First post, so be nice to me, please. :)
Before answering the questions, please be advised that most of us have never done a long distance road trip like this before. Well, at least I haven't and I think I'm one of the principle drivers, haha.
An additional bit of info: I think we only have 7 or 8 days to spare at maximum.
1. Is it more advisable to drive down to Los Angeles and fly back to Vancouver or should we fly down to LA and then drive back to Vancouver? Or neither (i.e. drive both ways)? Take a train to Seattle or something?
2. Knowing that we might only have a maximum of 7 or 8 days, is that enough time to sightsee and have a bit of fun, as opposed to driving for most of the time? That is, is it possible to drive down from Vancouver to LA (or from LA to Vancouver) and have a respectable time?
Answer the following only if your answer to #2 is 'yes':
3. Are there Canadian/American car rental companies that allow you to rent a car in one country and drop it off in the other country (particularly California State and British Columbia)? Worse comes to worst, I assume we can pick up a car in Washington State and drop it off in California, or vice versa.
4. What sites do you do you suggest we see on the trip? Honestly, I have no clue about the Pacific coast or even the Pacific American states. Any 'can't miss' things we should see or places we'll regret not seeing? I've heard something about red forest or some redwood thing.
5. Is it advisable to book hotels/motels ahead of time or is it possible to find places along the way? Any you recommend personally that's fairly cheap (three of us are students and one of us is a recent graduate who recently got a job)?
6. How much gas money should be budgeted?
7. Should we buy a GPS device or is that unnecessary?
8. Anything else I should think about before a trip is planned?
I greatly greatly appreciate any help you can provide. You don't know how much of a blessing it is to have a message board like this. Thank you so very much for your hospitality!