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Road Tripping in the USA!

Discussion in 'Motors' started by [TW]Fox, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. Peerzy

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 9, 2008

    Posts: 6,691

    That's a load of rubbish. Unless you specifically book and pay extra for a V8 (often 2-3x more) you'll get an Ecoboost or V6.

    I've used Avis twice and both times they were fine. You don't get to select a car (they allocate) and there was a queue to the desk (as most places will have).
     
  2. The Craig

    Soldato

    Joined: May 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,492

    Location: Warwickshire

    Thanks for your response. I'm not really interested in Vegas and Mrs has been before.

    I would like to go to yosemite, but your route looks like a lot of driving (7 hrs to get to mammoth lakes). I think I'm going to give it a miss this time and allows me to go to big sur and beach towns etc.

    I think you're right regarding san Diego and I'll spend the last night /morning there rater than LA.

    San Luis is just a stop off. What would the alternate route be?

    I've heard San fran is pretty good and would easily have enough to do for the 3/4 nights?
     
  3. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 154,583

    Go up to Yosemite via Sequoia and then via Lone Pine. Opportunity to do Death Valley that way too.

    Then come back down Highway 1 via Big Sur etc.

    I still think 4 nights in San Fran and 4 nights in San Diego is overkill and means you'll miss the opportunity to see other stuff.
     
  4. andythelandy

    Gangster

    Joined: Sep 30, 2009

    Posts: 420

    We are planning on doing a route very similar to the opening posters in 2020 for our honeymoon, hoping to go for just under 3 weeks.

    I also really fancied getting a convertible mustang but I'd had a thought recently of can you actually get 2 full-size suitcases and 2 hand luggage in the boot, has anyone that's rented one got any feedback?
     
  5. b0rn2sk8

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 4,281

    I haven't rented a mustang but from reading this thread you can fit 2 large wheeled holdall types in the boot with 2 decent sized back packs but not 2 large suitcases.

    You may* get 2 mid-sized cases in there.

    *you may not, it will be very tight.
     
  6. Peerzy

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 9, 2008

    Posts: 6,691

    You'll struggle with hard cases purely due to the shape.

    We did a 4 week trip in a Mustang with 2 large wheeled holdall bags and 2 large carry on holdall bags. I doubt you'd even get 2 mid-sized hard cases in there.
     
  7. TripleT

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 24, 2002

    Posts: 9,230

    Location: Manchester City Centre

    We had two large wheeled cases and had to put one on the back seat.

    Secured it with the seat belt to deter any would be dirty clothes thief's.
     
  8. Screeeech

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2014

    Posts: 3,145

    Location: Farnham, Surrey

    I spend a lot of time in the US and do a lot of driving, but insurance is normally covered by my company, I'm in LA right now and want to get a hire car from somewhere like Enterprise, what do people usually do regarding insurance as to not get scammed by extortionate rates at the rental desk, which are normally more than the cost of the car itself?
     
  9. b0rn2sk8

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 4,281

    Book through the UK site where it’s included.
     
  10. Screeeech

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2014

    Posts: 3,145

    Location: Farnham, Surrey

    Yeah that's what I thought, however when booking on the Enterprise UK site, when I go through the terms and conditions I can't find anything about insurance being included, in contrast to somewhere like Alamo,

    Edit; I changed to Sixt who provide insurance as standard, which was cheaper anyway,
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  11. Joe T

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 1, 2003

    Posts: 11,332

    Location: Northampton

    I've never been sure that Enterprise provide the right insurances for UK drivers, even when booked from the UK.
     
  12. Rich_L

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 18,170

    Location: Santa Barbara, Californee

    My main suggestions are for going south from LA, it's worth considering adding Palm Springs to break up the trip to San Diego. It used to be a super sleepy old town but has become much more of a hotspot with good restaurants & bars. It's about 2.5hrs drive to PS from LAX, then PS to SD is an easy 2 hr drive.

    For going North from LA->SF (or the other way round) Santa Barbara is probably worth a solid couple days now - there's enough new breweries/restaurants etc that have been added in the last 10 years (since I first came here) that two days is easily filled with stuff to do, plus it's one of the nicest places in the world so you may as well enjoy it while you're over on the left coast.

    i.e. if instead of 4 nights in SD and 4 nights in SF you did 3 at each, and added 1 night in PS and an extra night in SB, you'd still see plenty of what SD/SF have to offer and be able to see something a bit different (PS) and enjoy SB a bit more.

