. Leave it flexible, so that you can, if desired, make it a two day trip, with a stop over in Jasper.
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 04-30-2011 at 04:59 PM. Reason: a bit more

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