Hello and happy holidays! Since my post yesterday (advice for an East Coast road trip - thanks, AZ Buck!!) we bit the bullet and bought tix to LA for the trip we were craving: Joshua Tree and the SoCal coast. I will let you know the itinerary I was thinking about but in general and ways to cut costs would be great. We will be renting a car and I was able to get $226 (inc. supp. liability since we don't have car insurance-do I need it??)-- any other deals you know about would be great. Also, since we will not be checking out cooler, any thoughts on where to get a cooler for cheap ($10-20)would be fantastic. I was thinking we could get a bunch of stuff from Trader Joes and picnic most meals, maybe eat out once/day.
12/25: Arrive in LA at 3pm, I am building in 2 hours for delays and picking up the car. We can either try to find friends to crash with or start the drive out to Joshua Tree. If we do this are there any hotels or restaurants along the way? And what might be the safest route for night time?
12/26: If we are not already at the park we will try to get there by noon or 1. We hope to do some hiking and sightsee in the park. We love biking so if anyone knows of reasonable bike rental places that would be great.
12/27-12/29ish: I am dying to go a sound bath at the Integratron which I will hopefully get scheduled for 12/27. Otherwise on these days we want to hike and explore. How far is Salton Sea or the dry lake from Joshua Tree?
12/30: We would like to spend the 30th and 31st with friends in Santa Barbara. I think we could do the trip to SB from Joshua Tree in 5-6 hours? Depending on if we leave on 12/29 or 12/20, scenic route recommendations are needed. My husband is foreign and hasn't been to Cali and I want to show him the coast on the journey at some point.
1/1: Our flight is at 3pm at LAX so I assume we should leave SB at 10.30am latest in case there is traffic. Speaking of which, anything we should know about traffic patterns?
Thanks so much!