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  1. #1

    Default From Dallas to Las Vegas, need advice?!

    Hello there,

    me and a friend of mine are doing a roadtrip. We're from germany and this is our first american roadtrip. We've both been to the US before but always with our parents. Now we finally graduated and want to take this adventure. Everythin is already booked, that means we have a rental car (midsize suv) and we have the flights. Frankfurt to Dallas and back from Las Vegas to Frankfurt.

    We have a friend in Prosper, TX where we will stay for the first few days of our 4 week trip. Then we wanted to drive up to Denver, passing Oklahoma City etc. After that our plan was to drive till we reach Richfield, Utah, from there we wanted to go down to Phoenix, AZ and from there over to San Diego. From San Diego up to LA where we want to stay for maybe a week or more. From LA up to San Francisco and from SF to Las Vegas.

    I don't really have alot of questions actually. But i think there are some advice that you guys could give me. For Example, if there are things we have to beware of or are there tolls we have to pay...remember, i've never been driving on an American road. Or you can tell me some places where we can stay... we have no hotels booked, we want to stay at cheap motels.
    Well i think you know what i mean, i'm an amateur when it comes to roadtrips and maybe you can give me some good advice.

    Thank you very much :)

    (and sorry for my rather bad english :P )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome!

    There are very few toll roads in the western US, I would not worry about that. You shouldn't have a problem finding cheap motels ($50 a night or so) anywhere except in the larger cities.

    I'd recommend you plot out your route on a paper US map, and take it counter-clockwise - so you can go down the coast from SF to LA to SD - that way, the scenic pullouts will be on your side of the road. That would take you from Texas to Colorado to Utah to SF to LA to SD, then to Arizona and Las Vegas. With 4 weeks you have plenty of time to see a lot of natural wonders - Rocky Mountain National Park, Arches/Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Death Valley, Yosemite, Grand Canyon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Suggestion for the "cheap motels" bit: As you come into each new state, you'll probably see a State Tourism or Visitor Information Site advertised on a sign. Go to those, and pick up these little booklets - Room Savers (green) and Travel Guide (yellow) - that have motel and restaurant deals. Some of these actually serve more than one state. In those, there are coupons that advertise walk-in rates for local motels. These include in the big cities like LA and SF.

    As glc stated, motels will cost more in the big cities. It's hard to find a motel for under $85 in the LA mess, and the same in SF, even with the Room Saver coupons. Those that are, may not be in a safe neighborhood.

    Rates can also be high for accommodations within the National Parks. You may want to stay outside of the park and just go in for the day.


    Donna

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post

    As glc stated, motels will cost more in the big cities. It's hard to find a motel for under $85 in the LA mess, and the same in SF, even with the Room Saver coupons. Those that are, may not be in a safe neighborhood.



    Donna
    That brings me to another question: In LA, are there really places where you shouldn't go? Like gangareas or so? And if so, how do i know where not to go? Are there special maps that have these unsave places marked? I don't want this to be my last roadtrip ;)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    There are no maps, and really that's just the sort of thing you mostly have to use your built in radar. If it looks like you shouldn't be in an area, quickly find your way elsewhere. That's true for all cities, not just LA.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    There are no maps, and really that's just the sort of thing you mostly have to use your built in radar. If it looks like you shouldn't be in an area, quickly find your way elsewhere. That's true for all cities, not just LA.
    Michael has a good point: USE your built-in radar. One time, I traveled up to North Hollywood (120 miles from my house) for an all-day workshop. Since the next day, I was going to be attending a show about 40 miles away, I looked in Room Saver booklet to see where I could stay. One place looked great on paper - a Super 8 also in North Hollywood, not far from the workshop. So after the workshop, I asked my GPS to find the Super 8 for me. Well, as I pulled into the area, there was gang-graffiti and unsavory type people hanging out on various corners looking like they were sporting for a fight. I took a look at the Super 8, right in the midst of all that, and drove on. I ended up staying at the Ramada Inn in Burbank that night. It was much safer, especially since I was traveling alone that weekend. Maybe that Super 8 would have been just fine, but I decided not to chance it.

    BTW, there isn't much of anything in Richfield, UT. It's not superbly close enough to either Canyonlands or Bryce/Zion to make it a hub to see any of those. Except for those who work and live in Richfield, to most of us it's an exit off I-70 with lots of motels and restaurants to choose from. The Quality Inn there is pretty decent and usually has a coupon in one of the coupon books. We've stayed there 3 or 4 times! Last summer, the rooms all had a small fridge and some had a microwave, there's a lovely outdoor pool and an indoor hot tub. It's right next to JB's Restaurant and a dairy/sandwich shop. We also stayed in Salina once or twice - - never again - - and at the Knight's Inn in Richfield (which was fine). For us, Richfield is the perfect 1st (or last) stop on the trip for us between San Diego and central Missouri. It's 11 hours, as long as we leave early enough in the morning to avoid Riverside/San Bernardino County traffic and that it isn't a holiday weekend!

    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

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    You have a whole bunch of City's listed but nothing else and with a month at your disposal you do have time to explore, if you want to that is ? A high concentration of State and National parks with some great driving roads through Alpine, red rock and desert scenery could make for an awesome trip. Have a look around the forums and other road trip pages above to see if anything takes to your liking and let us know if you have other questions.

  8. #8

    Default

    Thank you for all your good advice so far :)
    You've really helped me with my problems!

    There are still some less important questions i have.
    My best friend, who's coming with me, is 20 years old. Can he drive the rental car, although i rented it on my name? I'm 21 and in the rules it says that you have to be at least 21 to rent the car.

    Next question is about the rental car itself... we booked a midsize SUV. I went through the forum and there are some people saying, that it could be a Toyota RAV 4 and some others say they had a Chevrolet Suburban as a midsize SUV. Of course i would prefer the Suburban over the RAV 4. So, what are we most likely to get?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Absolutely not.

    Your friend can not drive the rental, absolutely not. Even if he was 21 years of age he would have to be named as a driver and a young drivers fee would be charged daily. Don't be tempted to let him have a 'quick go' even on private land, it would be like driving a stolen car with no insurance with serious consequences.

    As for the car, it will depend on what they have on the day of arrival. You are guaranteed to get at the very least, the class of car you have booked, if there is a shortage of that particular class, they have to upgrade you but there is little point in speculating. The rental company will list the type of car you are likely to get with the term 'Or similar'.

  10. #10

    Default Midsize SUV rented at Alamo. What can i expect?

    I've booked a Midsize SUV at Alamo and i really don't know what car I may get. Looking through the Internet i've found people saying that it might be a Toyota RAV 4, some others claim they had a Chevrolet Suburban or a Trailblazer.
    Of course i'd rather want to drive the Suburban.
    We'll pick the car up at the Alamo Car rental at Dallas Fort Worth Int. Airport and drop it at Las Vegas.
    My question is: What car will we most likely get?

    (Moderator Note: Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip, especially when you've already asked the question once in this thread.)
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 06-11-2011 at 07:42 AM. Reason: Merged

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