I am planning a 3 week trip to the Southwest USA for April / May 2010 for two adults. After plenty of reading up on the forums here and lots of other magazines and travel company itineraries we have come up with the itinerary we would like to follow:
Flight London – Las Vegas (pick up car from airport). Stay in Las Vegas for 3 nights (to include a day trip to Grand Canyon)
Drive LV - DVNP. Stay in Death Valley Park for one night.
Drive DVNP – Sequoia National Park. Stay in/around SNP one night.
Drive SNP – Yosemite National Park. Stay in YNP for 3 nights.
Drive YNP - San Francisco. Stay in SF for 3 nights
Drive SF - Nappa Valley. Stay in NV for 2 nights.
Drive NV - Monterey/Carmel area. Stay in M/C for 2 nights
Drive M/C - Cambria Stay in Cambria for 2 nights
Drive Cambria to Santa Barbara. Stay in SB for 2 nights
Drive SB - LA. Stay in LA for 2 nights
Flight LA – London (drop off car at the airport)
Transport - We plan on hiring a small/medium sized car which would need to have unlimited mileage and we would also need to be able to pick this up in one place and drop off in another.
Accommodation – double room in hotels (unsure of approx price per night we would be looking at paying at the moment)
I would appreciate any comments on the planned itinerary and whether there could be any changes to improve it? We have purposely kept one night stays to a minimum, prefering to spend at least 2 nights in places.
We will leave around 17th April, returning 3 weeks later (around 8th May.
My final question is, in others experience, would it be better to book the trip with a travel company all in, or to book all the seperate parts ourselves (e.g. flights, car and accomodation). Does it make much difference in the cost?
Thanks in advance for any help!