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  1. Default First road trip ever - and my 40th celebration!

    Hi there,

    I have looked on the website and probably missed links to the information I need - I really want to do a west coast tour to celebrate my birthday in January - however this may not be the best time for a road trip.

    I think that I want to take in the following -
    San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle, Washington, Yosemite

    How long in each place, duration of trip.... ?

    But happy to be guided as to when I should travel, what I should see and the order. Plus great places to stay (budget and not so budget!) and eat (love good honest food - so happy to know about local joints as well as the tourist places)

    Also plan on hire car pick up at start and drop off at end of trip - is this awkward? Really want a fun car to do the journey in - hubby and I want this to be a trip to remember - almost second honeymoon as well.

    Has anyone else done a trip recently - what tips do you have?
    Those from the UK - better to do this solo or use a travel agent/company?

    Thanks in advance guys - appreciate any help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Your trip, designed by you for your enjoyment

    Hi Josie, and Welcome to the RTA Forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by josie72 View Post
    Those from the UK - better to do this solo or use a travel agent/company?
    Never having travelled in the US in the winter months, I shall leave that to others to address.

    However, you will find a general concensus here, that the best road trip for you is the trip designed by you. You have some dots on the map, which is a good start. But as to how long to stay in any one place, no one here can really tell you. That will depend so much on your time frame, your budget and your interests.

    May I suggest as a first of, if you do not already have one, get yourself a good detailed map of the US, or if you can get it, of the Western States. It will greatly help you see the overall picture.

    And at 40 you will a score years younger than I was before my first road trip.


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

    Default Tickets for your birthday, fly later ?

    hubby and I want this to be a trip to remember - almost second honeymoon as well.
    The most memorable trips are those that you 'design' for yourself. The planning stages are a fun part of the whole process and when you have your route laid out and think you are nearly there, you will start finding small gems at every turn along the way. We often have people find RTA, after they have had a trip planned by a travel agent, and can quite quickly regret it when they discover all the things that are possible away from the 'one size suits all' type trip a travel agent usually offers. It works for some people [a lot actually] but this forum is about you designing your own individual and memorable trip and we are here to help you through that process. Although it's a nice thought to have a trip around a special occasion and s a treat, it will be just as memorable whenever you travel. Winter travel is OK if that's what you want to do but weather can disrupt your plans and some places won't be accessible, like the mountain passes in Yosemite. Even for the valley you can see closures and at the very least you would have to carry snow chains for your vehicle. Given the choice I would hold off until late May/Mid June as spring gets hold and heads to summer at the lower elevations and the last of the winter snow is melting away from the mountain tops and Spring arrives. For Yosemite, it will also mean that the spectacular waterfalls will be gushing with water from the snow melt.

    Explore the forums and other road trip planning pages above with a good map to hand and as you place dots upon it and questions crop up, just ask !

  4. Default

    January will be fine for San Francisco, Las Vegas and even Death Valley if you decide to visit there, but as Southwest Dave mentioned you could easily run into snow. Even on the drive from SF to Las Vegas can get closed for a day or so with snow on the mountain pass and there are mountain passes on the way from SF to Seattle, Washington.

    I also would hold off the trip till at least May.

    Las Vegas to Seattle, Washington is well over 1100 miles. Have you considered flying from Las Vegas to Seattle? Or maybe flying into Seattle, drive to SF, Yosemite and then flying out of Las Vegas?

    How long do you have for this trip?


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