We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Thoughts on hotels

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
281 posts
80 reviews
Save Topic
Thoughts on hotels

Hi,

My girlfriend and I are planning 3 weeks in California. We look to get flights into and out of LA and probably just rent a car for the whole time in June/July this year.

I am thinking that we would have 2/3 days in LA then drive to Las Vegas for 3/4 days. Then head through Death Valley, Yosemite and on to San Francisco for 4/5 days. Then take the coast route back to LA and stay our last few days there before getting our flight.

My question is regarding hotels. Should we book every single hotel in advance and plan our schedule exactly? It just seems as we will have a car we might chance upon some other locations or decide we need longer at one place but would we struggle to find a room in any of these locations at this time of the year? Maybe we can book our first LA hotel and perhaps stay in one of the top hotels in Las Vegas so that would need booking in advance but the rest...?

Also does this sound like a sensible route to take during 3 weeks?

Many thanks!

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
59,042 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Thoughts on hotels

Hotels in Yosemite get booked 1 year in advance!

I'd book something since you are coming in the HIGH summer season.

It will be low HOT season in Las Vegas . The coastal route in California is VERY busy in summer and you may/may not find something in your price range by chance if you do not book! A large city like San Francisco may have hotels available OR you may run into dates where a convention is in town and you won't find a room. Sometimes it is better to book hotels and just hold the room with a credit card withOUT paying for it until you are here.

IF you should change your mind you can cancel the room at no charge.

Make sure to read the cancelation rules on the web site you use to book the hotel. I prefer to use the hotel web site itself but you may have another favorite booking site that you use.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
48,104 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Thoughts on hotels

What Riff M said A car is not needed in SF so please get rid of it and rent another one if you need to drive down the Coast. Please plan your route and book in advance including your rental car

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
55,778 posts
104 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Thoughts on hotels

Agree with others. Folks who visit without lodging reservations sometimes drive 2 hours to find a place to sleep. Not a fun trip! The Top Questions on each city/destination forum should have lodging ideas. 4th of July holiday will be busy where ever you go.

The Top Questions in the upper right of this page has some descriptions of the Las Vegas to Yosemite 2-day drive and the SF to L.A. 3-day drive.

There are also motel & motor inns in SF that have free parking, if it's 'better' for you to keep the car for the entire trip. If you can fly in & out of SFO, you wouldn't have this problem.

CarHire3000, USRentACar, Hertz.co.uk, Alamo.co.uk and other European versions of car rental companies might have a good deal for you.

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
281 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Thoughts on hotels

Hi and thanks.

So maybe it's best to rent the car on the day we leave for Las Vegas from LA, keep the car in Las Vegas and all the way to San Fransisco and then I presume we can pre-arrange to drop the car in SF? Spend our time in SF and then hire another car just for the drive back to LA?

When you say the coastal road is very busy.....is this going to make it dangerous and not so enjoyable compared to other times in the year?

I am more than happy to book everything in advance and thanks for the advice!

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
281 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Thoughts on hotels

Yep we checked out Enterprise and the cost for 3 weeks wasn't that high. Although I need to do some research on what type of car is best to hire for 2 people. I imagine the smallest and cheapest option might not be the best?

We ideally want to fly to and from LA because it seems the flights are a bit cheaper. We will be getting a return flight from Singapore.

Thanks!

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
55,778 posts
104 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Thoughts on hotels

Personally, I'd be satisfied with the location of the motels & motor inns in SF and I'd keep the car. The locals think a car limits your hotel choice so much that it's better to drop it when you get there and to pick up another one when you leave. Personal choice.

There isn't one 'best' car for all travelers. I don't think I'd get the smallest Economy car for mountain driving.. not enough power. I probably wouldn't get the Compact, but it would run fine. An Intermediate would be sufficient. Some folks recommend a small/intermediate SUV so you sit higher for a better view. Some folks splurge on a convertible. Personal choice again! Cars: enterprise.com/car_rental/showVehicles.do

The coastal road is busy because it's beautiful. It's not dangerous.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
48,104 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Thoughts on hotels

I think somewhere something got lost in Translation -- in July Vegas and the DEATH VALLEY are VERY HOT and all you are going to be doing is to drive through them so you need a car with good gas mileage and a powerful AC to get through that part of the West.

I would be more particular about that issue than the drive along the Hwy 1 or the Ca coast which will be nice and cool.

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
281 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Thoughts on hotels

Well we are not too worried about the heat but appreciate we need a car that will withstand the elements! I think if we were traveling through Death Valley and Yosemite then we would definitely like to explore a bit for a day or two, we wouldn't just want to drive straight through. Thanks!

California
Level Contributor
1,922 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Thoughts on hotels

In your discussion on visiting Death Valley in June/July, what do you mean --

*We are not too worried about the heat . . .*

I am worried when you say that you are *not too worried* about the heat! I don't want to lecture about taking heat precautions. So, my short admonition is this:

Stay safe in the desert heat.

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
281 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Thoughts on hotels

Yep totally agree. It's right to take every precaution in the heat and we will but we are not stupid and know the steps that are required etc etc we just want to make the most of our time there.