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avanutria Aug 1st 2011 6:46 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 
What do your friends think about doing lots of travelling once they're here? Would they rather chill and hang out in local areas, or are they up for being in a car for 6-8 hours at a time?

N1cky Aug 1st 2011 6:47 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 

Originally Posted by E3only (Post 9531422)
Thanks a lot guys for your suggestions.

I am starting to do the math in my head and yeah underestimated the driving. Doable but I am be shattered after that.

I think East Coast will be something that they will do themselves. Fly into New York and back. Although they already know that it only takes one storm and flights are backed up. So like a few folks suggested, we will have to wait until 10 days before the first week December and then see if weather is any good.

The key I think is to stick to the west coast and would love to cover SF (Napa and Tahoe potentially), LA (Universal, Disney, some shopping and Hollywood), San Diego (Sea World), Vegas (3 days), Texas (Austin, San Antonio and Houston – 3 or 4 days) back to SF.

At this stage I am starting to think if it’s worth covering SF and LA portions with a bus tour. It’s hectic but at the least not driving around nuts…..some tour that will take us from SF to LA (covering Universal and Disney) exit in LA and then do the LA – SD – Vegas with a minivan. Fly to Texas and back to Vegas. Then the long drive back to SF.

Roughly the driving would be
SF to LA – 370 Miles
LA to SD - 460 miles
Vegas to SF – 550 miles (over 2 days)

I am the only driver and the complication would be to pick up a minivan in LA and returning that in SF.

The other idea would be to go to Napa and get drunk of course!

Honestly – I am back to square one. I know the places I want to visit but it just does not add up in terms of driving. Even if we do tours, it would involve some driving. I think I need to start considering flying to some places.

Any feedback would be appreciated. Also any help where to look for deals for tickets and any ideas on what to do in the cities mentioned above would be appreciated too.

Thanks in advance.

Although the driving seems crazy, it's actually not too bad with the breaks in, we did something similar a few years ago when our daugther was 4 and it was great.

You could always do a stop between SF and LA to break the journey, Carmel or Santa Barbara maybe.

Universal is a good base to do Hollywood you can jump on the Metro and do the Chinese Theatre, Stars... also the cheesy bus tours that do the on-off stop things.

Drive to Disney from Universal in around 90 minutes, then the drive from Disney to San Diego is less than 100 miles and a real easy drive. San Diego to Vegas is a dull drive but easy enough.

The drive back from Vegas will not be fun, nowhere good to stop in between. Anyway you could leave the car in Vegas and fly back to SFO?

Also, agree with the priceline suggestion, good deals on minivans. Keep in mind that you will need chains to go to Yosemite and Tahoe at that time of year.

E3only Aug 1st 2011 6:49 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 

Originally Posted by avanutria (Post 9531435)
What do your friends think about doing lots of travelling once they're here? Would they rather chill and hang out in local areas, or are they up for being in a car for 6-8 hours at a time?

It's kinda up to me. They are close friends....I am going to call them this weekend with ideas so I want to be prepared. In the excitement they are all 'yeah let's do it'..but I need to talk to them.

I think, given we have plenty of time we can book some cheaper airfares and do a bit of flying vs. driving. I would still need a minivan pretty much all the time they are around for shorter closer trips.

AmerLisa Aug 1st 2011 6:51 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 
You can't really do a one way with a Priceline bid on cars.... But doing a one way is pretty easy to book. Out of State one ways can ding you though....

E3only Aug 1st 2011 6:53 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 

Originally Posted by N1cky (Post 9531437)
Although the driving seems crazy, it's actually not too bad with the breaks in, we did something similar a few years ago when our daugther was 4 and it was great.

You could always do a stop between SF and LA to break the journey, Carmel or Santa Barbara maybe.

Universal is a good base to do Hollywood you can jump on the Metro and do the Chinese Theatre, Stars... also the cheesy bus tours that do the on-off stop things.

Drive to Disney from Universal in around 90 minutes, then the drive from Disney to San Diego is less than 100 miles and a real easy drive. San Diego to Vegas is a dull drive but easy enough.

The drive back from Vegas will not be fun, nowhere good to stop in between. Anyway you could leave the car in Vegas and fly back to SFO?

Also, agree with the priceline suggestion, good deals on minivans. Keep in mind that you will need chains to go to Yosemite and Tahoe at that time of year.

