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  1. Default Advice on Summer Road Trip: Vancouver to San Diego in July 2016

    Hi everyone,

    I would love some help on a road trip my wife and I are planning this summer starting on 5th July. We would arrive in Vancouver and want to drive down to San Diego as the final stop for a few nights, and then to Las Vegas for one night at the end as this would be where we would fly home on 20th July. It would be 15 nights in total, and we would be travelling with our daughter who would be nearly 3 years old. We wouldn't need too much time in each place, maybe 2 nights Vancouver, 3 nights san diego as the major needs and then nights on the way where we need to sleep etc. My wife and I get bored easily so we won't be needing more than a night in each other place unless it is really wow.

    We would hire a large SUV to make it more comfortable. I would want some advice on:

    Is this distance too much to cover in 15 nights with a kid nearly 3 years old?
    Would we do better to begin the road trip from Seattle instead of Vancouver and work down the coast?
    I checked with car rental companies from Vancouver, and none of them will allow me to drop the car back to Las Vegas (we would be flying back home from Vegas airport). Do you have any advice on which car rental companies allow a pick up in vancouver and a drop off in Las Vegas? It seems we have to do the first drop off nearer the US border and switch cards, perhaps due to different country rules and the need to eventually get a Canadian car back to the home country.
    Final question is this would be our first road trip ever, so we are clueless about the dos and don'ts so any tips no matter how small would be welcome!

    Thank you so much for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Other than That....

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    As you're already finding out. It is essentially impossible to do a one-way auto rental across the Canadian-US border. And I only say 'essentially' because I'm not 100% sure if it's by law, economics, or just custom. But I've never heard of anybody actually accomplishing such a thing. So, if you want to rent a car to be dropped off in Las Vegas, you'll at least have to get across the border before you rent it. Seattle is probably your best bet due to the number f different public transportation options between it and Vancouver including train, bus, ferry. or plane.

    Otherwise, you'll have plenty of time to explore the coastline, forests, mountains, and cultural attractions that make the Pacific Coast a vacation destination for many. If you have any specific types of sites that you, your wife or child would like to see, or any help in the planning process - don't hesitate to ask.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-04-2016 at 07:45 AM.

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

    Default Link.

    To give you some idea of possible sights to see, this trip covers a lot between LA and Olympic NP [near Seattle] As yours is a one way trip you will have to work out which combination of inland and coastal spots you might want to hit. I would also consider Yosemite NP and from SD you could consider a trip to the Grand canyon before heading back to Vegas, depending on your time left available.

    If you want to rent a large SUV that's fine, but there really is no need as a mid size sedan would offer enough room and comfort and would be more budget friendly, both in rental costs and fuel consumption.

  4. Default

    Amazing, thank you guys.

    We decided to make the trip san fransisco down to San Diego and then across to Las Vegas, so it is less stressful and we could spend more quality time in each place. Will go through the link too, and really appreciate the advice!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    If that's your current plan, you might also then consider making this a loop trip. After Vegas, head back to SF, via Death Valley and Yosemite National Parks. Not only would that let you see the amazing sites at those places, it will likely reduce your airfare can car rental costs.

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