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West coast rd trip

Lincoln, United...
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West coast rd trip

Hi. I am looking at planning a rd trip next Aug for my honeymoon, so i am wondering if anyone has any useful tips. The provisional route we are thinking about would be flying into LA then driving straight to palm springs for 2 nights then onto vegas for 3 nights, then yosemite for 2 nights, san fran for 3 nights, 2 nights somewhere on the coast maybe pismo beach then a final 2 nights in LA before flying home. Does this seem like a realistic plan? I know it encorporates a lot. My questions really are if we should book all of our accommodation in advance or not? I hear some places like yosemite it will be necessary but perhaps not for other places? We dont need 5* luxury but wouldnt really want a hostel either, with it being our honeymoon. We wouldnt necessarily need to fly to LA but from what i have seen it would appear to be cheaper to fly into and out of the same airport.

Wednesbury, UK
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1. Re: West coast rd trip

Hi jd22582.

You can certainly make the trip you set out, however most of us here would suggest at least one night between LV and Yosemite, unless your up for a 10-12 hour day drive with short sightseeing stops?

You could also consider a one-way from San Francisco to Phoenix, that could include the Grand Canyon and Sedona but not LA and Palm Springs in 14 nights. However, for direct flights from the UK you are correct, and LAX usually has keen prices in comparison to the other west coast locations. Happy to set the one-way out if you'd like?

As its your Honeymoon I think you may want to consider booking in advance rather than taking things on the fly. However, many hotels/ motels have good cancellation policies so you can change things on the go, but you are travelling in peak season.

We can give you ideas for car rental websites ( including free one ways), for Las Vegas I have some links for discount hotel codes.

Edited: 10 September 2012, 20:04
Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: West coast rd trip

This is a popular loop on the California state forum, and you'll definitely need reservations for August travel. Any chance you can delay your honeymoon until after Labor Day in September? Better weather, smaller crowds, fewer families on the road with you.... September is still a popular time to travel, but it's just a bit easier than August.

Palm Springs in August? Hot, hot, hot.

Pop over to the California state forum page and read the Top Questions in the upper right. In particular, read the info about the drive from Las Vegas to Yosemite and about the Hwy 1 coastal drive. You might want to post on that forum as well as this one, especially as some of the members who know lots about the coastal drive don't post here on the Road Trips forum.

California: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g28926-i29-Califor…

Are you set with just 14 nights for the honeymoon?

Lewes, United...
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3. Re: West coast rd trip

Hi jd

Congratulation on the forthcoming nuptials and delighted to hear of your honeymoon plans!

Flight price wise, LAX is probably the airport with most competition, but I'm not a fan of either LAX as an airport, nor LA as a destination, personally. However, it's your trip, so you can go where you want.

We're happy here to offer you as much help as you want with planning your route, and can offer suggestions of the actual route, and where to stop for sightseeing, if you'd like Inevitably, that full loop in 14 days will be a bit of a dash, but not too much of a rush. You will have time for a bit of a relax here and there, and, if you're up to a few short hikes in the August heat, that too will be very achievable.

As said, for August, it's probably best to book to ensure you get the nicest places within whatever your budget may be. The place with the biggest price variation is Las Vegas when weekend prices will be much, much higher than in the week. In August there can be some fab deals for luxury hotels right in the middle of the Strip for midweek stays. Any night stops in National Parks do need to be booked up as soon as possible once you've set your dates.

As said, August will be hot everywhere, and the parks very busy as it's school hols for so many kids and their families, from both sides of the Atlantic, who will be visiting the area, too.

Flights are usually most competitive during sale times, but there are other times when you can get good deals. Currently, BA have a sale on, but there are good prices from other airlines, too. Just keep an eye out and sign up to register on some websites and you'll get reminders of deals and sales. For next August, I'd not want to book later than say January of next year, but others may have different views on when's the best time to book. There aren't hard and fast rules, but there are often sales around Christmas time.

There was a really good honeymoon trip report posted up on the this forum some time last October/November by somebody who did a pretty similar trip to yours, for more ideas. If I can find it, I'll post a link in a subsequent post.

Have a great honeymoon,

SWT

Edited: 10 September 2012, 22:23
Sedona
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4. Re: West coast rd trip

Both Palm Springs and Las Vegas will be very hot in August. September would be better if you could arrange that.

UK
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5. Re: West coast rd trip

hello Valiantsontour

that's great post. Well! thanks for sharing nice information with us.

Wednesbury, UK
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6. Re: West coast rd trip

Hi again.

The Honeymoon TR I think SWT is referring to is Jinxy1986's.

He posted them in bits in each destination forum, so if you look at his posts list you can see them all. He did drive LV to Yosemite Valley in a day, but like I said we'd not recommend it.

tripadvisor.co.uk/members-forums/Jinxy1986

Lewes, United...
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7. Re: West coast rd trip

Yes, glad you found it, Valiant. I had a quick search, failed and then got busy!

SWT

Uden, The...
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8. Re: West coast rd trip

Flying LAX directly count on 2 hours before you are on the road and it's not recommended to drive to Palm Springs directly after the long flight in rushhour. Maybe visit LA first.

Lincoln, United...
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9. Re: West coast rd trip

Thanks for all of your advise. We unfortunately cant delay the trip until Sep because of work. We arent too bothered about LA out of all of the destinations. The most important parts for us are Yosemite Vegas and San Fran. I noticed the flights to LAX were the best price which is why we were looking to start here. That is useful to no about the distance between Vegas and Yosemite. I knew it was a long way but didnt realise it would be that far!! I will definitley book the accommodation in advance rather than just wait until we get there. I will also take a look at the other posts suggested. Thanks so much for all of the info. I think this may be the sort of holiday you dont do every year so I would prefer not to get it completley wrong.

Lewes, United...
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10. Re: West coast rd trip

If you're not that bothered about LA, unless the price difference really is huge, I'd forget looking at flights to/from LAX. To do your trip, I'd suggest you consider open jaw tickets into SFO (for San Francisco) and back from LAS (for Las Vegas) or vice versa. Both BA and Virgin offer those routes non stop from LHR, so there's a bit of competition to keep prices down, and there's often no difference in price open jaw to return from same airport as they tend to bunch those destination as just west coast pricing.

As San Francisco will be the coolest places, on the coast, you might want to start there and as you get used to the heat, head to Death Valley and Vegas last.

SWT