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  1. Default Planning a big trip would like suggestions of how crazy this plan is

    Hi everyone, I am a newbie, so I am sorry if some of this have been discussed elsewhere.
    We are large family (4 kids ranging from 4-12 at the time of the trip).
    We are planning to fly into Vegas in mid-November (will be spending about 2 weeks in Florida first).
    Our plan is to spend 2 days in Vegas than drive towards the grand canyon (logic says to go to the south rim aria)
    Planning on a day for travel staying in flagship or similar and spend the following day around the GC.
    Following that we want to head towards the coast, looking to do all 3 main cities (san Diego, LA and SF with a visit to Yosemite)
    Looks like the best would be to travel to san Diego first - is that correct? planning on something like a 6-7 hour drive splitting into 2 days .
    spend 2 days in san Diego and drive towards SF, spend a day or two in SF and go for 2 days to Yosemite, drive down to LA to get the flight back, in all looking to spend about 14 days.

    My plans may change as one of the reasons we are travelling is the love of NBA of my kids so we will try and catch a game or two in LA or SF.

    Any ideas would be extremely welcomed.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default The loop.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    It is worth considering doing a complete loop trip, starting and ending in the same city, as you could search for the cheapest flights from any of the places you are visiting and it wouldn't mean any back tracking and wouldn't add many miles to your current plan, if any. So if you started in LA [for example] you would go LA >SD>GC south rim >LV>Yosemite>SF>LA. You may have to get to Yosemite via the south through Bakersfield as the Tioga Pass [CA120] across the mountains maybe closed due to snow, although there is a chance it will be open and that makes a spectacular drive. Between LV and Yosemite you could also drive through Death valley, a remarkable landscape. Between SF and LA you should plan an overnight stop and take the scenic coast highway [CA1]. Travelling in the direction described will also put the ocean on your side of the road when heading south.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Some good maps.

    We are planning to fly into Vegas in mid-November (will be spending about 2 weeks in Florida first).
    Will you be flying in from overseas, and if so, from where?

    Will you be flying back to Florida to catch a flight home?

    Do you have any good detailed maps of the areas you want to see? If you do not, and since this trip is not until November, I highly recommend that you purchase a Rand McNally road atlas from the RTA store, via the link at the bottom of this page. It will be so helpful for you, when deciding which places to visit and just how many options of routes you will have for each leg. Then even if you have to spend some time backtracking, you can choose from the variety of routes available, and see what attractions there are along it.

    Lifey

  4. Default

    Thank you guys,

    Lifey, I will be travelling from Israel spending 2 weeks in Florida than flying towards the west coast, flying back via Florida to connect on a flight home.

    The idea was to fly in Vegas one way and one-way return from LA as it seemed the price the lowest and give the most flexibility with flight times. the Journey from Vegas to Yosemite seemed a bit of a long stretch for me considering late over chances Tioga Pass will be closed (from what I read)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default In that case.....

    ..your best bet is most likely to fly in and out of LV, and to plan a loop roadtrip out of LV.

    Are all three west coast cities a must?

    You should be able to know the NBA schedule well before your trip, and can then plan a loop trip taking in the games you want to see. Some good maps would really help you with that.

    Lifey

  6. Default

    Thank you Lifey,

    All 3 seems to be a must, I looked at pricing and flying into LV and flying out of LA are almost the same price, this would mean I can avoid the drive back to LV and just backtrack from SF or SD to LA which seems quicker ?

    The game schedule should be out around August, only then will I be able to actually plan the direction, I will be ordering the Maps you suggested, thank you for that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Pacific Coast Highway.

    If the schedule and your plans make it possible, I highly recommend that you include a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway from SF to LA. Going south on this magnificent two day trip, will put you on the ocean side of the road, and make turning into and out of the many view points and overlooks that much easier. It is a magnificent drive, but it does require two days, as it is a slow winding road..

    Thinking of driving time, whatever you do do not take your driving times from a computer mapping program. A good rule of thumb is that every hour you will cover about 50 - 55 miles, including essential stops, but not sightseeing. This is especially important since you will be travelling with a larger party.... and the bigger the party, the longer each stop takes.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Have you considered flying back from San Francisco? That seems like it would be the option with the least amount of backtracking.

    The trip you've laid out really would work pretty well starting in Vegas and ending in SF. You'd go from Vegas to the Grand Canyon (the south rim is the only part of the National park that would likely be open). From there it would make the most sense to go to San Diego. Next, head up to LA and then follow the coast north as far as Monterey. At that point, head back east to Yosemite, and then go back to SF and end the trip there.

    Obviously, you could reverse that to better fit in things with the NBA schedule. In addition to LA and SF (Oakland), you could also potentially fit in a game in Phoenix (easy to add in between GC and SD) as well as Sacramento (between Yosemite and SF).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Our plan is to spend 2 days in Vegas than drive towards the grand canyon (logic says to go to the south rim aria) Planning on a day for travel staying in flagship or similar and spend the following day around the GC.
    South Rim is the only one likely to be open at that time of year. Be prepared for cold weather, though, because Flagstaff is at 7000' elevation, as is the Grand Canyon.

    Your best bets for overnights in the area, if you can't get into the hotel on the Rim: Tusayan is the town just south of the national park. Rates are a bit high, but it's right there. Next bets would be either Cameron to the east of the park, or Williams (about an hour south of the park). Flagstaff would be my last choice, frankly, because it's a good 90 minute drive to/from the GCNP.


    Donna

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Something else to research - one way dropoff fees on the car rental if you don't do a loop trip.

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