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  1. Default Las Vegas Revisited

    Hello all, what an informative site. I have spent many happy hours reading about various trips throughout your country.

    I intend visiting USA in September, with my wife, for my 50th birthday. My original plan was to fly into Vegas and rent a RV and use it to explore between Vegas, Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon (also Death Valley rental allowing), and finish up in Vegas again.

    However by the amount of information I've seen here I was wondering if it may be a better idea to fly into LA and drive to Vegas via Grand Canyon etc and use motels instead. The trip will be over 14 to 16 days and I would be looking at hiring an unlimited mileage car.

    Unfortunately the vastness of the USA is creating nightmares trying to calculate distances and routes so a little advice here would be cool. My preferences are for scenery as opposed to cities but anything goes.

    Many thanks


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default It depends

    With 14-16 days you have a lot of time to play around with. If you fly into LA - you'll probably want to fly out of LA also for a cheaper flight. It kind of sounds to me like Las Vegas is your "real" destination. If it is, then just fly into Vegas and do a loop with stops at the various places, most of which are closer to Vegas than LA. I start all of my trips from Louisiana and have done parts of the trip you're thinking of in 10 days, so you'll be fine time-wise.

    Just remember to keep an open mind, a full gas tank, and common sense when out on the road and you'll be fine. For general distance information there are websites such as mapquest (other people may have better ideas) that I like to use. I don't necessarily use the routes they give, but it is a good tool for figuring out how far away something is.

    As you get a general itenerary set up, please let us know what it is and we can help you plan the details.


  3. Default Rules of thumb...

    For a couple of rough rules of thumb on this trip, which you might find useful...

    It's about 5 hours from LA to Las Vegas on the superhighway. This can vary by a couple of hours depending upon where in LA you start from (LA's like 2 hours from end to end), if you get stuck in traffic (major accidents somewhere causing a jam up, roadwork messing up the free flow of traffic, or rush hour traffic to or from).

    It's about a day from LA to Grand Canyon -- a long day's drive, and you won't be doing much other than the drive, but doable in a day on the superhighway.

    From Grand Canyon (South Rim, Grand Canyon Village) to Las Vegas it's about 2/3rds of day's drive -- perhaps a little shorter depending upon how you drive and the conditions. That takes you through/ over Hoover Dam, but there are alternative routes which add a bit of time.

    If you're looking to calculate times and distances, you can start with some of the internet mapping engines -- Google has a couple, there's Mapquest, MSN Maps, Yahoo maps and a few more. These typically calculate the fastest, shortest route -- but are usually not too accurate in time, since they don't assume any stops or rests or side trips. For a rough estimate including gas stops, stretch the legs stops, and biological necessity breaks, a typical rule of thumb on the board is to us 57 mph average in the western US. I've used 55 mph, and its pretty close. If you stop somewhere and sightsee, or have lunch, you need to estimate that time into the total as well. Similarly, you need time at an airport to disembark, collect your luggage, pass through customs/ security, and find the rental car lot if you're flying in or out.

    As Laura noted, make up a list of what you'd like to see and come up with a rough route for it -- then the internet map engines or other can give you distances and you can estimate how long it would take. Folks on the board usually chime in as well with additional things to see or experiences along the way.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the advice. I'll be poring over the maps and looking at my options.


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