Thanks.

My plan is to drive from SF to LA and then SD and Vegas back to SF.

I am not really concerned about SF to LA to be honest. I have driven that 7-8 times and back in the last year or so. It's more the overall driving...

I am debating weather once I arrive in LA, I should take 3-4 day tour bus so I don't drive as much....yes, I realize that Vegas to SF will be long drive. I want to rent a van and return it at the same location so I don't have to pay $200 additional fee.

E3only Aug 1st 2011 6:54 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 

Originally Posted by AmerLisa (Post 9531445)
You can't really do a one way with a Priceline bid on cars.... But doing a one way is pretty easy to book. Out of State one ways can ding you though....

Yup. Understand.

That's why the plan to rent and pick up say from Oakland airport and then return at the same location. I have to check though if they allow me to drive from SF to LA and then into Nevada.

avanutria Aug 1st 2011 6:56 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 

Originally Posted by AmerLisa (Post 9531445)
You can't really do a one way with a Priceline bid on cars.... But doing a one way is pretty easy to book. Out of State one ways can ding you though....

One way out of state with Budget was easy, flat $100 surcharge. We did this in 2009 when we arrived in Seattle-Tacoma and needed to drive down to Oregon.

Mummy in the foothills Aug 1st 2011 6:59 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 
The Vacaville Premium outlets are nearer to you and it's huge place.
What about Monterey and the Aquarium too. I think six flags marine world is open on weekends in winter.

N1cky Aug 1st 2011 7:03 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 

Originally Posted by E3only (Post 9531448)
Thanks.

My plan is to drive from SF to LA and then SD and Vegas back to SF.

I am not really concerned about SF to LA to be honest. I have driven that 7-8 times and back in the last year or so. It's more the overall driving...

I am debating weather once I arrive in LA, I should take 3-4 day tour bus so I don't drive as much....yes, I realize that Vegas to SF will be long drive. I want to rent a van and return it at the same location so I don't have to pay $200 additional fee.

The weather could be anything in LA. First year we arrived the roads were flooded around Christmas time with all the rain.

Second year my FIL was sat out sunbathing in his shorts on Christmas Day.

E3only Aug 1st 2011 7:14 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 

Originally Posted by Mummy in the foothills (Post 9531462)
The Vacaville Premium outlets are nearer to you and it's huge place.
What about Monterey and the Aquarium too. I think six flags marine world is open on weekends in winter.

Been there, not impressed at all.

Yes, trying to stop over at Monterey and Santa Barbara on our way to LA.

E3only Aug 1st 2011 7:15 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 

Originally Posted by avanutria (Post 9531458)
One way out of state with Budget was easy, flat $100 surcharge. We did this in 2009 when we arrived in Seattle-Tacoma and needed to drive down to Oregon.

Thanks, I am going to do all the priceline research tonight. I am pretty active with priceline. Have always done all my hotel bookings there..never had to rent a car though.

E3only Aug 1st 2011 7:16 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 

Originally Posted by N1cky (Post 9531475)
The weather could be anything in LA. First year we arrived the roads were flooded around Christmas time with all the rain.

Second year my FIL was sat out sunbathing in his shorts on Christmas Day.

That's true...but that could be said about Bay Area too....may be not as extreme. December undoubtedly will mean some rain.....

Jerseygirl Aug 1st 2011 7:20 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 

Originally Posted by E3only (Post 9531500)
That's true...but that could be said about Bay Area too....may be not as extreme. December undoubtedly will mean some rain.....

You could say the same for anywhere in the US. I've been in Florida for Christmas and the New Year and it was freezing cold the whole 2 weeks.

AmerLisa Aug 1st 2011 7:22 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 

Originally Posted by E3only (Post 9531499)
Thanks, I am going to do all the priceline research tonight. I am pretty active with priceline. Have always done all my hotel bookings there..never had to rent a car though.

Love Priceline! I booked a 4 star downtown Philly hotel for a night, mid-August, for $67! :)

avanutria Aug 1st 2011 7:26 pm

Re: Visitors in December
 

Originally Posted by E3only (Post 9531499)
Thanks, I am going to do all the priceline research tonight. I am pretty active with priceline. Have always done all my hotel bookings there..never had to rent a car though.

We booked direct through Budget (from the UK, actually) - not sure if the same deal will be available if you use Priceline.


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