Thank you so much for this excellent forum. I have been reading many posts which have given me some useful tips and things to look out for at thee same time I am looking for some inspiration for my next holiday.
In fact, I have had only 2 holidays with my family both in the USA in 2006 and in 2001. Both in Florida. Now I am older, I would like to venture some place else now that I can drive (I am 21/been driving for 3 years if that makes a difference) but I don't have much experience or know what to really do so I came here to seek advice to see what I am thinking is possible! I would possibly go with my parents again if not myself & mum will definitly go lol
I actually want to go west - I want to see Los Angeles, San Francisco, Monterey Bay, San Diego, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon for various attractions I have been reading about primarily on visitcalifornia.co.uk (thanks for link forum!). I am not sure the best way to do this, since looking at google maps needless to say, these areas are vast in terms of distance. For example I thought how about driving from SF > LA 'down the road' lol on the Interstate 5 -- according to google it's 382 miles/6 hrs 20 min which is phenomenal considering the UK equivalent would be to go from London to Edinburgh on the A1, and that's more than half the country!
* So I guess my first question is: what is the best way to see these destinations? I have intended to drive, but would a coach/bus tour make more sense or flying to these destinations more appropriate? I have read about breakdown cover etc. which is good in another thread as well as travel insurance...so I guess would it be too tiring? Would this be a waste of time driving to these destinations everywhere? I gathered southern California has a reputation for traffic but I guess off-peak times it would be ok i.e. weekdays, non-seasonal holiday (i.e. outside of JJA)
* I remember last time I went we had what 'they' call a "small car" LOL more like a flipping great big saloon they gave us and asked us if we wanted to "upgrade" LOL? So I guess if we are going to be spending more time on the road, it might be actually a good idea to get a bigger car on the assumption more luggage to carry around i.e. personal items and I suppose shopping?
* Another question I have is accomodation - would it be better to pre-plan book everything in advance or to arrive at a hotel/motel spontaneously? Not sure if I like the idea this concerning security (think I watch too many films!)
* Do you guys feel that more time is needed in destinations? How do you know how long to stay there for planning purposes? I suppose 1 attraction = 1 day roughly? Is that a good thing to work out?
* When is the cheap/less busy (?) season? I think I've picked up to avoid June/July/Auguest and now it seems October also since school term time changes? I honestly don't care about it being "hot" - in fact when it was quote "85, warm" (I still remember lol) in a water park in Florida, it was too much, came down with heat stroke and everything. Also was sick several times within the first week so hot weather does not matter for me
So if you have got this far thanks for reading and will appreciate any insight thanks
The distances seem vast but the contrasts in landscapes etc mean that you don't notice them. Crossing the Mojave Desert from LA to the Grand Canyon is amazing. I live just outside Glasgow and we drive to France most years (we once drove to the Alps with a 3 year old and an 8 month old) and we much prefer driving abroad as the roads are much more civilised.
The climate in Northern California isn't vastly different from the UK and as long as you keep well hydrated in hot areas you should be fine.
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