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Road trip from Chandler to Las Vegas with Stopovers!

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Road trip from Chandler to Las Vegas with Stopovers!

Hello all, thank you in advance for your comments and suggestions.

I am a female aged 28 based in Melbourne, Australia. I will be travelling to USA in July/August 2011 with my mother (58 y.o), her sister (59 y.o) and my cousin (female aged 29). We have family living in Chandler, AZ (aunt 53 y.o; female cousin 18 y.o; male cousin 15 y.o; uncle 60 y.o).

EIGHT of us will be taking a road trip in 2 cars from Chandler to Sedona, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and finally to LA. This is approximately 17 hours travel time by car, I believe.

I realise that there will not be sufficient space for our luggage in both cars (I’m guessing they are sedans, but I’ll confirm this).

From LA, only 4 of us will fly to San Francisco, leaving behind the other 4 (from AZ).

We plan to spend 1 day in Sedona, Flagstaff and Grand Canyon with 1 overnight in Grand Canyon before we drive to Las Vegas the next day. We will spend 4 days in Las Vegas. Then drive to LA and spend 5 days there. (Total 10 days).


(1) Would you recommend we hire a minivan, caravan or similar for this roadtrip?

(2) Would it be more practical, cost-effective and no bar to safety?

(3) If so, can we please have some recommendations of minivan hire companies and an approximate cost per day of hiring?

(4) Is the above plan too ambitious?

(5) Any other recommendations/ comments?

Thanks again!! :)

Marina, California
Destination Expert
for Tucson
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1. Re: Road trip from Chandler to Las Vegas with Stopovers!

As far as the vehicle type, I think a large SUV or large van (10 passenger) are your only options for a one vehicle trip. There are only a few minivans on the American market that can seat 8 passengers, and it's not likely any rental companies will have those specific models. Also, I don't know that all of your luggage is going to fit in there anyway once all of the people are in.

Cost-wise, I think the two car option is going to be cheaper, just because large vehicle rentals are incredibly expensive and you're going to get much lower gas mileage. If you get a full size (that's what they call them), I think 4 people + their luggage would be okay. It depends on the vehicle, but I also think you could possibly do it with a smaller one.

In regards to your trip plan, it's a little rushed. I would cut a day off of Vegas and spend a night in Sedona or another night at the Grand Canyon. Phoenix - Grand Canyon via Sedona will take over 5 hours without stops, leaving you very little time in any place.

tucson az
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for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
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13,384 posts
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2. Re: Road trip from Chandler to Las Vegas with Stopovers!

According to many reports in the forums, visitors from UK and Australia can get best rates on rental cars from brokers in their own country. You have lots of time to check that out as well check rates from US car rental agencies on their web sites. Large vehicles such as SUVs and minivans typically available are usually 7-8 passenger. Some agencies have 12 passenger vans, however that would be costly and poor gas mileage; also not the same as driving a regular car. If you rent a car in Chandler/Phoenix and drop off in LA, there may also be a dropoff fee.

Edited: 10:32 pm, September 23, 2010
Kuala Lumpur...
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3. Re: Road trip from Chandler to Las Vegas with Stopovers!

I would recommend getting two cars as opposed to one van. My family has done both before and having two cars offers increased flexibility, better gas mileage, and is much cheaper. Phoenix isn't a great place to rent a car because of all the taxes they pile on, but the underlying pre-tax prices should be relatively cheap.

Phoenix-Sedona-Grand Canyon is probably almost five hours without stops provided you move at a quick pace. Some of the roads are winding and the road from Sedona to Flagstaff, which I recently drove, can be a bit slow. I would budget close to 2.5 hours from Chandler to Sedona. From Sedona, you have to get back to the freeway to get to Flagstaff quickly, and the Canyon is quite a way from there.

tucson az
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for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
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4. Re: Road trip from Chandler to Las Vegas with Stopovers!

If you plan to only allow one day to go to Sedona, and then to the Grand Canyon, make sure you leave early so you will be able to see something of Sedona before continuing on. The best route from Sedona to the Grand Canyon is Hwy 89A north through Oak Creek Canyon. You will intersect I-17 close to Flagstaff. Skip Flagstaff; you don't have time for it.

Get on I-40 west to Williams, and then Hwy 64 north to the GC. It's about 2 hours from Sedona.

It is a 5 hour drive from GC to Las Vegas. Since you are driving unfamiliar roads, it would be best not to be driving at night. You need to leave the GC by early afternoon.

Frankly, you're not allowing enough time for either Sedona or the GC.

5. Re: Road trip from Chandler to Las Vegas with Stopovers!

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