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  1. Default California, Nevada, Utah & Arizona

    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post to the forum and I was hoping you guys might be able to help us out.

    My partner and I have booked our first road trip, flying from the UK. We have already booked car hire and accomodation along the route, and I was hoping you might be able to give us insights/ideas/places to visit etc.

    I am very keen to see 'proper' America, plenty of natural parks and beautiful landscape and classics such as Route 66.

    Our route is:
    San Fran 3 nights
    Yosemite 3 nights
    Sequoia 2 nights
    Death Valley 1 night
    Las Vegas 2 nights
    Zion Nat Park 1 night
    Bryce Canyon 1 night
    Lake Powell 2 nights
    Grand Canyon 1 night
    Scottsdale 2 nights
    We then fly back to the UK from Phoenix.

    Are there any really long or difficult drives we should be aware of/plan for?
    I also have concerns over safety of the car and our health in Death Valley as such a harsh environment.

    Any info would be grately recieved.

    Many thanks

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

    Default Suggestions.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You have a nice plan laid out and are in for a treat !

    There are no really long or tricky drives that should cause concern. Death valley has paved roads and is much visited so in the event of a breakdown [it could happen anywhere] just stay with the car and don't wander off. Make sure you have sun screen and hats and carry some water and snacks in the car, but with common sense you have nothing to worry about.

    Suggestions; Take an Alcatraz tour in San Fran [night tour is supposed to be great] and book in advance through the NPS, the only official tickets where you won't be tied into other tours. Pier 39, China town, Coit tower and Union square are other favorites.

    Yosemite, As well as the valley make sure you drive up to Glacier point and take a day trip over Tioga pass to Mono lake. You can also visit the giant Sequoia trees in Mariposa grove.

    Sequoia, You could also take a drive out to Kings canyon. In Sequoia visit the Giant's forest where you can walk to the General Sherman tree, the largest living thing on the planet.

    Death valley, 190 will take you past Panamint springs, Stovepipe wells and the sand dunes to Furnace creek. Plenty of short stops for getting out the car and taking pics. A diversion to Badwater will take you to the lowest point in the lower 48. A direct route to Vegas from there is to take the "locals route" from Death valley junction to Pahrump on Ash meadows Rd /bell vista Rd and 160. Stop at Zabriske point on the way.

    Vegas will take care of it's self, loads to entertain you !

    Zion, Free shuttle buses take you through the canyon to various trail heads, Riverside walk, Weeping rock and Emerald pools are all great walks. 1 night isn't really enough here but an early start from Vegas and leave after lunch next day will give you an overview. The drive to Bryce is amazing and it's worth a quick stop at Red rock to walk among the rock formations before continuing to Bryce.

    Bryce, Great rock formations with a free shuttle taking you to the main part of the canyon [The Ampitheatre, sunrise/set point etc. If you drive to the far end of the Canyon to Rainbow point and visit all the viewpoints on the way back they are all on your side of the road and you don't have to keep cutting across the traffic.

    Lake Powell, not been there but Antelope canyon is on "my to do list".

    Grand canyon, You will enter by the East kiosk along Desert view drive ON 64 . Stop at the Watchtower for your first wide open views of the Colorado entering the GC, stopping at various viewpoints to the village area. One night is not really enough but you should be able to get to the village and enjoy a rim walk and enjoy a sunset around Mather point. The following morning get the free shuttle bus up to Hermits rest with plenty more hop on, hop off views. The buses are every few minutes and you could enjoy lunch at Hermits rest.

  3. Default Advice On Road Trip Budget Needed

    Hi everyone,

    My partner and I have booked a 3 week road trip for June 2010 travelling through California, Utah, Nevada & Arizona. We have already paid for our flights, accomodation and car hire.

    I was wondering if anyone can give me an idea of how much we should budget per person per day for fuel, food, sightseeing etc?

    Our trip is around 2000 miles and we have an intermediate sized hire car from Hertz.

    Many thanks,
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-18-2010 at 06:15 AM. Reason: Merged - please do not create multiple threads about the same trip

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default rough estimates

    The things you are talking about are the toughest to estimate, because they really depend upon how much you want/can afford to spend.

    There is a fuel cost calculator on the left side of the screen that can help you figure out your fuel cost. An intermediate car will likely get 25 miles per gallon, and I'd guess that you'll be looking at $3.50-4 per gallon for gas in California this summer. For your distances, remember to add about 20% your point to point distance to factor in driving around towns and parks, etc.

