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  1. #1

    Default Santa Monica to Orlando (via Vegas / Grand Canyon / Texas etc)

    Hi all

    So I had the great idea that next year would be great to do a 2 week roadtrip from Santa Monica to Orlando. Stopping at Vegas for 2 nights and also seeing the Grand Canyon. Looking at can be done.

    But I also am just getting stuck on what else to see, has anyone done this before?

    Also - best ways of working out costs?

    Should I just prebook all hotels, or just do along the way (except national parks as i know they get booked up).

    What are the best car hire firms to use? I will be aged 29 (turning 30 there) and partner aged 25 and we both will share driving.

    No idea where to start !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default To get started.

    Hello and welocome to the RTA forums !

    Yes it's about 6 days worth of driving and add 2 or 3 days for Vegas and GC leaves you some time for sightseeing. As you have route options you should continue to research and see what matches your interests. To work out costs you can get a good idea of car rental and Hotel room costs using the RTA Roadtrip travel link to the right of each page. Figure on averaging around $70 a night for a decent room, although they can be found cheaper and more expensive, depending on your tastes. Food costs are similer to here in the UK in the sense that a £30 meal here will cost you $30 over there giving the advantage of the exchange rate. It's not an exact science but it works for me. RTA also has a fuel cost calculator to the right of the page. A ballpark figure for fuel your trip in a midsize sedan I would put at around $400.

    It's certainly possible to 'wing it' and see where you end up for the night and you can look out for discount leaflets in rest stops etc. I tend to book most lodgings in advance so I can see what I'm getting for my money and check reviews etc, but it's a personal choice.

    Car hire firms are all competing for your 'hard earnt' and are changing deals all the time, so the best thing you can do is research your options. You will have to double check that you will have no nasty surprises when you drop it off, in other words make sure the dreaded one way drop off fee is included and so on.

    If you search the forums you will find lots of info and ideas and in the green tool bar above you will find more planning tools such a s the Map centre where you can search for attractions along your route. Once you have a few more dots on the map we can help fill in the blanks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Assuming from your username that you are in the UK, you may find the best car rental deal from a European consolidator such as

    To ballpark fuel costs, use 20 cents a mile.

  4. #4

    Default Thins to do between...hep with our roadtrip (LA-Orlando)

    Hi All

    I am doing a roadtrip from LA – Orlando next year. It is basically planned, like I have worked out rough mileage, gas costs, accomodation etc. But what I need to do is find out the good places to stop at/see either on route to my next place, or just slightly off route. We are happy to come off highways, and venture into some smallers towns etc. Basically we are happy to drive for a couple of hours, then stop for a bit, then drive, then stop so that we are not just driving for the whole day but able to stop and visit lots of different places on route. But ideas that people have or know of that is a highlight/must see that is on the way/or close to our route would be fab.

    Me and my boyfriend are from England and so we just want to get a real idea of the American way. We love the idea of small very American towns, beautiful scenery, just something very different to our normal English countyside life. Plus it is my 30th so this trip is kind of the big one before we settle into buying houses etc.

    Our route is:

    Santa Monuica – Vegas – Grand Canyon – Santa Fe – Fort Worth – Jackson – Penscola – Orlando

    So far all I have heard of between those after the Grand Canyon is Boulder City, Sedona, Petrified Forset NP and that’s it.

    Be great to get an idea of small towns to visit, good places for lunch stops etc.

    Moderator Note: Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 10-01-2014 at 04:20 AM. Reason: Merged Threads

  5. #5


    Forgot to mention - I am doing this over 2 weeks. Its all we can do :(

  6. Default

    I also have no idea about car hire in Orlando and Santa Monica because I went there for short time and have no detailed information about these regions. In spite of this I must say both regions are worth visiting. Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring place don’t miss to capture the breathtaking views of this captivating place.

  7. #7


    I'm the type who doesn't prebook hotels. Mostly because it's easier for me to go until I am tired and allows me to alter my trip on the fly if need be.

    You might also be interested in passing a bit south of Santa Fe and going to Roswell too :)

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