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Struggling with a road trip (CA/AZ)

Graz, Austria
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Struggling with a road trip (CA/AZ)

I'm struggling to try and make a road trip work for 4 or maybe 5 adults with vastly different tastes!

The only given in this trip is Vegas for 4 nights, probably Sun 12th May checking out Thurs 16th May, the dates can be changed if needs be, but the 4 nights is apparently non-negotiable!

Ooops sorry the other given (for just 2 or 3 of the group though) is 1 or 2 nights in LA. So leaving the whole group with either 8 or 10 days together.

The whole trip is either 10 or 12 nights (dependent on costs) from Sun 12th May.

I guess that I probably need to elaborate a bit more........

The 'current' plan was for my husband and I to fly into LA Thurs 9th May, spend the night at an LAX hotel as we arrive late, and then head to Desert Hot Springs for 2 nights at El Morocco Inn, then head to Vegas on Sun 12th May to meet up with the others who are flying into Vegas. 4 nights in Vegas, then drive to San Diego for 3 nights, then drive to LA, where we would then fly over to to the East Coast for 3 more weeks, and the others would spend 3 nights in LA before flying home from LA.

It has since transpired that nobody particularly wants to go to San Diego, it apparently just seemed convenient! Both myself and my husband would rather drive inland into Arizona instead of into California. A couple of members of the group want to go to Oatman (I don't but I'll go along to keep the peace), The Hoover Dam seems a popular choice withe everyone, The Grand Canyon again is popular, my husband would like to do the scenic railroad trip from Clarkdale, I'd like to spend at least one night in Flagstaff (but the hotel needs to be within walking distance of downtown so we can all go out to a brewpub for the evening and no one has to drive back to the hotel), my husband would also like to spend the night at the Wigwam motel in Holbrook (if it's feasible to drive that far in our limited timescale).

So basically, if you're still reading! I'm looking to try and make the above work.

I still think that my husband and I could still fly into LA, go to Desert Hot Springs and then meet the others in Vegas on 12th May. Then spend the 4 nights in Vegas, then we need to have the others back in LA for Weds 22nd May at the latest, or maybe even earlier.

Am I trying to do too much by venturing into Arizona?

I do need to try and find cheap places to stay as I would like to enable the others to make this into a 12 night road trip.

My current thinking is:

Thurs 9th May - my husband and I fly to LA/overnight LAX hotel

Fri 10th May - drive to Desert Hot Springs for 2 nights at El Morocco Inn

Sat 11th May - El Morocco Inn

Sun 12th May - drive to Las Vegas to meet the others who fly in today

Mon 13th May - Vegas

Tue 14th May - Vegas

Wed 15th May - Vegas

Thu 16th May - leave Vegas, visit Hoover Dam, Oatman, overnight near Oatman - maybe Kingman

Fri 17th May - drive to Flagstaff along route 66 if it's possible, maybe stopping in Williams for an hour or so, overnight Flagstaff

Sat 18th May - overnight Flagstaff, maybe the Clarkdale railroad this day

Sun 19th May - overnight Flagstaff, maybe Grand Canyon this day

Mon 20th May - drive to Holbrook along route 66 if posible, maybe stopping in Winslow for an hour or so, overnight Holbrook

Tue 21st May - drive midway to LA, not sure of the best route, or the best place to overnight

Wed 22nd May - drive to LA, we fly to the East Coast, the others enjoy LA

Thu 23rd May - LA

Fri - 24rd May - the others fly home

Am I spending too much time in Flagstaff?

What else should we see/do around here. Most of the others are not into National Parks unfortunately, only The Grand Canyon seems to be a go'er.

Are we venturing too far into Arizona to make it back to LA?

Should we do some of the route 66 i California?

Sorry!!!! But thanks for any help!!!!!

europe-chick

Wednesbury, UK
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1. Re: Struggling with a road trip (CA/AZ)

Hi again.

What you have there is perfectly doable, although I agree, too many nights in Flagstaff and one should at least be spent at the Grand Canyon. Kingman is about half way from Holbrook to LA, but maybe stay Laughlin instead on the way back for a change, it's not much further.

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2. Re: Struggling with a road trip (CA/AZ)

Also, rather than Holbrook and Winslow, what about Sedona?

Graz, Austria
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3. Re: Struggling with a road trip (CA/AZ)

Thanks Valiantsontour.

Laughlin looks like a good stop for the way back.

Where would be the cheapest place to spend a night for the Gran Canyon. As I mentioned I need to keep the costs down otherwise the others would have 10 nights not 12.

I'm spending more bloody time on this part than our own 3 weeks in the South East afterwards I've not even thought about that yet, other than comparing flight prices into Atlanta or Orlando.

europe-chick

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4. Re: Struggling with a road trip (CA/AZ)

Just my initial thoughts, I'm sure many others will chip in with their comments from their greater knowledge and experience.

Any trip of this nature is a compromise, everybody usually has to stick to the budget of those with the least amount of funds and the duration of those with the shortest amount of time available. Given that, I'd say you've made a good start to make a trip of it all.

Are you spending too long in Arizona? Not necessarily. However, while I quite like Flagstaff, and it's a pleasant enough college town for a few nights, it's not really an interesting town in it's own right for me to ever wish to spend as long in it as you plan to, but I can see the geographic merits. For the Grand Canyon, it's always best to stay at the South Rim lodgings, if you can get a booking - especially as sunset and sunrise are the magical times to be there. The most convenient place to stay if you can't stay in the park (but way less interesting than even Flagstaff) is Tusayan. Its has a lot of lodging that is cheaper than in the park itself, but Flagstaff will be cheaper still, of course.

Have you considered staying in Sedona for some of your trip? It's a much nicer and more appealing place to spend some of your time, but not quite as convenient for some of the places you wish to access. I cannot comment on the Clarkdale railroad as we never did this.

Most of the route 66 'stuff' in California is less well preserved than that in Arizona. For more R66 info, look at:

http://www.historic66.com/

No reason to spend longer in California if it doesn't interest all of you, or you've been before!

SWT

Graz, Austria
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5. Re: Struggling with a road trip (CA/AZ)

I thought about Sedona as it would coincide nicely with the Clarkdale railway.

I'd need to check out that area a bit more as I don't know much about it, i.e. what there is to do. I just figured that Route 66 might appeal to the majority a bit more, and my husband in particular likes the idea of the Wigwam motel in Holbrook, plus the Wigwams are cheap at just $48 per night!

Wednesbury, UK
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6. Re: Struggling with a road trip (CA/AZ)

For the Grand Canyon have a look at the chain options in Tusayan, although the NPS concession lodges in the park can have some lower cost options if you get in early.

Info on both here

www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/lodging.htm

Thats's the problem with travelling with friends!!.......; ).

Edited: 17 December 2012, 17:59
Graz, Austria
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7. Re: Struggling with a road trip (CA/AZ)

Grand Canyon Lodging is waaaay out of the groups price range I'm afraid, I need to keep the nightly rate below $100, ideally much much lower!

Am off to check Tusayan now.

We will be able to spurge when we get to the South East.

Wednesbury, UK
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8. Re: Struggling with a road trip (CA/AZ)

Stacks of things to see and do around Sedona, depends on the groups likes but hikes, drives etc. in the State Parks like Red Rock SP, tours such as pink jeep, drive up to Jerome. You may find the accommodation cheaper in Cottonwood than in Sedona itself, and handier for the train.

Uden, The...
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9. Re: Struggling with a road trip (CA/AZ)

There also is a Wigwam motels in Rialto close to San Bernadino. Think that will be more on your way.

10. Re: Struggling with a road trip (CA/AZ)

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