Fly into LV or Phoenix?

Old Nov 26th, 2011, 06:58 AM
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Fly into LV or Phoenix?

I'm contemplating a trip to the Grand Canyon, a long-time "wish list" item, over my Easter holiday. I'll have a week, and I plan to add another stop at least--probably Zion NP or Sedona.
My first question, as the title asks, is my destination airport. Current prices would be $936 R/T for LV, and $1060 for Phoenix, but Phoenix is only a 12 hour journey vs 18 for LV.
Do any Fodorites with western expertise know of reasons to prefer one to the other? I have heard that LV probably has cheaper car rentals? On the other hand, I hate bumper to bumper freeway traffic, and LV sounds more likely to produce that problem. Or is that uninformed speculation on my part?
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Old Nov 26th, 2011, 07:05 AM
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Cars are cheaper in Vegas due to high airport taxes at PHX, though you can avoid some of this by renting off-airport, which is a bit more hassle.

I plan to add another stop at least--probably Zion NP or Sedona.

If you are going to Zion then Vegas is closer and makes more sense; if Sedona is higher on your wish list then PHX makes more sense.
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Old Nov 26th, 2011, 07:44 AM
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I've never had a problem with traffic in Las Vegas. I have in Phoenix. It really depends on what time of day you are driving - rush hour is rush hour no matter which city you're in.

Rentals are usually cheaper in Las Vegas, so flying into LV looks like it will be the cheaper option.

Also, Zion NP is a long drive from Phoenix. On the other hand, Sedona is not real far out of the way if driving from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. My point is, if you fly in/out of Las Vegas then Zion or Sedona are both reasonable options, whereas with Phoenix you would likely just stick with Sedona. And Vegas is cheaper, so for me it's a pretty easy decision to fly into Las Vegas.
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Old Nov 26th, 2011, 07:58 AM
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Another vote for Las Vegas. As others have said, rental cars are more expensive and the traffic can be horrible - and you'll be at the southern end of the Phoenix metro area so you'll have quite a bit of city driving to do.

I would change my mind if you're limiting your trip to just Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Sedona is only 2-3 hours from Phoenix. Just don't fly in or out during rush hour if you can at all avoid it.
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Old Nov 26th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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I'd choose Phoenix but then I'm not a fan of Las Vegas and would pay to not go there. The drive to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix can take you through Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon and Flagstaff is a great place to linger or overnight. Zion and Bryce are further but not difficult drives from Flagstaff through some interesting territory. And if you decide to stay overnight before your return flight home you can stay in Scottsdale, far preferable to the smoke-filled casino hotels in Las Vegas.
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Old Nov 26th, 2011, 09:07 AM
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Well, it looks like the advice tends to LV. I'm not looking forward to the air journey--I didn't really expect the connections to be that bad, as I can get to Munich in 18 hours, but I have said that I live out past the boondocks, lol.
However, I do live on a budget, so if both air fare and car rental are significantly less to LV I guess I'll be going that way. My "choice" of arrival times varies from 8 pm to 11 pm, so I'll be spending a night in a city hotel.
Any suggestions for a place that will give me a sight of the Vegas strip without crashing my budget? I've never been to Las Vegas, and I'm not a gambling/nightlife person, so it's so far down my wish list that it's invisible, but if I'm right there...
And are there hotels with airport shuttle, so I could avoid picking up a car until the next morning?
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Old Nov 26th, 2011, 09:43 AM
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Hotels in LV are cheaper Sun-Thu than on weekends. Start your search at Bally's which has large rooms, good rates, and an excellent mid-Strip location.

HTTY
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Old Nov 26th, 2011, 12:55 PM
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no clue where you are coming from air sounds super high

have a look at southwest.com wannagetaway fares and other

econos kayak.com/buzz farecompare.com tips look for price drop

on the majors in Tues late jan...

I have done both LAS GC it is a long boring slog

Prefer Skyharbor one easter season flew in on Southwest

carrentals.com stayed at marriott priceline.com in

visitsedona.com drove up the mogollon rim very scenic

and anothe couple of hours on to the south rim...

