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60-90Day Planned Road Trip

Ipswich UK
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60-90Day Planned Road Trip

We have a planned a route out and your thoughts would be apprecaited.

Whilst we want to do the touristy thinsg we also want to see real America.

Our plan is to use these as a base to explore the area, up to 250 miles round trip.

Santa Monica

Pismo Beach

Monterey

SF

Jamestown

Yosimite

Mammoth Lakes

Lone Pine

Beatty

Death Valley Furnace

Las Vagas

Kingman

Flagstaff

Phoenix/Scotts Dale

Palm Springs

San Diego

Santa Monica

Thoughts?

Liverpool, UK
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1. Re: 60-90Day Planned Road Trip

Before answering can you confirm your probable dates as this could determine the best option - are you planning a rental car with overnight hotels and from your plan it seems this is a circular trip with flights in/out of LAX?.

Ipswich UK
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2. Re: 60-90Day Planned Road Trip

Thanks for your reply.

Leaving the UK early Oct 2014 and plan to stay in hotels/motels using a 4x4 hire car as transport.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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3. Re: 60-90Day Planned Road Trip

Okay, so October through either early December or earlyJanuary?

The weather will be a factor in how you arrange your itinerary. Some of the areas you've listed get snow and ice in winter. I'd try to visit Yosemite as early as possible.

No Grand Canyon?

Ipswich UK
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4. Re: 60-90Day Planned Road Trip

In order to reduce Hotel costs we were planning to visit the Canyon when at Las Vagas (9 nights), Kingman (3 nights) and Flagstaff (2 nights).

But do you think staying there would be better?

Liverpool, UK
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5. Re: 60-90Day Planned Road Trip

"But do you think staying there would be better?" - Staying at a lodge within the GCNP is the best option so you can see the canyon at sunset/sunrise - it's around 5 hours each way from Las Vegas so you spend a lot of time just driving to/from the GCNP.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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6. Re: 60-90Day Planned Road Trip

Yes, at the *very least* stay in Tusayan. There are options at the South Rim that don't cost an arm and a leg, and you'll be in shoulder season.

Cleveland
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7. Re: 60-90Day Planned Road Trip

A day-by-day itinerary would be easier to understand and provide you with more useful feedback. I'm not certain that you understand the distances involved in visiting attractions. It's doubtful the West lends itself to bases of exploration. E.g., considering most would advice you to spend perhaps two days in each of Sedona and Page, it may not make much sense commuting to those destinations.

I've never seen another thread proposing a trip plan such as this one, for good reason IMO. However, many of your bases are typical destinations. By visiting destinations and attractions in a more linear fashion, you likely would save days of travel time.

Read through this forum for many months for relevant threads. Also check out relevant trip reports in the sticky thread at the top of the forum.

National park books open 12 months in advance for in-park lodging, so the clock already is running on Yosemite.

Good planning!

Edited: 30 October 2013, 03:19
Lewes, United...
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8. Re: 60-90Day Planned Road Trip

Hi Andrew

Despite a previous request, I'm still not at all sure how long your trip is for, and there's a huge difference in terms of 60 days or 90 days, so please would you give us a more precise duration to guide us as to how long you have to get around.

Anyway, in the meanwhile, a few random questions to your random comments:

Why a 4x4 rental specifically? If it's for weather reasons towards the end of the trip, fine. If it's to go off road, please be aware that the contract you'll sign for all renters forbids this and any damage will invalidate your contract and cost you loads of money.

If you've not booked your flights and wish to save money on hotel costs, go for a shorter period of time. The advice to stay within national parks is because there's a good reason to do so, but all accommodation in the parks is pricey - location, location, location - and staying outside the parks may reduce the enjoyment of your experience.

For example, a whole 9 days is Las Vegas but only a day trip dash to the Grand Canyon would, in my personal view, be a great shame. And, if you're saving money, Las Vegas over a weekend is to be avoided. Santa Monica is also very much not a budget destination. Even if you manage to snag good value accommodation, car parking in the area is outrageous and hard to find and the local restaurants and small grocery stores equally upscale and pricey!

Make sure the 90 days, if you go that long, is absolutely 90 days and not accidentally 91 (allowing for night flights) because, if it's 91, then you'll need a visa to visit the USA, you won't be able to enter with an effortlessly acquired ESTA. And, if you need to visa, you'd be advised to be sure you are granted it before buying air tickets, which may mean you can't buy them at the cheapest prices.

I know this question is going to seem odd (especially coming from me, in this context), but with even 60 days, never mind the 90 days, your trip is actually rather modest. You are aware that you could actually go further afield and see more of the USA for possibly no greater cost? Especially as your original concept seems to include quite lengthy day trips so still lots of miles and thus gas in the rental car!

Are you by any chance picking some of the places to spend the night in lesser, cheaper destinations to save money? I notice some of the places on your list are close but not quite at more interesting destinations.

Judging by some of the comments above, other folk are also curious about your aims but haven't quite asked!

SWT

Uden, The...
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9. Re: 60-90Day Planned Road Trip

In your OP you are describing a trip easily done in 4 weeks. 9 days Las vegas? 3!! days Kingman?? Blimey. At least check places like Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef Moab, Monument Valley, Page, Sedona etc etc and even then you can't fill 90 days.

Tet

Lewes, United...
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10. Re: 60-90Day Planned Road Trip

So succinct and to the point, as always, Tet. It took me several paragraphs of dancing to say what you said but I thought!!!

SWT