    Also not sure if I've mentioned it before, but try and time your stop in SLO with a Thursday - they do a downtown Farmers market in the evening (6pm-9pm) which is fun. Similarly, Palm Springs has a Villagefest on Thursday evenings which is good also.

    Also dunno what dates you are looking at, but if you like beer/wine, do some searches for festivals in your local areas - there are so many to choose from it's pretty likely that your schedule may coincide with one (or more).
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  13. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 154,583

    It's further to Palm Springs than it is to San Diego, this is like breaking up the drive from Cardiff to London by stopping off in Manchester :D
     
  14. Rich_L

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 18,170

    Location: Santa Barbara, Californee

    Lol fair point, more like Birmingham I think, so call it a detour rather than breaking up the trip then :p Worth considering though I reckon, particularly if the trip is mainly coastal (SF-SD) without Vegas/Death Valley.
     
  15. The Craig

    Soldato

    Joined: May 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,492

    Location: Warwickshire

    Thanks for your ideas I've amended based on your response as I fancy a coastal route (as said previously not interested in vegas, and unfortunately yosemite would mean very long drives)

    1 less day in SF and san diego, instead + 1 in san luis and +1 santa barbara/palm springs. You live there? must be great! If a little expensive :p

    Day 1 Arrive LA
    Day 2 LA
    Day 3 LA- San Luis Opisbo
    Day 4 San Luis Opisbo
    Day 5 San Luis Opisbo-San Francisco
    Day 6 San Francisco
    Day 7 San Francisco
    Day 8 San Francisco-Monterey
    Day 9 Monterey/Big Sur
    Day 10 Monterey/Big Sur- Santa Barbara
    Day 11 Santa Barbara
    Day 12 Santa Barbara- Palm Springs
    Day 13 Palm Springs- San Diego
    Day 14 San Diego
    Day 15 San Diego
    Day 16 San Diego- LA
    Day 17 Leave LA
     
  16. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 154,583

    3 nights in San Luis and then only one in Palm springs? Why?
     
  17. b0rn2sk8

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 4,281

    Yosemite is only 4 hours from SF, which is only slightly longer than San Luis to San Fran. It makes no sense doing the PCH twice when you are missing out on all the stuff on the east side of the state.

    Not sure why you would also do San Luis when you are missing Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz

    Why not go:
    LA
    Santa Barbara
    Big Sur
    Monterey
    San Fran
    Yosemite
    Sequoia
    Palm Springs
    San Diego
    LA

    You could even throw Death Valley in instead of Sequoia, no need to go to Vegas.
     
  18. The Craig

    Soldato

    Joined: May 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,492

    Location: Warwickshire

    Will be in LA (universal studios) during the day before travelling and just staying there the first night. I.e. Only 1.5 days in San Luis opisbo.

    I'll have a look at things to do in Palm springs and possibly stay the extra night and head to San Diego in the morning

    I haven't interrogated the plan too much, its the Mrs doing it but she's taking on board comments where possible. It'd probably make more sense if I posted the 3rd tab of things we plan to do :p.

    Looks like that would only be about one day or so in yosemite at the cost of extra days in San Francisco /San Diego? She did look at yosemite and it was a long way, which would only be able to have a full day or so there. Also the cost of staying in yosemite was very high (not sure if that's just May or generally?)

    Death Valley is circa 4.5hours (each way) East of Los Angeles which doesn't really appeal. I'm sure it would be nice roads/views etc but a more coastal scene appeals to me more.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  19. b0rn2sk8

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 4,281

    You would go onto Death Valley from Yosemite and you would stay overnight half way between. But you have just mentioned you are going in May which means the road that gets you out of Yosemite on the other side of the mountains will likely still be closed (Tioga Pass). So I would discount doing that.

    I get where your coming from regarding San Louis its fine as an overnight location but there isn't 1.5 days of stuff to do there. In fact I don't really think there is anything at all.

    I also wouldn't recommend Universal Studios on the first full day, you'll be badly jet lagged and its constantly heaving. Do it the day before you leave instead. The day you land you'll be pretty much ready for bed by 8pm at the latest (UK = 4AM) and then awake at 4am-6am the following day. It's a really good opportunity to get out of LA before the traffic kicks in and see the beautiful scenery on highway 1.

    Instead on the first day grab your car, go to Target/Wallmart to get some supplies and head to somewhere like Santa Monica for the afternoon/evening to chill out.

