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  1. Default Planning Trip from Phoenix to Grand Canyon to San Diego to Las Vegas

    Hi, I'm doing last minute planning for a trip we are taking next week. My hubby will be in Phoenix for work. Me and my 2 teenagers will be joining him in Phoenix for a 12 day trip. I'd appreciate any help and advice you can provide.

    So we definitely want to see the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, San Diego and maybe Los Angeles.

    We are arriving in Phoenix on evening of June 23 and we will be renting a car. We will be flying home out of Vegas on July 6. I didn't realize that renting a car would be so expensive since we are not dropping off and picking up at the same location.

    Since we are planning this last minute I thought I'd better start getting hotel reservations.

    So this is the plan so far. I really don't have all the details worked out. I can be flexible as long as I can change hotel arrangements.

    June 23 Thurs - arrive at Phoenix and meet my hubby

    June 24 Friday - AM pick up the car and drive to Grand Canyon. Now I'm thinking I should have planned to stay at least 1 day in the Phoenix or Sedona area before going right to the Grand Canyon.

    June 24 - June 27 - staying 3 nights at Grand Canyon South Rim. I haven't planned what we'll do for this time. Should we take any tours or do we have enough time to see it on our own.

    June 27 - AM - drive to San Diego. We're driving to San Diego Monday morning but I don't have hotel reservations until Tuesday evening for 4 nights. So we have 1 night to be flexible. We could stop somewhere between Grand Canyon and San Diego for sightseeing or we could go to Los Angeles first. My kids really want to see Hollywood.

    June 28 - July 1 - We're staying at a hotel near Coronado Bay in San Diego for 4 nights. So we'll be there Tuesday to Friday. I still don't know what we should see in San Diego. I've heard the zoo is wonderful. So I need to do some more planning here.

    July 2 - We leave San Diego to head to Las Vega. I was going to make hotel reservations starting Saturday July 3 for 3 nights and then we'd fly out on Wed to come home. So this leaves us 1 day to be flexible. We can leave San Diego on Saturday morning and we could stop somewhere in between Vegas And San Diego. I'm not sure where.

    July 3 - July 5 - 3 nights in vegas. I know we want to see Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon. I know we want to go see a couple of shows. I was thinking of Love (the Circque show) and the knight show with dinner. I'm not sure which hotel to stay in. I think with teenagers it would be nice to have a decent pool. I am trying to stay within a budget.

    July 6 - fly home.

    What do you think? Am I missing too much in heading from 1 destination right to another. We are flexible. I want to make this a memorable trip for the family. Thank you so much for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default pretty illogial

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There's nothing wrong with the places you want to go, but they way you're going about it doesn't make much sense to me. You're doing a whole lot of backtracking, and really don't get anything out of it.

    You actually would be much better off doing a pure loop, or if you were going to do a one way trip, then finishing in California would make so much more sense than spending several hours driving east and west, back and forth. Going from Phx, to GC, to Vegas, to LA to San Diego (and even completing the loop back to Phoenix) would be much shorter than your current plan.

    Also, spending July 4 in Vegas is likely going to make it real tough to find any discounts on hotel rooms.

    If your starting and end points can't be changed, I'd still change your routing so you are going to San Diego first, then LA, across to the Grand Canyon and back to Vegas. That will save you about 100 miles from your current plan, although its still actually more miles than just doing a full loop.

    If you can't change, I'd also spend a little more time looking around for car rentals. Its not too uncommon to find pretty small one way drop fees, or even have the fee waived, on trips between Phx and Vegas.

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

    Default

    Hollywood - - what do your kids wish to see? The Walk of Fame is a freebie and fun, Graumann 's Chinese Theater and the Kodak Theater are all right in the same area. Warning: there are a lot of lingerie shops along the Walk of Fame.

    You could also reasonably drive up to Malibu, and just north of there is Westward Beach which gets used a lot in movies. ("Spaceballs", for one.)

    As for San Diego - - yes, our Zoo is wonderful. So is the sister park, which used to be called the San Diego Wild Animal Park but they're now calling it the Safari Park. Warning there, too: look up the rates online, and check with your employer to see if you can get discounts. We have one of the Sea Worlds here. For less "touristy" places, Old Town State Park can be fun to walk around, and mostly free. Good Mexican food can be had in the area directly surrounding that park, too. There are plenty of beaches around, but be careful - it's easy to get burned because the marine layer in the morning can fool people. Use sunscreen even if there doesn't appear to be any sun.

    I'm surprised you aren't just returning through Phoenix, and avoid the need for a one-way car drop fee completely.

    Phoenix to San Diego: about 6-7 hours depending on which route you take.
    San Diego to LA: about 3 hours, depending on traffic.
    LA to Las Vegas: 6-7 hours, depending (once again) on traffic. If you are heading to Vegas over the 4th weekend, the traffic WILL be heavy all the way up I-15.



    Donna

  4. Default Hi - thank you for your feedback.

    Hi Midwest Michael.

