reply to post by ajax_andy
Hi, I've been on a couple of US road-trips so far (2008 and 2010) and I'm currently planning my next one for 2012. For what it's worth, if you're
flying in and out of LA, it sounds like you'd be in a position to do similar to what I did last year (and luckily, that was going to be the area of
the US that I would recommend the most!)
Of course, it totally depends on what you're planning on seeing while you're there - if you're more of a city person, then the route that I did may
not be for you - I preferred driving through the desert, seeing the national parks, seeing some places off the beaten path (but still dipping back
into civilisation when needed - i.e. Vegas!).
In the South-West, I would hugely recommend:
1. Yosemite National Park - I went there both times, astonishing beautiful, google images to see why.
2. Grand Canyon - because you need to see it once
3. Las Vegas - really fun for a couple of nights
4. Monument Valley - truly amazing, although might be a bit far out for you, again google images...
5. Zion National Park
6. Death Valley National Park - when it's really hot, it's really memorable - not as dead as you might think though.
7. Meteor Crater - although might be a bit far out for you.
In terms of cities, San Francisco I was a fan of, not so much LA. Las Vegas is always fun.
Any other tips:
- Definitely save up and get a convertible. In 2008 we didn't have one, and were happy with it. In 2010 we did, and were shocked at both how much
better the trip was and how much we were missing out the first time.
(most rental places charge premiums though for under-age drivers; 21-24 = $, 18-21 = $$$!, so you may find that the car becomes the largest cost to
your trip if you don't look around for a good deal)
- You need to get an ESTA before you travel
- Spend a bit of time on google maps using the 'street view' tool! Really is surprisingly useful for seeing what the area'd be like before you
decide to drive through it - although I guess you'll always find hidden gems along the way.
- Apart from the first night (we always booked a hotel so you had a fixed address for the first night of your stay - something they say you need), we
only booked a spot in yosemite national park - every other motel / hotel we just stumbled across by about 6pm... any later than that and you start
finding that places start to get full.
Also, I've made road-trip videos from both times I was there, 2008 is on youtube:
(This trip was pretty broad actually, we covered about 20 states as we drove right across the country - so it might seem like it jumps about a bit,
but that's because we did too!)
2010 video was on youtube, but they noticed that I'd pinched the RHCP - Scar Tissue soundtrack for it and muted it
But add me on facebook www.facebook.com...
and you can see if it inspires you, or gives you different ideas of what you'd like to do.
Hope that gives you a good place to start!