California

CarbonMike

Registered User
We've done Bellagio a few years ago & the Venetian last year - not a lot in it, but Bellagio just heads it for me.

I suppose its just personal preference & cost really.

The first stay in the Monte Carlo in 2013 was just to keep the cost down as we were on a triple state holiday (Chicago, Vegas & DC) so were looking to keep cost down.

The second time in 2016 we had taken a small detour into Vegas while driving Route 66 so opted for a fountain view room on the front of the Bellagio.
 

DaveM

Registered User
Don’t know if you’ve looked at package fly-drive but a few years back we did a Virgin package, it took a lot of the stress out of making individual bookings, you get the protection of having a package and when I looked at the cost, I couldn’t have done it cheaper. Itinerary was:

LA 3 nights (Sheraton Anaheim)
Palm Springs 2 nights (Wyndham Palms Springs)
Lake Havasu 1 night (Nautical Inn)
Grand Canyon 1 night (The grand Hotel)
Las Vegas 3 nights (Mandalay Bay)
Yosemite 2 nights (cedar lodge)
San Fransico 2 nights (Holiday INN Fisherman's wharf)
 

CarbonMike

Registered User
The Grand Canyon Railway hotel in Williams, AZ is where we stayed.

Google it, definetly a bucket list must! A hotel and vintage 30 mile private railway to the grand canyon village where they have a 2nd hotel.
 
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simonali

Guest
Vermont is a fantastic place to be in the summer time. To be honest, the entire 6 states that make up "New England" makes for some amazing driving & spectacular scenery.

We booked a package trip through an American/Canadian specialist tour operator called Bon Voyage for that & I could not recommend them enough.

We'll be going to Mt Rushmore this year for sure. And also driving the auto route to the top of Pikes Peak (14000ft+) We have a reservation at a hotel in Yellowstone too.

Saw a 6 door Ford F-350 pick up in the car park for Mt Rushmore. It were bleedin' massive!
 

CarbonMike

Registered User
Saw a 6 door Ford F-350 pick up in the car park for Mt Rushmore. It were bleedin' massive!

Yea there not small them 3 1/2 ton trucks.

The F650 is where its at, as big as hgv tractor unit.
 
Yea there not small them 3 1/2 ton trucks.

The F650 is where its at, as big as hgv tractor unit.

It is a truck!


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We did Yosemite this June, for 3 days. Not enough time.
It's the only place we've been on holiday to, that both myself and my wife agreed to break our "never go to the same place on holiday" rule for in the future. We're planning to go back in 2022 (sad, I know but our 20th anniversary), for a lot longer.
Absolutely loved it.
Drove up from Vegas:
View attachment 174416

Once you get onto 266/160 across to Big Pine / Inyo Forest there are some fantastic views. Mono Lake at Lee Vining is beautiful in a weird way.
We then drove up the Tioga pass (it had only opened the week before after being closed for winter) into Yosemite and out the other side to get to Oakhurst, where we were staying.
(Can post some piccies, if you want)

How long was the drive to Oakhurst? I think we may need to stop somewhere before


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JonChalk

Registered User
How long was the drive to Oakhurst? I think we may need to stop somewhere before


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Err, from memory, we left Vegas at about 8am, and were at Oakhurst for about 6. BUT....we stopped a lot on the way, to take photos, have lunch, go for a walk around Mono Lake (Lee Vining). We also drove pretty slowly up the Tioga pass (Hwy 120), as it had just opened for the season & the views were great, and stopped for photos lots again.

Probably 7 hours easy driving, no rush, all told.
 
Err, from memory, we left Vegas at about 8am, and were at Oakhurst for about 6. BUT....we stopped a lot on the way, to take photos, have lunch, go for a walk around Mono Lake (Lee Vining). We also drove pretty slowly up the Tioga pass (Hwy 120), as it had just opened for the season & the views were great, and stopped for photos lots again.

Probably 7 hours easy driving, no rush, all told.

I want to go via Death Valley. I’ve read that puts more time on your journey.


