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Road Trip help Please

Level Contributor
19 posts
Road Trip help Please

We are planning a road trip in July 2019. Approximate duration 24nights. We are a family of 2 Adults2 kids (aged 10 & 7).

We originally planned the following but are rethinking it and could do with some advice please:

Arrive Las Vegas - 3 nights

1 Night Death Valley

3 Nights Yosemite

5 Nights Lake Tahoe

Remaining nights between Motnerey - Pismo Beach - Santa Barbara (we're not interested in staying in LA)

Fly home from LAX

Looking at flights now, if we fly round trip Las Vegas its a BIG saving and now we are unsure if we should change our itinerary to suit this .. we would be flying in July 1st and home July 26th if we do the Las Vegas round trip...

What are peoples thoughts?

Advice on plan / itinerary greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

21 replies to this topic
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
71,962 posts
132 reviews
1. Re: Road Trip help Please

Hi

A loop trip would be fine.

I assume that you have been researching the various destinations and have a wish list of activities. That's how you'd know that you need 5 nights at Lake Tahoe but only 3 nights in Yosemite National Park.

Do you know how hot it will be in Death Valley NP?

Is there anywhere in Southern California that is appealing to you? What are the things that you like to do and to see when on vacation?

The Top Questions on the right side of this forum page has additional general planning information. Each city/destination has its own Top Questions with ideas.

You need to be on the full TA website to see the valuable Top Questions.

Oceanside...
Level Contributor
673 posts
55 reviews
2. Re: Road Trip help Please

A quick comment - it will be way over 100 degrees F (105, even 115) in Las Vegas, Death Valley, and all desert areas in July. That’s why flights are less!

Level Contributor
3,651 posts
1 review
3. Re: Road Trip help Please

3 nights in Vegas is 4 too many for me! Stay as long as you need to acclimate to time change and then bug off.

As you haven't listed things you want to see at each location it makes it difficult to judge. But I'd do 3-4 nights in Yosemite and skip Tahoe. That would allow more time along the coast. 2N in Monterey for example. And a night in Santa Cruz if you can manage. There is a century old boardwalk right on the beach with tons of rides and arcades that is great for kids.

Level Contributor
19 posts
4. Re: Road Trip help Please

Thanks guys.We dont have to do Death Valley it just seemed the obvious thing to do on the way.We are not fixed on anywhere or for any amount of time.Last year we did Washington to Orlando and the Smokey mountains was the highlight (Cades cove) followed by Savannah.We all love Wildlife especially bears.The kids like easy watersports.A couple of days is fine for us at the beach.Smokey for a week was perfect for our family with pigeon forge only down the road for a fun day.

We arrive late at night on the first and we may give the kids a couple of days to aclimatise as we are coming off 24hrs travelling.Cities dont excite us though San francisco we must see.We are open to going the opposite way around if its better.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
71,962 posts
132 reviews
5. Re: Road Trip help Please

Here is the article about Las Vegas to Yosemite Valley. The overnight suggested is Lone Pine, but you can choose any town that works best for you. Maybe you'll want some time in the Eastern Sierra for cycling or fishing or ???

www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182361

Yosemite can easily fill three full days (four nights) or more. Finding available lodging in Yosemite may be the deciding factor for your route planning. Other July visitors booked last July. Use the first topic in the Top Questions on the Yosemite forum. Consider a private property rental or aim for Yosemite Valley. Ask specific questions about Yosemite on that forum.

Edited: 18 November 2018, 17:29
Long Beach...
Level Contributor
7,849 posts
6. Re: Road Trip help Please

I would fly out of LV if it was a big savings. No San Francisco either?

Maybe--- LV > (Lone Pine?) > Lake Tahoe > Coast > Sequoia NP? > Yosemite > Mammoth > LV

What about flying home from SF? Visit Lassen NP, Redwoods NP, and less busy northern coast? Instead of Monterey, Big Sur and Santa Barbara?

https:/…ultimate-northern-california

San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
21,975 posts
79 reviews
7. Re: Road Trip help Please

When you're comparing airfares, be sure you're looking at roundtrip versus "multi-city" (aka 'open jaw') flights. Sometimes people are looking at two one-way fares which will be much higher than a multi-city (which should be half of each roundtrip fare).

Level Contributor
19 posts
8. Re: Road Trip help Please

Thanks all.The flights checked multi city etc are coming in 1000 dollars cheaper round trip from Vegas.Add in a 200 dollar saving dropping off car in Vegas instead of Lax and thats a total of 1200 bucks.I had looked at north coast but i think there is more for the little guys going south.Thanks for the link pacific i had seen that and was thinking maybe get to baker or nearer yosemite.Now i am not sure about death valley as we had intended to drive through with a few short viewing stops but maybe we should avoid??.Yosemite accomadation is very limited at this stage and Portal seems to be our best choice.Its a bit up in the air at this stage until we book flights but everyones help and ideas are appreciated.We have been to Vegas twice as a couple so it would just be a starting point.We are going to still have a week on the south coast if we go with these flights.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
71,962 posts
132 reviews
9. Re: Road Trip help Please

Hi

Death Valley is perfectly fine to drive through. The views will be marvelous. Baker is not on the scenic route; please choose some place on Hwy 395.

El Portal is the closest town to Yosemite Valley. Book something that can be cancelled and keep checking for lodging in Yosemite Valley.

One comment about timing... 4th of July is at the beginning of your trip. I don't know if Las Vegas has fireworks or if there is a small town celebration somewhere on Hwy 395, but that should be considered. (I would not stay another night in Las Vegas but you might arrive a day later. Just do some research so that you can make your best choice.)

Guadalajara, Mexico
Destination Expert
for San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas
Level Contributor
4,717 posts
10. Re: Road Trip help Please

I would cut the Nevada time drastically or completely given the month, maybe compare flying in and out of Los Angeles. Just stay in CA and experience the various regions there. Its great in July and you spend less money particularly for a large party if you rent a place for a week or so.

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