Friday, October 14, 2011

Western US road trip -- April 2012


Was just looking at your website and thought you might be able to give me some advice.

My boyfriend and I are both 24 and from Australia and after working in Canada for 4mths from Nov. we are heading to the USA mid April for just under 4 weeks. We want to Los Angeles, San diego, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and San Francisco. Would this length of time be long enough to see everything? Can you recommend how long we should stay in each area and if there are any must see places we should not miss.

Right now we are tossing up between hiring a care and purchasing a grey hound ticket. What would you recommend?

Any advice would be great.

Thank you!

Katie O


Hi there Katie --

Many thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA -- hope I can help you plan a great trip next April.

For sure, 4 weeks is plenty of time to explore the western US -- you won't be able to "see everything", no one can, but you certainly won't need to rush around like most manic Americans do with their 10 days of annual "summer vacation".


April is a great time to be on the road in that part of the world -- the deserts are ablaze with wildflowers, while the peaks are still capped by snows. Perfect.

And you may be in luck in another way: since April is the end of the Arizona "tourist season", car hire companies often offer great deals to people who will take their cars from for example, Phoenix, to say San Francisco, where the summer is prime time for rentals. I have seen one-way, no "drop-off" fee, deals for as little as $5 a day from Hertz -- which will save you $200 a week or more.

And car rental is a million times better than trying to explore via Greyhound -- buses in the US can be really grim & depressing, and only good for getting from city to city. And about how long to spend in each place, I'd say each city , and the Grand Canyon, are worth at least a couple days -- SF even more.

Another option is to do some Greyhound inter-city, and rent a car for a day in each city once you've seen what you can on foot -- you can get a "Rent-a-Wreck" for around $25 a day.

If you do decide to save your hard-earned $$, or prefer to let someone else do teh driving for you, one "alternative" bus company to look into is Green Tortoise , who run low-cost, youth-oriented guided trips to all the places you want to see.

Here's their URL:

Have Fun!

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