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America Trip 2014

Burley in...
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America Trip 2014

Hey Guys!

So 2 of us are going out to the US May 2014 and just looking for hints and tips, things to do/see etc.

We fly from the UK at the end of May to New York. 10 days later we fly Montreal - San Jose, then fly home 18 days after that from Vegas.

We plan on visiting:

New York inc. Niagra Falls



San Francisco



San Diego

Phoenix (Possibly)

Grand Canyon

Las Vegas

We will be renting a car leaving SF and dropping off when we get to LV. As we will both still be under 25 (Just), any reccomendations where to rent from that may not charge Under-25 fee?



Edited: 22 October 2013, 13:34
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1. Re: America Trip 2014

Joe, please read through this forum for many months, and through the trip reports posted in a sticky thread at the top of the forum. There are many threads in this forum discussing your itineraries and options, as well as rental car options (see the FAQs in the upper right of this forum).

E.g., if you like Rock and Roll and roller coasters, you could consider northern Ohio for the Rock Hall in Cleveland and Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world in Sandusky. Cleveland is four hours southwest of NF and Sandusky is one hour west of Cleveland. Also, check out Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island if you like to party, and also see some insignificant UK naval history/but very significant U.S. naval history (the Battle of Lake Erie), celebrated by the largest Doric column in the world with an observation deck higher than on the Statue of Liberty.

See post 2 of this recent thread discussing options from NYC (check out the Cleveland "day trips" travel article linked near the end of the post for Cedar Point and the Lake Erie islands (Put-in-Bay).


Good planning!

Marina, California
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2. Re: America Trip 2014

How long do you have for the Montreal portion of your trip? Are you planning on driving up there and then flying to San Jose, CA? If so, I think you should consider taking the train to Niagara Falls, maybe renting a car for a day or two there, then taking a train to Toronto and then another to Montreal. The train is pretty nice, and there's no reason to have a car in either Toronto or Montreal. It gets very expensive and, with you both being under 25, it will be really expensive. It's also very difficult to rent a car on one side of the border and drop it off on the other. Most rental car companies don't do that.

I would suggest skipping Phoenix on your second leg, as it will be close to June by then, and that's by far the worst time to visit Phoenix. You're looking at temperatures 45C+ during the day.

You will likely not find a company that will outright waive the under-25 fee. I've seen sales before, where they give a discount, so check around. But I would try a broker like carhire3000.co.uk before going further. There are a number of suggestions on rental options for UK residents on this forum.

Lewes, United...
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3. Re: America Trip 2014

Hi Joe

I see you asked some questions on this topic here not so long ago:


Is this a rehash of the same trip, or just more questions? I do see huge differences!


Burley in...
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4. Re: America Trip 2014

Hey guys!

This is our revamped trip now that has been booked.

A rough guide to how long we will be spending in each location;

New York inc. Niagra Falls - 4 Days

Toronto - 2 Days

Montreal - 4 Days

San Francisco - 4 Days

Yosemite - 2 Days

LA - 2 Days

San Diego - 4 Days

Grand Canyon - 2 Days

Las Vegas - 3 Days

We are planning to rent a car just as we leave San Fran, camping at Yosemite. Then drive to La, San Diego, Grand Canyon (Camping), then dropping the car in Vegas.

Any must-sees? Recommended stops? (Especially between Yosemite and LA)


Edited: 08 November 2013, 12:35
Santa Fe, New Mexico
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5. Re: America Trip 2014

Take AMTRAK ... NYC/Montreal... Then on to Toronto & Niagara ... Fly, a Budget US,domestic airline Buffalo-San Francisco/Oakland... Rent when ready to leave San Francisco... Four days is too long in San Diego... Put half if that time into the Grand Canyon/Nt'l Parks "loop" ... carracar

Edited: 08 November 2013, 14:44
Washington State
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6. Re: America Trip 2014


The best place to plan a driving itinerary within the state of California is on the California state forum page. Read the relevant Top Questions, especially the ones about Hwy 1 and about California Itineraries.

From Yosemite Valley to Los Angeles is a full day's drive, especially if you're trying to visit Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias near the South Entrance before you leave. There isn't time for other tourism and definitely not time to detour to the scenic Hwy 1 coast.

Be sure you know how to maximize your chance of reserving a campsite in Yosemite. Info on the Yosemite forum. When the reservation website opens at 7 am, there are thousands of folks trying to make reservations. It's crazy.


When you say "2 days" in a destination and it take 4 or 6 hours to drive there, does that mean you'll be staying 3 nights? Or does that mean 2 nights with just a partial day and then a full day? Stating the number of nights in a destination is more accurate.

San Francisco - 4 Days / 4 nights? 5 nights?

4 hr drive to Yosemite Valley - 2 Days / 3 nights? 2 nights?

6 hr drive to L.A. - 2 Days / 3 nights

2 hr drive to San Diego - 4 Days ~ too many

8-10 hr drive to South Rim of Grand Canyon NP - 2 Days / 2 nights is probably enough

5 hr drive to Las Vegas - 3 Days / ?


SF (3-4 n) - Yosemite Valley (2 n) - Monterey (1-2 n) - Pismo Beach / Cambria (1 n) - L.A. (2-3 n) - San Diego (2-3 n) - South Rim GCNP (2 n) - Las Vegas (2-3 n) - LAS

Wednesbury, UK
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7. Re: America Trip 2014

You could take one of your SD nights ( sorry zed if your reading this!) and put a night down the Big Sur between Yosemite and LA. In a long day you could go Yosemite to Monterey and then down to Cambria, or San Louis Obispo etc.

Lewes, United...
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8. Re: America Trip 2014

OK, I see!

I assume you are only asking us on the RT forum for advice for the portion once you pick up the rental car as you leave SF?

It's not vast amounts of driving, but it's more driving past some interesting areas that I would personally go for, but it's your trip, and you're interests are likely to be a million miles away from ours. Also, you're very young so there's no reason why in the future, not even the near future, you won't have ample time to return to the USA and visit places you never got to or revisit places you didn't get to see in as much depth as you would like.

I would be inclined to agree with Valiant's suggestion to add an extra day for the drive down the Pacific coast, otherwise it works OK with some long but not outrageous drives.

However, PNWF also asks valid questions. There's a huge difference between days/night in terms of counting available time to explore.

Make sure you rent your car with one of the overseas third party consolidators to ensure you have a fee free one way deal.


9. Re: America Trip 2014

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