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New Orleans to Los Angeles

Hobart, Australia
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New Orleans to Los Angeles

We are travelling to the US on October 30 and back to Oz on December 8. We are thinking of flying to New York and using Amtrack to visit north east (Washington, Boston, Niagra, Toronto) then train to Miami and fly to New Orleans. We would then like to drive to Los Angeles via Monterrey. How long would we need to do this to be able to take in main sights - Grand Canyon and maybe Vegas?

Nashville, Tennessee
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1. Re: New Orleans to Los Angeles

Are the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and Monterey the only places you really want to see in the Southwest? If so, you'd be better served by taking another flight from New Orleans to LA and doing a loop out of Los Angeles. There are lots of interesting places in between the two (San Antonio, Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, etc.), but in only 5 weeks you would have a very packed itinerary.

Marina, California
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2. Re: New Orleans to Los Angeles

Yes, I would also suggest you fly from New Orleans to at least Phoenix, then see the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, etc. I've done the drive from Houston to Los Angeles a couple of times, and it's either two extremely long days or three seemingly very long days. It's a very boring drive. If you shoot north to I-40, you can visit sites in New Mexico but you just do not have the time for this.

Realize also that putting the Grand Canyon at the end of your trip opens you up to encountering snow. That region typically starts to see snow around late November. If you don't see snow, then it's still likely to be very cold.

Wednesbury, UK
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3. Re: New Orleans to Los Angeles

Hi just a clarification.

By Monterrey,do you mean the one in Mexico that is spelt tht way? If so that is no - no with any rental car unless you can find something locally hired near the border, and then you have the security issues in Northern Mexico.

If its as the others have assumed, Monterey on the CA coast, then that is a different matter, though it's not really on route from NOLA to LA, fits better with San Francisco as a finish point, especially in November/December.

Edited: 24 March 2013, 06:21
Hobart, Australia
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4. Re: New Orleans to Los Angeles

Thanks all. Think we are being all together too ambitious with the trip as a whole. Back to the start I think.

Uden, The...
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5. Re: New Orleans to Los Angeles

I'd skip the Miami part. Flight to New Orleans and fly Phoenix for your SW trip. No drop off charges for the car between Az, Ca and Nv when rented from Australia at one of the brokers.

Chula Vista...
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6. Re: New Orleans to Los Angeles

Hi and welcome,

As you go back to the drawing board, keep in mind that Thursday, 28 November is a national holiday--Thanksgiving Day. Many shops and attractions will be closed that day.

The thing about the Thanksgiving holiday is that most people will also take that Friday off from work, turning the holiday into a four-day weekend. As a result, Thanksgiving weekend is unequivocally our busiest travel weekend of the year. Period. People begin to leave that Wednesday afternoon and will return on Sunday or even Monday.

Reservations are a MUST for that time period regardless of where you are, and if you're going to be in a popular national park or other destination, it may already be too late to find lodging for that weekend. Get that part of your trip nailed down as soon as you can, and when you do, make reservations immediately.

Also, you should do everything in your power to avoid being in or near airports that weekend. If you must travel by plane that weekend, I'd show up to the airport 3-5 hours in advance of your flight (depending on the size of the airport and whether it's a major hub) to get checked in and through security. Early winter weather can wreak havoc on flights across the country if a major hub like Chicago or Atlanta is shut down.

Finally, if you're into shopping, the Friday after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year in the US, as retailers offer huge sales on items to kick off the Christmas shopping season. Shopping malls will be insane, and people may line up for hours in advance of opening times just to be near the front of the line when the stores open. It's nuts. :-) But the discounts can make the insanity worth it.

Enjoy your planning!

Zed

Hobart, Australia
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7. Re: New Orleans to Los Angeles

Thanks Tet and Zed - very useful tips and information. My thought is turning to using planes more and maybe concentrating the driving around LA, San Francisco, Yellowstone, Las Vags and Grand Canyon. Thinking we probably need to the northeast first given the time of year and include some driving around Lancaster from Philadelphia. By doing north east first we get back into LA well before we head home and thus create plenty of time for flight delays.

Chula Vista...
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8. Re: New Orleans to Los Angeles

Hi Angloz,

Glad to help out. I like your idea of splitting the trip into two major segments. I think you'll find plenty to do in both regions.

Also, just to clarify... You said you want to drive around LA, SF and "Yellowstone." Did you really mean to say Yosemite? Yellowstone National Park is about 2 days' drive from San Francisco in Wyoming; Yosemite is about 4 hours drive from SF in California.

Weather in November in both parks could be an issue, but you'll find a higher likelihood of it being a problem in Yellowstone (Wyoming) than in Yosemite (California). You may want to check the individual forums for the parks for more specific details.

Zed

Hobart, Australia
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9. Re: New Orleans to Los Angeles

Oops. Thanks Zed. Yes, Yosemite. :)

Will likely be early December so we will keep fingers crossed re weather. Thanks again.

Uden, The...
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10. Re: New Orleans to Los Angeles

NY marathon will be nov 3. 2013 Will be very busy. Make sure you'll make reservations asa possible