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L.A. to Las Vegas

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Jun 6th, 2014, 08:07 AM
  #1
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L.A. to Las Vegas

Hi all , my friend and I would like to travel from L.A. to Las Vegas by car in July, we are spending three weeks driving first from L.A to Las Vegas spending 5 days in Vegas then driving to San Francisco before returning to L.A. . Could someone please tell me of a good rental car company and trip times from L.A. to Vegas , Vegas to hoover dam, Vegas to San Francisco ? .We like to pick and return the car from and to Lax
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Jun 6th, 2014, 08:18 AM
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You can rent from any of the big car companies, but if you are not a US resident, I'd recommend searching for a consolidator in your country of origin. You'll generally get the best price for a package including insurance; you must purchase liability insurance if you are renting a car in California, so this is a must.

It's about 5 hours from LAX to Las Vegas if you don't hit big traffic problems. For this trip, I'd just drive and not stop.

It's about an hour or less from Las Vegas to Hoover Dam (so this is usually done as a day-trip from Las Vegas. But there are also a lot of other places you could go.

It's a full day from Las Vegas to San Francisco (about 9 hours). So this is the trip you might want to break up. With 3 full weeks, I'd probably do that by stopping at either Yosemite or Sequoia (basically wherever you can get a hotel reservation) so you can see one of the beautiful national parks.

San Francisco is busy (and cold) in July, so definitely make your hotel reservations there asap. Same with the national parks. You can't really wing it in Las Vegas, but you don't have to plan too far in advance.

I'd also budget at least 3 days to drive down Highway 1 from San Francisco to LA ... or 4 days if you'd like to stop more than one place along the way. There are so many places to stop, and the scenery is beautiful.
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Jun 6th, 2014, 08:58 AM
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>>. . . Vegas to San Francisco ?<<

Absolutely unanswerable -- w/o more info from you. Do you mean to do it is one day (definitely not recommended - it is a looooooong/ugly drive)? Do you mean to explore beautiful/iconic places enroute like Yosemite? Do you want to detour via Lake Tahoe?

Plus you really don't need/want a car IN San Francisco. So if you truly mean going straight from LV to SF -- flying makes a lot more sense.
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Jun 6th, 2014, 09:06 AM
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thanxs Doug and Janis , yeah we are coming from Australia, we have around 4 weeks to play with. thanxs again .
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Jun 6th, 2014, 10:03 AM
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I've actually drive from Silicon Valley (Sunnyvale to be exact) to Las Vegas (not the other direction) via Lake Tahoe. While it was a long, exhausting drive, it wasn't overwhelming to me. But I definitely agree that it's not the ideal way to do this trip. The best thing would be to stop somewhere along the way.
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Jun 6th, 2014, 10:16 AM
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With regards to rental car companies... I pretty much refuse to rent from anyone other than Avis or Hertz. They are simply better than the cheaper options. Enterprise or Budget would do in a pinch, but Alamo and Thrifty pretty much stink.

From LA to Vegas, just drive I-15 pretty much the whole way (4 to 5 hours). Alternatively, you could just fly. There are flights pretty much the entire day and one-ways are usually less than $100 each. You could rent a car in Vegas then to do Hoover Dam and to get around (there is really only one route to make the Hoover Dam trip - about an hour). You could then fly to SF from Vegas.

All told, flying to and from Vegas might end up cheaper than the accumulated rental car days and gas. The only caveat would be that if you want to drive from SF, then the one-way rental might cost something extra.

One other note... While you don't need a car in SF, I like to have a car while there so that you can go out to wine country and to someplace like Muir Woods.
travelgourmet is online now  
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Jun 6th, 2014, 10:46 AM
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>>I've actually drive from Silicon Valley (Sunnyvale to be exact) to Las Vegas (not the other direction) via Lake Tahoe. While it was a long, exhausting drive . . . <<

That drive is beautiful but is also nearly 700 miles and well over 12 hours. That isn't the ugly drive I was talking about. (the most direct route would be REALLY ugly via Bakersfield/Central Valley). Plus - if one was going up 395 to Tahoe - I'd think going into Yosemite would be a must. So again, w/o knowing how long you plan for getting from LV to SF, we really can't help you much.
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Jun 6th, 2014, 12:01 PM
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Try rentalcars.com, parent company of traveljigsaw.com.au
Las Vegas will be REALLY hot in July, try and break up your drive to SF with a couple of nights, maybe Lone Pine and Yosemite, although if the trip is THIS July they may be totally sold out, so your only hope would be to check online or call every single day as cancellations do occur.
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Jun 6th, 2014, 01:01 PM
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Another place you might consider visiting while in Las Vegas is Valley of Fire. It would be hot in the afternoon, but even if you just drive through it on the way to Hoover Dam I think you'd enjoy it. Normally you'd want about half a day to explore it. It would work well in combination with Hoover.
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Jun 6th, 2014, 01:48 PM
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At LAX I always have good luck with Dollar or Thrifty. Google for "promotion codes."

Break up the drive from LV to SF by spending the night at the Best Western in Bishop. You could drive through Death Valley on your way to Bishop.

The next day drive over Tioga Pass and on the SF.

When driving from SF to LA, take historic and scenic Highway 1.

HTtY

PS Your trip takes you near Yosemite NP, Zion NP, and other very worthwhile destinations that don't seem to be in your itinerary.

Also, I disagree with the person who said Thrifty "stinks." Join their "Blue Chip" club for excellent service. They were great to deal with when I had a fender bender with one of their cars. If you book through Dollar, join their "Fast Lane" club. Belonging to these clubs, you will walk past the reservation desk and right to your car. (Dollar and Thrifty are owned by Hertz.)

One way to avoid high parking fees in SF is to stay at a place such as the Columbus Motor Inn where parking is "free." Ask for room 208 if you want a large room with two queen beds and city view. The location is good.
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Jun 6th, 2014, 02:18 PM
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Before anyone can/should recommend specific rental companies w/o knowing if the OP is from the States or overseas.

The sites jamie links are WONDERFUL for foreign visitors since they include insurance (seldom needed by Americans since their personal policies generally cover them) and drop off fees.

But if the OP is from the USA, then hertz/avis members or other affinity programs may be better. And saying any specific company 'stinks' mostly depends on the individual locations.
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Jun 6th, 2014, 02:37 PM
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The sites jamie links are WONDERFUL for foreign visitors since they include insurance (seldom needed by Americans since their personal policies generally cover them) and drop off fees

Avis includes these as well if you select that you are an Australian resident when booking.

And saying any specific company 'stinks' mostly depends on the individual locations.

Going with Hertz or Avis helps prevent being stuck with a dud.

Hertz and Avis are simply better. They are targeted to be more full-service and appeal to business travelers. That they own some of the "cheaper" brands and position them as such tells you all you need to know about the investment in the product.
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Jun 6th, 2014, 03:13 PM
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Hertz LAX has been getting some dreadful reviews this year, terribly long lines (with photo proof), tales of the computers being down for hours, etc. I imagine it has something to do with the merger with Thrifty...but Hertz has "help wanted" ads plastered all over the internet for just about every location nationwide so maybe it's management trouble/ poor staffing/ high turnover.

I think I would go with Avis, though if the rate is a lot less I can't say that I've ever had trouble with National/Alamo, especially if you sign in ahead of time and use the kiosk.
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