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  1. Default Australians doing road trip from LA to Vancouver - Please Help!!

    G'day from West Australia

    On December 29th we are touching down at LAX. We being 4 adults and 7 daughters.

    We need to arrive in Big White Vancouver on Tuesday 6th January (could be Monday 5th).

    What I would love to hear about are some ideas on where to stop off for New Years as I will probably need to book that in advance.

    Also what is the best route to take between LA and Vancouver.

    We have limited access to North America Roadmaps but we need to start making some sort of plan.

    Any ideas and feedback is most welcome and appreciated and if anyone is making a trip down under soon just let me know and I can probably give you some good advice in return!!

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    First, if you are a member of your local automobile association, bring your membership card with you. There's a AAA office near enough to LAX where you can pick up maps any day except Sunday, I think. You could probably send for an atlas, here on this website, or perhaps from your local auto association or Amazon. That could get you started on your planning.

    As for "best route", probably the shortest one is the most common -- straight up I-5. It's not quite 1300 miles, so could be driven in about 3 days. If you have extra time, you could take other detours.

    If you are willing to deal with winter, you could see Sequoia or Yosemite National Park, Lassen National Park, or Crater Lake National Park. They aren't completely open, as all of them have closed roads that are never plowed during the winter, but you could see portions of them. There are also some fun things to see and do in Portland and Seattle, depending on your interests of course.

    What type of vehicles are you renting, with 11 people?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Maps and more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky11 View Post
    We have limited access to North America Roadmaps but we need to start making some sort of plan.
    Get onto Map World, they have excellent maps of the US and sometimes even sell Rand McNally road atlasses. I believe that they do not have a presence in WA, but you can order them by mail.... get them to use express post.

    Be sure to bring your RACWA membership with you. It will give you access to maps and tourist information from AAA. You could pick up detailed maps of all the States through which you will pass, as well as the Canadian provinces while you are in LA. They also have detailed maps of cities which you may find useful.

    Seeing that you are a 'sandgroper' and considering the time of your travels, sticking to the interstates will be the least hassle. Interstates are the first to be cleared in the case of winter weather bringing down that white stuff. which you never get to see in WA. Having detailed maps with you will be invaluable in case you are held up and need to change plans for an overnight stay. With a party the size of yours, you will no doubt need to book accommodation. Be sure to choose those establishments which have a generous cancellation policy.

    Another thing you may like to be aware of is the times normally quoted by online mapping programs. They are pure fantasy. Add at least 20% to the quoted times for real world conditions. Actually with 11 people, you will need to add even more time, as every stop will take just that bit longer

    What sort of vehicle are you renting?. I keep an Australian Flag in the rear window of my vehicle, just to show that I am not a local. Hopefully the locals will understand.

    Not ever having spent New Year in North America, and it's more than six decades since I spent it in the Northern Hemisphere, I can't be of any help as to the best place to spend it.

    What I can advise you is to spend the first 24 hours in LA and pick up your car on the second day. It is not wise to start driving immediately after coming off a long haul flight (no matter how well you feel), without giving your body clock time to adjust. And coming from WA that adds another three hours to our normal 15 hours. (Remember Peter Brock?)

    Enjoy the planning.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Gotta go to Vegas

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky11 View Post
    What I would love to hear about are some ideas on where to stop off for New Years as I will probably need to book that in advance.
    No question about this.... Las Vegas throws one of the best New Year's parties in the USA. The entire Strip is closed to vehicles and becomes a 10+ mile long party.

    A few tips here

    And a few more here.


  5. Default

    Hi Everyone

    Thank you for your responses.

    Donna we are hiring two cars and spreading the load of passengers. Not sure what kind of cars but my guess is some sort of SUV. 11 people have a fair bit of luggage.

    Lifey - great thinking about keeping to major highways in case of getting caught in bad weather it definitely isn't something we have to worry about, especially not in the height of our summer.

    We are flying in at 1.40pm and spending the night at the Marriott hotel at the LA Airport. Definitely not interested in getting on the road after 30 hours in the air with 5 kids.

    Thanks for the Las Vegas tip Mark, always wanted to get there but not with 7 aged 13 and under in tow, might have to leave off for another time.......

    Any other suggestions are welcome though.


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