    Food, $20 per day per person is a round number you can use as a starting point. That will get you one decent restaurant meal per day, with enough left over to pick up a small breakfast and lunch elsewhere. If you're planning to do all of your eating a restaurants, budget more, if you plan to cook more of your own food, you can get by for a little less.

    Sightseeing is completely up to you. $80 will get you into every national park you want to visit with an annual pass, but otherwise, that's one that's completely within your control.

  5. Default Budgeting


    I hadn't noticed the fuel cost calculator! Thank you for pointing it out, thats really useful, and the suggestion of adding 20% to the mileage is really great. Works out our fuel cost at around $300.

    Well, we want to be able to do things comfortably and as this is a 'trip of a lifetime' type holiday then we don't want to be scrimping and budgeting. As we have until June we have time to save cash for the trip, so just trying to work out roughly how much we should save.

    All our accomodation except for 3 nights is room only. I imagine we will be eating in resturants in the evening, sometimes breakfasting at the hotel we stay at other times breakfasting elsewhere as I imagine that breakfast at hotels would be more expensive then local resturants/diners - is that correct? I guess lunch will be more of an on-the-go affair most of the time, perhaps picking up some items from a local store and making up some sandwiches. Will $20 a day for food each cover this? Would like to eat in the evening at fairly nice restaurants, and of course in Vegas and El Tovar I imagine the food is fairly pricey?

    Sightseeing, aside from the national parks entrance fees the things I'd like to do are Alcatraz, maybe hire bikes in a few places, kayaks/boat trip on Lake Powell, entrance to Antelope Canyon.

  6. Default Suggestions For First Time In Vegas


    My partner and I will be spending 2 nights in Vegas at The Mirage for our first visit to the city in June.

    Does anyone have any suggestions of things to do/see? There seems to be so much on offer that it is a little baffling as to where to start!

    Also, any recommendations on places to eat?

    Many thanks,
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-18-2010 at 07:37 AM. Reason: Merged AGAIN - Stop creating new threads about this trip or you may lose your ability to post

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default $20

    $20 a day will probably be low for your food budget then. Its not hard at all to spend $20 or more on a single meal at a good restaurant. If you're staying in a mid-range hotel, breakfast will usually be included, but if you're staying at a budget place it will likely be only rolls and juice, while if you are at a high end place where there is a nice restaurant on site, it often isn't included at all. If your places are already booked, it should be easy to find out what they are offering.

    Based on what you've said, I think you'll want at least $30 a day, possibly more to be on the safe side, for each persons food budget.

  8. Default Daily budget


    So I was thinking we could probably save enough to have a daily budget of around $80 per person for food, drinks, sightseeing etc. Not including our fuel in this budget. Do you think that would be enough to have a comfortable road trip eating in some nice restaurants, seeing the sights, not feeling too restricted or feeling we have to budget count a lot along the way etc?

    Also, any advice on things to see/do/place to eat in Vegas would be much appreciated!


  9. Default

    I've spoken to a guy here in Denmark with alot of roadtrips behind him.
    He made a budget for one of the trips (3 weeks) with everything included.
    Flight, Lodging, gas, Car-rent, food, snacks, sightseeing etc. etc.

    It ended up in 4800$ pr. person (2 persons on this trip). Thats 288$ budget pr day. Now you can remove insurance, car rent, flight and then you have have a ROUGH idea how much you can expect to spend every day.

    Please note that the budget for this trip was in a Convertible car with lodging in motels of an average of 80$.

    On a side-note, my girlfriend and I have about 150$ (each) every day each to spend on lodging, food, sightseeing, souvenirs.


  10. Default Car Hire Advice Needed


    We are coming over from the UK in June to road trip through California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona, visiting mainly National Parks. We currently have a Mazda 6 (or equivilant) booked as our hire car. I would like to upgrade our car, and the two options I am most interested in are a Mustang Convertible or a Jeep Wrangler.

    Does anyone have any recommedations on which car would be best? Or should we stick with the original Mazda? I want a fun, cool car to drive, but also want it to be comfy and not too hideous on the fuel consumption as we will be doing around 2000 miles. Anyone drive either a Mustang or Wrangler and know how comfy they are? Also wondering about luggage space.

    Many thanks,

    Mod Note: This is the 3rd time you've created a new thread about this same trip. We've asked you on the previous two merges to stop this behavior. If it happens again, you will lose your ability to post.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 04-12-2010 at 06:05 AM.

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