    Day 1 Arrive LA - Go to Santa Monica for the afternoon/evening. Alternatively just leave the LA area and head north.
    Day 2 Santa Monica > Santa Barbara
    Day 3 Santa Barbara
    Day 4 Santa Barbara > Monterrey via Big Sur
    Day 5 Monterrey
    Day 6 Monterrey > San Francisco
    Day 7 San Francisco
    Day 8 San Francisco (Leave in the evening and Stay the night somewhere like Modesto or closer to Yosemite)
    Day 9 Yosemite (Stay overnight between Yosemite and Sequoia)
    Day 10 Sequoia (Stay somewhere most of the way to Palm Springs)
    Day 11 Palm Springs
    Day 12 Palm Springs > San Diego
    Day 13 San Diego
    Day 14 San Diego
    Day 15 San Diego > LA
    Day 16 LA (Universal)
    Day 17 Leave LA

    A couple of the legs on here are a bit longer than what you have on your plan but you get to see much more. You also avoid doubling back on highway 1/101 and crossing LA twice where the traffic is horrendous and the drive is frankly boring (Santa Barbara > Palm Springs and SD > LAX). If you dropped Palm Springs you could spend more time in the other places.
     
  20. Rich_L

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 18,170

    Location: Santa Barbara, Californee

    ^^ This is a v. good route, nice to fit in Yosemite etc. I'm a big fan of leaving late in the evenings particularly where the scenery is so-so.

    One thing I like about SB->PS is that it is usually a good drive for traffic, so long as you time it so you stay out of peak hours - it can be slow from the 101-405 junction to the downtown LA exit (can't remember which) but then it's pretty smooth all through Pasadena, San Bernadino etc. Usually takes me 3.5 hours door to door with a brief coffee/gas/restroom stop :p

    SLO - if you are getting there in the evening, you can have brunch the next morning and get going, no need to spend a whole day/night there. Add in a stop at Monterey/Carmel instead.

    I would take on board the suggestions for doing LA/Universal towards the end of the trip rather than the start.

    Here's my suggestion - basically the above with a couple of minor tweaks.

    Day 1 - Arrive LA - Go to Santa Monica for the afternoon/evening. Alternatively just leave the LA area and head north on PCH (2hrs) - if you get in late, have an evening in Santa Monica, stay there, then leave early and drive PCH in the morning, stop around Malibu for breakfast/brunch. If you arrive in LA in the morning or up to say, 2pm, grab brunch/lunch in SM, then take PCH up to SB.
    Day 2 - Santa Barbara
    Day 3 - Santa Barbara
    Day 4 - Santa Barbara - leave late afternoon and drive up to SLO (1.5 hr drive)
    Day 5 - Breakfast/Brunch in SLO then up PCH to Monterey/Carmel (it's actually only a 3hr drive, but plan for at least 6-8hours for stops and detours).
    Day 6 - Day in Monterey/Carmel - leave late afternoon and drive to SF (2 hr drive)
    Day 7 - San Fran
    Day 8 - San Fran (leave late, stay in Modesto) (1.5 hr drive)
    Day 9 - Yosemite (Leave early! 2 hr drive)
    Day 10 - Sequoia (aim to arrive late in Bakersfield) (3hr drive but v. easy)
    Day 11 - Palm Springs (3.5 hr drive - leave early!)
    Day 12 - Palm Springs -> San Diego (2hr 45 mins - leave late afternoon!)
    Day 13 - San Diego
    Day 14 - San Diego
    Day 15 - San Diego -> L.A. (check out Encinitas on the way, cool town) - I like Studio City as a place to stay. It's close to Universal and a short hop over the hill to Hollywood/Beverly Hills to check out on the way to the airport if you have time.
    Day 16 - LA (Universal)
    Day 17 - Fly Away :)

    So essentially

    LA/SB (3 nights)
    SLO (1 night)
    Monterey/Carmel (1 night)
    San Fran (2 nights)
    Modesto (1 night)
    Yosemite (1 night)
    Bakersfield (1 night)
    Palm Springs (1 night)
    San Diego (3 nights)
    LA (2 nights).

    Depending on what time you get in on Day 1, if you can get to SB at a reasonable time (like before 9pm) then you could drop one night in SB and add in a night in San Fran. Or could add a day/night in Santa Cruz on the way up to SF, or add a stop in Temecula on the route from Palm Springs to SD. Both are pretty much on the way with only a minor detour.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019