    You can tell that I don't do much traveling. The only reason that I we flew into Phoenix was that was were my husband was staying for work. And I thought I was pretty smart to fly out of Vegas. I was surprised that the airline tickets were not any more expensive that way. But I didn't do all my homework so I didn't realize the rental car would be so expensive.

    I went on mapquest and put in phoenix to grand canyon to san diego to las vegas and it was 1104 miles. Then for phoenix to grand canyon to las vegas to san diego and back to phoenix and it was a few more miles 1182 miles. So miles wise it doesn't seem too different. I didn't add los angeles into the mix so that will add more miles if I do that. So what makes it so bad? Is it just harder going from san diego back to vegas?

    These are the only plans that we can't change: flying into phoenix and flying out of las vegas. also, we do have 3 nights reservations at grand canyon south rim on 2nd night for 3 nights. So I could cancel this but probably wouldn't be able to get these reservations for other nights during our stay. Originally we were going to go phoenix to grand canyon to las vegas to san diego back to las vegas. this seemed like even more back tracking.

    If you have any good ideas that work with these flights please let me know. Also, is there anything between the grand canyon and san diego that we should definitely see or do? How about between San Diego and Las Vegas?

    Do you have any suggestions about the Grand Canyon? Do you recommend any of the tours or should we save our money and do our own touring?

    How about Vegas? I know we'll go to Hoover Damn and Red Canyon. Are there other things you would recommend. How about any favorite shows? Or nice inexpensive places to eat?

    I really appreciate any feedback you can provide. As you can tell from my flight arrangements I don't have alot of experince doing road trips.

    Thank you
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 06-16-2011 at 05:54 PM. Reason: removed quote

  5. Default

    Hi Road Warrior. Thank you for your response.

    My 16 year old son is set on seeing the Walk of Fame. I'm not sure what else he wants to see but he just wants to see Hollywood and Los Angeles.

    I'm not sure I want to take the time to go there. I've never been to California. We were going to spend 4 nights in San Diego. The other option would be to visit different places in California. I was trying to balance the driving with relaxing. I thought it was going to be pretty hot at this time of year so it would be nice to have a few days on the beach.

    How's Coronado Beach? I heard it is beautiful so that was part of the reason that we were going to San Diego. Is there any part of California that you would recommend that would be a shorter drive from Grand Canyon or Las Vegas? We are pretty flexible except for flying into phoenix and flying out of vegas.

    Thank you for all your suggestions.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default grabbing the shoehorn

    So miles wise it doesn't seem too different. I didn't add los angeles into the mix so that will add more miles if I do that. So what makes it so bad? Is it just harder going from san diego back to vegas?
    You're talking about 100 miles, so its not impossible to work with or any harder, but it does mean about 2 extra hours of needless driving. In fact, the bigger thing is that you're doing more backtracking, so a lot of the extra time will simply be covering the same ground twice.

    Also, driving your plan would mean making Hoover Dam a separate trip, where as if you'd been going directly from GC to Vegas, your route would take you right past it. Again, not the end of the world, just more cases where you'll be spending more time in the car, and more time backtracking.

    If you have any good ideas that work with these flights please let me know. Also, is there anything between the grand canyon and san diego that we should definitely see or do? How about between San Diego and Las Vegas?
    I already laid out one way you could save some time, but you may be right that it could be too late to change reservation for a hotel right on the rim.

    What you might look at doing is going down from GC through Lake Havasu/Joshua Tree/Palm Springs to San Diego. Then come back up through LA and go through Death Valley on your way to Vegas. In fact, if you take a couple days, you could even go all the way up to Yosemite, across Tioga Pass, and then back down through DV to Vegas. At least that would give you some different things to look instead of just driving back and forth on I-15.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Hollywood - - what do your kids wish to see? The Walk of Fame is a freebie and fun, Graumann 's Chinese Theater and the Kodak Theater are all right in the same area. Warning: there are a lot of lingerie shops along the Walk of Fame.

    You could also reasonably drive up to Malibu, and just north of there is Westward Beach which gets used a lot in movies. ("Spaceballs", for one.)

    As for San Diego - - yes, our Zoo is wonderful. So is the sister park, which used to be called the San Diego Wild Animal Park but they're now calling it the Safari Park. Warning there, too: look up the rates online, and check with your employer to see if you can get discounts. We have one of the Sea Worlds here. For less "touristy" places, Old Town State Park can be fun to walk around, and mostly free. Good Mexican food can be had in the area directly surrounding that park, too. There are plenty of beaches around, but be careful - it's easy to get burned because the marine layer in the morning can fool people. Use sunscreen even if there doesn't appear to be any sun.

    I'm surprised you aren't just returning through Phoenix, and avoid the need for a one-way car drop fee completely.

    Phoenix to San Diego: about 6-7 hours depending on which route you take.
    San Diego to LA: about 3 hours, depending on traffic.
    LA to Las Vegas: 6-7 hours, depending (once again) on traffic. If you are heading to Vegas over the 4th weekend, the traffic WILL be heavy all the way up I-15.



    Donna
    Las Vegas is the best place to visit in my opinion. I have been there several times. Nice locations and lots of opportunity for shopping :):)

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