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Just looking at hotels in San Fran. Blimey they are expensive!

We are currently looking at AirBNB, the problem is the cheaper locations are Richmond or Oakland. Any ideas?


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JonChalk

Registered User
Just looking at hotels in San Fran. Blimey they are expensive!

We are currently looking at AirBNB, the problem is the cheaper locations are Richmond or Oakland. Any ideas?


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Just checked my bookings from 2013 & F.M.!

We paid £384 for two nights in June 2013 at Courtyard Fisherman's Wharf. Now £700 for same 2 nights this year!!!!

The pound's drop against the dollar is really making it difficult to holiday in the US any more.
 

Tj 0785

Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
Just checked my bookings from 2013 & F.M.!

We paid £384 for two nights in June 2013 at Courtyard Fisherman's Wharf. Now £700 for same 2 nights this year!!!!

The pound's drop against the dollar is really making it difficult to holiday in the US any more.
I noticed it aswell went Florida in October last year and it was a definitely more expensive than last time in 2012. You really notice it when you get less now than you did for £3000 to dollars and once your there the dollar doesn’t go as far , don’t see it getting any better for when I’m go back next year
 
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simonali

Guest
We used to go to Florida to a place called the Glunz in Key Colony, Marathon. We had plans to go the first week in March but it was $3500 for the week just for the hotel room. We've now cancelled doggy day care and are going to Croyde in Devon with the pooch instead. I don't care if it's cold, I'll have saved about four grand!

Our nephew lives in SF and we planned to go see him last year. Hotel prices were offputting so we met him in NYC for the weekend instead. Still not cheap, but half the price of SF.
 
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simonali

Guest
More thoughts; it's not just hotel rooms either. I was paying 8-9 bucks for a beer in NYC and the expected tip rate is now 18% minimum with some establishments putting a suggested 25% on the bottom of the check!
 

CarbonMike

Registered User
The pound's drop against the dollar is really making it difficult to holiday in the US any more.

This.

We've been holiday'ing in the US every year since 2013 & FML its expensive now!

It cost us over £3200 last year just for 10 days! Ontop of £300 of tickets for one nascar race :
 
.......

Take your own satnav with a US map on a memory card. Usually works out cheaper then renting theres. We go US roadtripping every year so I have US and Canada maps on mine.

You may also require an EZ Pass toll. Ask at the rental about it and if your route may contain toll roads. There about $30.

I’m wondering what to do about a satnav. One car has an in built system, the other I normally follow my nose or use Waze on my phone.

Is it best to sort the toll pass with the rental firm?


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CarbonMike

Registered User
Ive always used my own satnav every year.

I used a 50% off coupon via google searching & then downloaded US/Canada map onto a memory card. Thats about the only advice i can really give on that im afraid :/

The EZ toll pass from a rental firm are about $30 so depending on where your going/how many tolls will make it a bargain or not. Ask them about it at the hire desk, theyll usually try an get you to buy one anyway.

Last year we only drove 1 toll ($3) so not worth it. Year before we used one around New England and probably saved a couple of dollars compared to paying cash.

If you decide not use one, get a load of $1 bills from travel agent before you fly out.
 

DaveM

Registered User
If you’re thinking of using a smartphone in the USA to Satnav, data is expensive! Just been stung for £30 for 5 mb of data from Virgin when I accidentally used mine without logging into the hotel’s WiFi. It’s worth researching a deal where you can use U.K. data allowances in the USA, I believe 3 does something but it means setting up a new account, SIM card, etc
 

JonChalk

Registered User
We bought a pre-loaded (6GB, I think) US sim card (& US number) for $50 from T-Mobile.

Never got anywhere using the limit in 10 days of Google / Waze, plus internet searches, all the usual phone stuff (photo uploading / downloading) stuff except streaming.

I'll see if I can find the info somewhere - T-Mobile are one of the few to do a decent pre-load.

edit: Either my memory's shot (possible) or they've changed it; looks like 2GB for $30. Even so should be way more than enough for Google / Waze
 
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simonali

Guest
I can use my Three SIM'd phone in over 70 countries without extra charges as long as I don't go over my UK limits. It seems to be throttled back in speed a fair bit in the US but works fine otherwise...
 
