I’m after a bit of advice regarding my September roadtrip. Although the planning is highly exciting, it’s also very confusing for a Brit who is relatively new to the USA! Below is my rough itinerary & a few questions if anyone could help me???
Day 1 to 3 – Fly into SF. Spend 2 days exploring the city.
Day 3 – Pick up rental car, drive to Yosemite. Explore Yosemite.
Day 4 – Drive to Death Valley early afternoon.
Day 5 to 8 – Drive to LV late afternoon. Spend 3 nights here.
Day 8 – Drive to Grand Canyon very early, stopping briefly to see Hoover Dam.
Day 9 – Drive to Monument Valley early afternoon. Explore Monument Valley, then overnight in Kayenta.
Day 10 – Drive to Sedona. Explore Sedona.
Day 13 to 14 – Drive to San Diego. Spend 2 days here.
Day 15 to 16 – Drive to LA. Another 2 days here.
Day 17 – Return rental car. Fly back to London from LAX.
My questions are:
1) Is this a reasonable itinerary? Not trying to fit in too much? The section I’m not sure about is between Monument Valley & San Diego. The stops in-between are not as important to us – are they the right places to stop?
2) Car rental – what should I look out for with a rental in the small print? Is there a particular insurance I really need? And would you recommend hiring a Sat Nav?
3) Is booking required for the National Parks? And if so how far in advance would I need to do this?
4) The drives between SF to Yosemite, Yosemite to DV, DV to LV.. How long are they in reality? I’d rather not be on the road more than 4 hours a day. Is this possible? (I realise it will be a longer journey LV to GC).
5) Would we be missing out by skipping the stretch LA to SF? My partner is the National Parks kind-of-guy, but I love the coast. Would adding in an extra 2 days for the drive back to SF be worth it or would it be too much driving? Or perhaps stop at Monterey a night between SF and Yosemite?
6) Shopping – if I was restricted (!) to one shopping session along this trip – preferably an out-of-town shopping mall – where would you choose?!
I realise you do get a lot of similar posts - I don't know how people plan these kind of trips without the help of the TA buddies! You are all much appreciated!!
Many many thanks in advance...