Having not long returned from our latest adventure I thought I would start a trip report to help me recollect the trip and unravel the days that have past and of course, to share our journey with others. [Thank goodness I kept a diary !] The trip took us on a journey of over 3800 miles in 15 days on the road [19 in total] and saw us drive from Vegas through the Great Basin into Idaho and on to Glacier NP. This was more or less the turn around point where we started to head south via Yellowstone NP and into Southern Utah before returning to Vegas. Six States, 7 National Parks plus plenty of other places were visited along the way. Of the 3800 plus miles only, 240 of them were spent on Interstate and half of those Interstate miles were spent on I15 travelling back from Utah to Vegas.
In the past we have travelled by RV, [see below] our preferred choice, but as it was just the two of us travelling this time, finances decided that it would be by car and a mix of Hotels, Motels and cabins. I felt when planning this trip we were close to the limit of what we would find comfortable for us and I wasn't wrong. Although 'only' averaging slightly above 250 miles per day [road trip days] most days were 10 to 12 hours plus from door to door with stops and sight seeing. The days remained fun and fairly relaxed though and we had a blast !!
Our journey started with a trip to Heathrow airport. I much prefer to fly from Gatwick just because of location. Heathrow is on the notorious M25, the London Orbital which is often referred to as the 'Biggest car park in Europe' thanks to it's congestion. It didn't help that our flight departure time meant 'check in' was around 9am, which would have put us in the heart of the morning rush and could have doubled our journey time from home on the south coast. I decided to check airport hotel prices but was not very hopeful of finding something sensibly priced. I was quite surprised to find some good value hotels near the airport and booked into 'Jurys Inn' near Terminal 4 for just £49.50. Our son dropped us off there the night before and we had a nice relaxing meal and a good nights sleep followed by a 10 minute cab journey the following morning to the airport. A lot less stress and it helped in coping with the long flight ahead.
The flight was delayed 30 mins but they made up half of that time in the air and we arrived in Atlanta in good time for our connecting flight. A smooth transition and we were on our way to Vegas. We cleared customs and made our way to the nearby airport hotel, the Best Western McCarran Inn. They offer a free shuttle bus service, but rather than trying to find it's location and wait, we jumped in a cab. We were just too tired after 20 hours or so of door to door travel, but so pleased to be back !!
Tip for anyone flying out from England who might consider an airport hotel. If you are booking transport to the airport from a hotel use a local taxi firm. Firms advertising as 'Airport cars/services' were charging £25 to £35 for the same ride that cost £12 in a local cab. [You also have the option of the 'Hopper bus' that stops at many hotels and goes to the airport terminals at a fixed price of £4 per person. We thought it was worth the small extra amount to go direct and in comfort.]
Previous trips. San Francisco loop [RV] and Denver loop [RV]
More to follow.....