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  1. Default USA Road Trip Guidance

    Hi guys!

    Myself, girlfriend, her sister and boyfriend are going on a road trip soon. Our itinerary is as follows:

    San Francisco to Yosemite
    Yosemite to Las Vegas
    Las Vegas to Grand Canyon
    Grand Canyon to Palm Springs
    Palm Springs to San Diego
    San Diego to Monterey
    Monterey to San Francisco

    We will be hiring a car in San Fran and then returning there.

    Basically, one of us has driven in the US before but the other three have not. We are quite concerned about doing it. I have looked at all the routes and roads and many of them seem to be isolated and in the middle of nowhere.

    We are worried about breaking down, running out of gas, that sort of thing. I just wanted to ask and get some information into how safe it is to drive like this on isolated roads. We will be drving always in day light but we are just worried about returning to civilisation in the event of breaking down, especially in the desert. Are the small towns and isolated areas safe?

    I know it may seem like i am worrying too much but it can be quite daunting for first timers. I am basically looking for some advice and some re-assurance.

    Thanks in advance.

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

    Default nothing to worry about

    hi there. enjoy your trip and just take sensible precautions like having some water and snacks on board incase of any emergencys but on our first trip in that area,even in the remotest parts there is always somebody passing by within an hour or so and we found everyone to be real friendly and helpfull,not like the movie "wrong turn" lol!!
    when you get an opportunity to fill up with gas it's best to take it,even if you have half a tank,then you won't run into difficulties later on but it's not a massive issue,although the distances are vast so worth taking into consideration when planning.
    your in for a great time, it's a fantastic area and yosemite is awesome,be sure to go up to glacier point while there!!
    have a wonderfull time!

  3. Default

    Most of your trip keeps you in the California area, and that's certainly well within the realm of civilization! You'll encounter some long, open roads as you head to Vegas and to the Grand Canyon, but other than that, you'll be within an hour's walking distance of something.

    Assuming the car's in good condition (and every car I've ever rented has been), I wouldn't be a bit concerned -- especially since you're traveling with a group. I wouldn't worry about driving after dark either, though if I were in your shoes I probably wouldn't do it until I had the hang of "driving on the wrong side of the road".

    If you should have trouble, the car rental place'll come out to get you. Be sure you've rented with a national chain so that one'll be nearby (National, Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz -- I might be forgetting some -- are all big car rental places here). At worst, you'd have to wait for someone.

    Still, it makes sense to be prepared:

    Keep a cooler in your trunk with plenty of bottled water for everyone and a jug of water for the car, in case of overheating.
    Be aware of the distances you're going to drive, and don't cut it short with your gas; in the more remote areas of the West, gas stations can be far apart -- but you aren't going to those areas.
    Be sure you have a cell phone. I don't know if yours works in the US, but if not you can buy a GoPhone (or similar product) at a Walmart or any pharmacy. It's a semi-disposable cell phone.

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