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  1. Default San Diego to New York or Vice Versa November 2012

    Hello RTA

    I am after some advice. My Fiance and I will be flying to America from Europe around 15th November (date not confirmed). I am not sure wether to fly into New york or the West Coast.

    Our main aim is to be in New york for a week after the Christmas lights have been turned on (Nov 28th as i understand). We will be hiring a car/van to use as a sometimes sleeper, with the odd hotel and camping thrown in to mix things up (and shower)

    We would like to see some of the states, and as we have no fixed schedule we have the time (although not too much money). I was originally planning a trip like this;

    San Diego - LA - Las Vegas - Grand Canyon - Yellowstone National Park - Chicago - Niagara Falls - New York.

    This is a very vague plan and open to any suggestions. However I have not been able to find any 1 way rentals, and I am worried about the price of drop off. A loop from the West Coast becomes expensive when flights are taken into consideration.

    A second option would be to find somewhere on the east coast to rent a van from and make a similar trip into a loop. The must see's are grand canyon, yellowstone and chicago. Would this be do-able.

    Finally the usual question about weather concerns me. should it, i have read many posts about the I roads being perfectly usable, with sometimes minor (day or so) delays.

    Thanks in advance RTA


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    This is a pretty ambitious trip for a little under two weeks, especially if you are looking at a round-trip from New York City. Be advised that, on average, it takes five days of traveling 600 miles each day to get from coast to coast.

    One-way rentals should be available, but you are right to be concerned about drop off fees, as they can add considerably to the cost of the rental. I think the best thing to do is weigh the costs of one-way fees versus the cost of your flight, and make a decision from that. Once you know if this will be one-way or round trip, then the other parts of the plan will start to fall into place. I would not advise a round-trip from the east coast that includes all of your stops as I think it would be too much.

    As far as the weather: nobody can predict it, and "average" is just that. I certainly couldn't use last year's weather as any kind of forecasting tool for this year. Be advised that within Yellowstone, there are planned road closures at certain times of the year, regardless of the weather. (I tried to get specifics, but the Yellowstone website is currently having problems.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are not getting here till November 15, almost all Yellowstone roads will already be closed for the season. You would only be able to go in the North Entrance and see Mammoth and the Lamar Valley at best.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default How long can the budget last?

    The big question is, how long are you planning [can you afford] to stay in the US for in total ? As mentioned above, Yellowstone will be in 'winter' mode and if you are only planning on a few hours or a couple of days there, it could be a long journey with little reward, due to the uncertainty of the weather.

    It's going to be cold for camping or sleeping in the car during November into December and we wouldn't recommend sleeping in a car at the best of times on a multi day road trip. Unless you are panning an extended stay you will probably have had enough of being in the car come nightfall and you can't just pull over and sleep for legal and safety reasons. Vans, and campervans [RV's] are more expensive to rent and will consume more fuel. You would probably be better to get an economical mid-size sedan and stay in cheap Motels each night.

    You say time is not so much an issue as budget, but it is your budget that will dictate how long you can stay, more or less. If you have enough time and money to do a loop then I would start in New York. Not only will you not have the one way drop fees, but a return ticket to the east coast from Europe is both quicker and cheaper than going to the west coast. With te uncertainty of Yellowstone you could consider heading out through Colorado to some of the National parks in Southern Utah and return along a more southerly route. Weather could still be an issue just about anywhere and like anywhere, that's just not predictable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default East Coast / West Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    ... but a return ticket to the east coast from Europe is both quicker and cheaper than going to the west coast.
    But they're coming from Downunder!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Nope, Lifey, check again.

    Despite having "aussie" in their username, the very first line of their post says they are coming from Europe.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    I'll get new glasses. LOL

  8. Default

    Hi guys

    Thanks for the advice, sorry about the confusion, i am Aussie, coming from London, but going back to Australia.

    It looks to me like i will not get the best out of a US road trip at this time of year, the weather and some park closures mean that i might put off my trip until another day.

    thanks again


  9. Default 5 days - San Francisco to LA

    HI Everyone

    First of all I know there is a lot of info on this trip. If someone has some particularly favorite threads please let me know and I will continue to research.

    My question is can I travel from SF to LA in 5 days (Dec 3rd - 8th) and still see some of Yosemite and the Grand Canyon?

    My main worry is the weather, I realize a lot of Yosemite is closed, can I get any access to the park or not? Or do I accept that due to time and weather constraints I stick to the coast and enjoy this amazing stretch of coastal scenery (I am a rock climber and would love to see the amazing formations of Yosemite and the Grand Canyon though).

    Any advice welcome.

    Moderator Note: Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 09-13-2012 at 02:34 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default yes

    Yes, you can hit the places you've mentioned in the time you've listed.

    Dec. 3 - Drive to Yosemite, explore (btw, the Yosemite Valley which is the main part of the park is open year round, only some parts, like Tioga Pass and Glacier point are closed)
    Dec. 4 - continue exploring Yosemite, drive south to Fresno or Bakersfield.
    Dec. 5 - Drive to Grand Canyon.
    Dec. 6 - Explore Grand Canyon.
    Dec. 7 - Drive to LA.

    That's how you can do the trip in 5 days, although if you've got from the 3-8th, then you'd actually have an extra day available, perhaps to detour to Vegas.

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