We bought a pre-loaded (6GB, I think) US sim card (& US number) for $50 from T-Mobile.

Never got anywhere using the limit in 10 days of Google / Waze, plus internet searches, all the usual phone stuff (photo uploading / downloading) stuff except streaming.

I'll see if I can find the info somewhere - T-Mobile are one of the few to do a decent pre-load.

edit: Either my memory's shot (possible) or they've changed it; looks like 2GB for $30. Even so should be way more than enough for Google / Waze

That’s an idea. My wife’s phone is already unlocked so I could buy a sim for that.


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JonChalk

Registered User

SteveMcB

Registered User
Interesting thread, we've toured a bit in Canada but never been to the states, my missus doesn't fancy it - but I want to drive a Mustang down the pacific coast highway!!
 

CarbonMike

Registered User
Interesting thread, we've toured a bit in Canada but never been to the states, my missus doesn't fancy it - but I want to drive a Mustang down the pacific coast highway!!

Its a great place for a holiday. Almost like 48 different countires in one.

Gigantic sky scrapers in Chicago & island communities of New England coast to hundreds of miles of desert scrub land in New Mexico and finish at the shining blue sea of Santa Monica.

We've driven from one side of it to the other (in a mustang lol) and so far never driven across anywhere else like in the world.

Only a few weeks are we're back there for Roadtrip 2019 around the Rockies.
 
We are trying to work out what show to see in LV. We are thinking Penn & Teller or Cirque du Soleil.

Is it best to book tickets online or buy when we arrive. I’m wondering whether we can get vouchers while we are over there. My only concern is they might be sold out by the time we get there.


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KIll_the_cameras

Registered User
Have seen Cirque's 'O' and 'KA', and they are both AWESOME, although I liked KA a little better. In my experience it's always better to book in advance. Personally I have never seen vouchers for those shows, but they may exist somewhere. Have not seen P & T, but if I had to see one, then I'd see a Cirque.
 
Have seen Cirque's 'O' and 'KA', and they are both AWESOME, although I liked KA a little better. In my experience it's always better to book in advance. Personally I have never seen vouchers for those shows, but they may exist somewhere. Have not seen P & T, but if I had to see one, then I'd see a Cirque.

Ok great. I’ll take a look online.
 

JonChalk

Registered User
If you have time, High Roller is worth a go, especially at sunset.
America 2018-44.jpg
 
Anybody know where the best place to park so we can get some good photos of the Hollywood sign?
 

desertstorm

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
VCDS Map User
I spent 2 weeks in LA in April and then did a bit of a road trip Las Vegas, death Valley, Grand Canyon etc 1800 miles in 8 days. we stopped in AirB&B accomodation.
Found a good view point for views over LA and the sign from the one place.
https://mrca.ca.gov/parks/park-listing/jerome-c-daniel-overlook-above-the-hollywood-bowl/
Very small car park but managed to get in. Loads of tour buses go there. It's in the canyon roads which are quite interesting drivers roads.
 

CarbonMike

Registered User
Had our seats to Phoenix confirmed (staff travel) and have booked a hulking great SUV for our road trip.

We've just got back (on saturday) from a 2443 mile 3 state roundtrip of the Rockies in a little Toyota Rav4 turbo thing lol

Did consider a full size SUV bit some of roads we went on were dam narrow & cliff edgy (Pikes Peak) a smaller car seemed marginally safer lol
 
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simonali

Guest
We had a Ford Escape on our CO, SD and WY road trip, but the new version of that is the same as the Kuga over here now so we've gone for the Explorer (or equivalent) this time. Should be plenty o' room in one o' they!
 
We had a Ford Escape on our CO, SD and WY road trip, but the new version of that is the same as the Kuga over here now so we've gone for the Explorer (or equivalent) this time. Should be plenty o' room in one o' they!

Yeah we e gone Explorer or equivalent for our trip.


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