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Trip around USA

Auckland
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Trip around USA

Hi there,

We are travelling from Auckland, NZ to the United States for about a month. We'll be meeting our extended family who will be travelling from the Middle East (with two young kids). I would love to know some awesome places to travel around USA. We will be landing in LA and hence California state will be our mainstay for the first few days. Would love to explore the States via road.

Wednesbury, UK
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1. Re: Trip around USA

Hi.

When is this trip planned for? That is a vital bit of information as in a month you can cover a fair range, and if its winter or spring that will give some constraints.

Edited: 14 August 2013, 05:55
Wednesbury, UK
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2. Re: Trip around USA

Quite possible for California to be your mainstay for the whole month to be honest, big state, lots to see do.

Are you looking at a round trip, anything you must see and do already, I guess the Grand Canyon and Disneyland for the kids for instance? How many of you in total, and any particular interests like hiking, will all help with suggestions.

Edited: 14 August 2013, 06:01
Uden, The...
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3. Re: Trip around USA

In another thread the OP mentioned it will be between mid december and mid januari. And they come with 13 people. That means renting 2 extended SUVs for the driving part or 3 smaller SUVs. Or a maxi van but even a maxi 15pax van will be tight with so many people and luggage. Southern California and Arizona can be visited in winter with often pleasant weather. For Grand Canyon there already can be snow not to mention the NE. You obviously will fly between west and east. A road trip will be a PITA in winter and you don't have enough time.

Tet

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4. Re: Trip around USA

Having read your other thread, are you set on NYC for Xmas/New Year?

If so maybe slip your trip dates,(or pull it forward so you finish there) go there first then come back to the West for a three, or two and a half week trip around southern/central CA and the coast and AZ, maybe a bit of southern Utah if the weather cooperates.

A visit to Yosemite is possible, but you'll need to plan a head as a WInter visit, probably using public transport like YARTS to get in and out. If you arrive mid-Dec and want to be in NYC before the 25th, then you don't have a lot of time but could do a small loop or one way trip say from SF to Vegas, or Phoenix if you have a bit longer, say two weeks lead in.

But it will be quick and with kids I guess you'll want time in Anahiem and San Diego for the theme parks and attractions?

You need to do a bit more homework I think on what you all want to do and the time you have. Then we can help you put a better plan together.

Auckland
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5. Re: Trip around USA

Hi thank you for all your posts!

Apologies that my previous post was vague.

Ok so we are 13 of us that are planning to travel around USA. As mentioned before, LA will be our mainstay but we do want to venture out and look at as much as possible. The travel dates are between 15th December - 15th January. In terms of interest, it is a family trip (with 4 kids under 8) so sight seeing, nature and theme parks are primary. However, we are keen on low-range adventure such as half a day hikes, white water rafting, etc.

@Tet14: Thank you! We were thinking two SUVs due to the luggage carried around. Do we need a special licence for these?

@valiantsontour: Yes we want to be in NYC for Xmas as we've heard some wonderful things. What do you suggest? And if that's the case, we wanted to do a Roadtrip around that time from NYC - Niagara falls (i think 6 hours?). But we are keen to have stops in between and extend it to a possible 2-3 day trip. Any suggestions for that? I've heard NYC to Niagara can be done via a few routes.

In terms of Southern parts and CA, we thought of these places: San Fran, Yosemite, Las Vegas, Disneyland and Grand Canyon. Thanks once again to everyone for your input. Much appreciated :)

Green Valley...
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6. Re: Trip around USA

Climate chart, Niagara Falls, NY: www.usclimatedata.com/climate.php…

I think you need to decide how much time you'll spend at each major destination, especially with the kids. That will dictate the remaining time for driving and other sights.

Consider also/instead the S. Utah National Parks:

www.utah.com/nationalparks/grandcircle.htm

http://www.utah.com/nationalparks/

OhioHick: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28965-c177493/Utah:U…

Originally from New England, I'd strongly recommend against a visit there during the planned months.

I'd pare back; traveling with two vehicles, with kids, over many miles, can be a hardship for all.

Edited: 17 August 2013, 03:02
7. Re: Trip around USA

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Wednesbury, UK
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8. Re: Trip around USA

Hi again.

if your dates aren't flexible and NYC must stay on the plan for Xmas, then it does not give you much time in CA before you need to be heading to the east coast. Travel over the holiday period will be busy so I assume you will want to get there say the 23rd? It only gives you eight nights, not enough to do a tour of he locations you have indicated in the west, so maybe focus that on southern CA, LA and San Diego and do all the attractions in that area.

Voyaging raises very pertinent points about travelling around the NE, but lets say you spent Cmas and New Year in the east then flew back to say Phoenix on the 2nd, you could then do this to the 15th, hoping the weather is ok across northern AZ, it will be cold, you might get snow and ice.

2nd Phoenix to Sedona.

3rd. Sedona to Grand Canyon.

4th. Grand Canyon to Vegas.

5th. Vegas.

6th. Vegas to Ridgecrest or Bakersfield through Death Valley.

7th. To Yosemite.

8th. Yosrmite using YARTS.

9th. Yosemite.

10th. To San Francisco.

11-12th. SF.

13. To Monterey.

14th. To Cambria down Big Sur.

15th. To LAX and home.

You might have to drop a night if you have an early flight out of LAX, as its a 5 hour drive from Cambria, or get further south the last night.

Edited: 17 August 2013, 07:32
Wednesbury, UK
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9. Re: Trip around USA

A few points of caution. Although that plan is doable, there is still a fair amount of driving in it ( considering the group size and make up) It's relatively fast paced,.

Any big weather disruption to flights or a winter strom across AZ or the Sierras at the wrong time could make a complete mess of it and there is not much contingency, compared to the alternative of just spending the whole time in CA and the southwest would give you.

Uden, The...
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10. Re: Trip around USA

No you don't need a special drivers licence for a SUV but you'll need 2 extended SUVs. A normal full size SUV won't be big enough for 6+ people and luggage per car. You have to rent an expensive extended SUV like a Chevy Suburban.