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  1. Default planning a road trip from L.A. to ? round trip

    My family and I (5 altogether) are from Australia and flying to L.A. in January 2010 for 17 days. We would like to find out the best route to take from L.A. doing a round trip back to L.A. at this time of year. Would love some suggestions. We would like to travel approx. 100 to 200kms every 2-3 days so we are not in the car all the time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default distances

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I will start by noting that 100-200 km is a tiny distance that really won't get you anywhere in the West. You can easily drive that far just getting across the greater LA area. LA to Vegas, for example, is an easy half day drive but that is nearly 500 km. For a full day on the road, we usually recommend traveling no more than 1000km in a day. Now that is a maximum, and you certainly can drive less, but I think you'll have to expect to be in the car for more than a hour or two a day.

    Without knowing what you might be interested in, we really can't provide much for specific detail on what you could or should do. However, there are thousands of posts about traveling in California and the Southwest, so I would look around a bit, starting with these threads, and I would grab a good map and start figuring out what places might work well for you.

  3. Default family road trip

    Thanks Micheal,

    Have just started and looks like there is a lot to do. When I have more specifics will ask for help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Compare the distances

    Quote Originally Posted by jacky View Post
    We would like to travel approx. 100 to 200kms every 2-3 days so we are not in the car all the time.

    Not sure where you are from, but think about it this way....

    From Brisbane to Mt Isa you would not set out on a trip and do just 200km per day. And again from Mt Isa to Darwin or Katherine you would travel much further each day to cover the distance. Then stay for a while at the destination.

    Similarly in the west...

    You would not just travel 200 km per day if you were going from Perth to Geraldton or Kalgoorlie, but you'd probably stay for a day or two... or three!

    Think of the South West US in the same way.

    Lifey who knows you'll love the place
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 09-12-2009 at 10:55 AM. Reason: grammar correction

  5. Default road trip with family of five in 21 days

    My family of five, 2 adults and three boys are doing a roadtrip in 21 days in Mid January to early Feb. My itinerary so far is starting in L.A. going to San Francisco across to Colorado then down to Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and back to L.A. Not sure if this is too much driving, would like to stay in certain places for 2-3 days at a time. Is this possible and if so, any points of interest is a must see. Really need help with this as time is growing short.

    Moderator note] Please keep all questions regarding this trip in one thread.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 12-28-2009 at 05:04 AM. Reason: Merged threads.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default So many options.

    Welcome back to the RTA forums !

    You will have to consider some of the advice already given !

    With the outline of your trip of around 3000 miles you certainly have time to cover the miles and do some sight seeing but to "stay in certain places for 2-3 day's at a time" is going to add to your daily mileage tally quickly. For instance if you wanted to take the coast road and enjoy some of the sights on route to San Fran and spend 3 days in SF you could be looking at 5 or 6 day's already gone so it is really for you to decide what is a "must see" for you, and what pace you want to set yourself. As the beauty of the road trip is the freedom to do what you want and go where you want, we don't believe in "must See's" around here.

    There is a lifetimes worth of possibilities so you need to sit down with a good map and use the search function on the RTA site to get more info on "key places," then when you have some dots on the map let us know and we can help join them together and make some suggestions, like where in Colorado were you thinking of?

    Involve the kids with the planning and get them interested so that they will feel it's their trip as well and it will help to bring peace and harmony on the road instead of the "Are we there yet" syndrome. Lol !

    At this time of year you could just go with the flow and not tie yourself in with reservations which could work well, especially when you take into consideration possible weather disruption.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 12-28-2009 at 05:06 AM. Reason: Info.

  7. Default Up to date itinerary

    Thanks Southwest Dave,

    This is what I have so far, what do you think?

    Land in L.A. 18th Jan stay for 2 nights
    20th Jan drive to Santa Maria for a night
    21st San Fran for 2 nights
    23rd Yosemite Valley for a night
    24th Across to Carson City 1 night
    25th Winnemucca for a night
    26th Salt Lake city 1 night
    27th Denver/Colorado Springs 2 nights
    29th Albuquerque 1 night
    30th Grand Canyon 2 nights
    1st Las Vegas 2 nights
    3rd back to L.A. and fly out on the 7th which gives us some spare days if we need to stay anywhere longer.
    What are your thoughts on this?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Doable.

    Hi Jacky,

    The outline of your trip is fine and all the day's of travel are doable and within what we would recommend as a maximum, but keep in mind that they are much further in distance than your original thoughts. Your longest stint on the road between Salt Lake City and Denver will be 9hours plus of driving with only time for short breaks for food, a stretch of the legs and to fill with gas. Each of the 2 day's travel following will be over 7 hours of travel, but if you are OK with that, no problems at all. Of course you have those 'buffer' day's at the end of your trip to add to your time if need be.

    Have you researched points of interest between your A to B points in more detail ? There are plenty of them that could make the trip "extra special" but would of course add to miles and time.

    As you say "across to Carson city" I thought I would point out that you cannot get to the 395 from Yosemite via the Tioga pass [CA120] at this time of year and you will have to head North on CA49 to CA88 or US50.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default a big change

    I don't see anything in your plans that are impossible, but I'm concerned that you're going to end up with a trip that you don't enjoy very much.

    You started by asking about making a trip where you drive 100-200 km, and stop for a couple of days.

    You've now built a plan where you are driving about 1000km almost every day, only stopping for a 2nd day at a couple of places.

    I think Denver is probably too far to go for this trip. Right now, you'll basically be driving all day for 3 straight days to get there, and then 2 more full days of driving to get to the Grand Canyon. That's 5 days on the road where you really won't have time to see anything but what's outside your window and places like Salt Lake City or Albuquerque will be nothing more than places to find a motel. For that effort, you'll just get to to spend one full day around Denver.

    I think you will have a whole lot more fun and be a lot closer to your original ideas if you reduce your miles rather significantly. There are about a dozen national parks in California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona that you don't have in your current plans, any of which might be a better choice to fill your time. You might also look at spending some time in Las Vegas.

  10. Default Re your comments

    Thanks for great advice Midwest Michael and Southwest Dave, I put down this itinerary to start somewhere, now I'll go and fine tune it with your help.
    Will get back with some new fresh ideas.
    Thanks alot

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