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  1. Default Southwest trip 17 nights, route ideas

    Ive just discovered this site and through searching I have found great ideas. Me and 6 guys from Ireland are renting an SUV and travelling the southwest. I am just looking for route and car rental tips. So far the route plan in San Francisco, then head south down the coast through Santa Cruz and Big Sur to Santa Barbara, then East to Palm Springs, Lake Havasu, Grand Canyon, Byrce etc and then to Vegas and then possibly to Death Valley and Yosemeti on the way back to San Francisco. I am just looking for ideas on key places to see and routes. Also advice on how long to stay at each place would be nice.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The basic ideas you are talking about are the most discussed trip ideas on this forum. Rather than to try to guess what might work for you or simply repeat the ground that has been gone over thousands of times, I'd suggest you spend a little time looking around first. These are a small sample of some of our favorites.

    Once you've got more of a plan, then we can help you with some of the specifics.

    As far as the car renal, the size of your group means you might have to get 2 vehicles. Even if you find a supersized SUV that seats 7, you likely wouldn't have any room left over for luggage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Motorhome ?

    With the size of your group it is one of the rarer times where an RV could be a more economical way of travelling. It is far more important though, that it suits your [and the groups] type of lifestyle before you even consider it. If it's still an option and you haven't booked your car, it could be worth discussing.

    You seem to have a good handle on things and you should decide how long to stay in each place based on what appeals to you. To give you a rough idea, I would allow a couple of days down the coast. I would spend a couple of nights and at least 1 full day in each of, Grand canyon, Zion NP [I added that one ;-0 ] Vegas and Yosemite NP. A night around Palm Springs, Bryce and Death valley and you could add a trip to Monument valley after the GC. That should leave you a bit of time to enjoy around San Fran with a trip to Alcatraz.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Rental options

    Even a full-sized SUV (and I own a Ford Expedition) would be too small for 7 people plus their luggage. After I put all my seats up, I have less than two feet left to put luggage in behind the third row of seats; maybe 2-3 pieces of carry-on luggage. Optionally, you COULD consider using the roof rack, but you should have a discussion with the rental company about whether they will let you do that, and what sort of carrier they can supply (or you would have to buy). You will almost certainly NOT be allowed to just tie down extra luggage on the top without enclosing it in some kind of carrier.

    There ARE larger vehicles that can be rented, generally known as passenger vans, which will hold 12-20 people, or a smaller passenger load with luggage. These may be harder to get and you probably would need to reserve in advance.

    That said, if the driver is younger than 25 you're liable to have other issues if you try to secure one of these.

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