Closer lots prettier drive.We stayed at the El Tovar was great

if you can save a lot going to Vegas to save go for it but

it is farther and drive is far less scenic...

classic.mapquest.com directions distances.

happy planning!
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Old Nov 26th, 2011, 02:03 PM
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Since you are going to Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon, consider staying in Henderson. You can get from the airport to Henderson without getting on I-15 or driving up the Strip.
I really like the Fiesta. They upgraded me to a suite at the same price when I checked in with a reservation. The breakfast choices are good there also. https://rooms.stationcasinos.com/cgi...60%29:;web01;?
I have been caught in a couple of traffic jams on I-15 in LV.
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Old Nov 27th, 2011, 08:03 AM
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n,

Here is my opinion. I live in Utah and visit the national parks frequently. Personally, I can't stand Las Vegas and would not waste any time there when I could be in the parks and outside the parks! If you have never been there - spend 1 night, see the lights and leave.

My other opinion, is that Sedona is far less beautiful that Zion and Bryce. When I visited Sedona 20 yrs ago, I was shocked at how developed it is. It's a city with red rocks between the houses and hotels.

I would much rather spend my time in Zion, Bryce, Escalante, Moab.....lots of wilderness, lots of red rocks. And - you can take pictures of it all without having to crop out the houses!

Fly in/out of LV and do the classic loop - GC, Bryce, Zion.
BUT - spring break is prime tourist time, get some reservations NOW!
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Old Nov 30th, 2011, 12:08 AM
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What Dayle said!

Utahtea
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Old Nov 30th, 2011, 03:54 AM
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What Dayle and Utahtea said!!!!!
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Old Nov 30th, 2011, 07:35 AM
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I would take visiting Vegas hands down over Phoenix - as there isn't really anything that noteworthy in Phoenix but in Vegas you can do anything you want - and also visit Red Rock Canyon in about 15 minutes. Just google the rates on the Vegas hotels - and also - good advice that Sunday through Thursday nights are cheaper than Fri and Sat so you might try to plan accordingly.

If you get a weekly rate - that would be the cheapest and you will save from paying for a shuttle to the hotels, etc.

And if you have never done it - the drive from Vegas to the GC is interesting enough - and Sedona is close enough to also see from the GC.

Also - while in Vegas - visit the Grand Coulee dam - and take the tour down into the dam if you have time.

There are many free things to do in Vegas - and just walking along the center strip is fun, seeing the lions at MGM for free (go early - when they first go on exhibit and are active), ride up to the top of the Eiffel Tower at Paris (a small fee - or go to the top of the other tall building - the stratosphere), see the great laser show at old Vegas/Fremont St, and the list goes on and on.
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Old Nov 30th, 2011, 07:37 AM
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That's get a weekly rate on a car - and go to www.carrentals.com, for some ideas.

Also - I like staying at the Flamingo - and if you can get a hotel room on the south side - toward the strip - up about 10 plus floors, you can see the beautiful Bellagio fountains, and also go see the wonderful Arobrterum at the Bellagio - and the nearby 27 foot choclate fountain.
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Old Nov 30th, 2011, 07:43 AM
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It's true that Sedona is not the same as a National Park and if it's a landscape only experience that qualifies as beautiful then Dayle is correct. But I think comparing them in that way is an apples & oranges kind of thing. Most people go to Sedona for a day or 2 of eating, shopping, sleeping in comfort, not for the pure landscape experience and know perfectly well in advance what they'll get. I think it's naive to assume that everyone wants the same thing and Sedona is good for what it's good for and the open spaces likewise.

But I agree entirely about Las Vegas, as I mentioned above, but it's good for something too, keeping all those people there and not in the parks.
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Old Nov 30th, 2011, 04:06 PM
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"...also go see the wonderful Arobrterum at the Bellagio - and the nearby 27 foot choclate fountain."

I rest my case.
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