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San Fran. to Miami Dec 09 & Jan 10 - travel advice please

Travel Forums North America San Fran. to Miami Dec 09 & Jan 10 - travel advice please

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1. Posted by sonic75 (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi Everyone

I've just discovered this site and thought it looks friendly and helpful, so thought I would join in!

I have booked flights to the U.S. for my honeymoon (18th December 09 arriving San Francisco and departing New York 16th January 2010).

I was thinking of travelling in an RV from San Francisco down to San Diego and then on to Miami via Tuscon, El Paso, Houston and New Orleans. Due to the heavy milage I thought I could then fly from Miami to N.Y. for a few days to finish off the trip.

The only thing that is troubling me is the weather. I have seen some threads suggesting that winter is not a good time to be in the U.S. (foggy/wet in California & snow/ice in Texas?). My other half wants to get married in December and we can only get four weeks leave then too, so I didn't have much choice when we could go.

I would be grateful if anyone had any tips or advice to offer on all this. We have both travelled a fair bit in the past (S.E. Asia, Australia, New Zealand & Europe), but I've still got a little freaked out the past couple of days!

Thanks for listening:)

2. Posted by Wonkerer (Respected Member 592 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Actually I would say that if you are coming to the U.S. during the winter these are probably the best places to go! I can't speak as much for California, but the rest of the trip (aside from New York) will be nice areas to be during the winter. New York will definitely be cold, but if you're only going for a few days, still well worth it. Best of luck with your plans

3. Posted by sonic75 (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Thanks very much much for your reply, much appreciated :). No worries on N.Y. I'm prepared for it being freezing!!!

Does anyone else have any thoughts on the actual travel side of this i.e. will I have any problems eating up 3500 miles in an RV during winter?!!!!


4. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

While I haven't driven across the south of the country in December - January, I do have experience of a few of the places along the route during the winter months. Based on my experience (and backed up with some quick internet research), here's my thoughts.

California probably won't be too bad. San Francisco is a bit of a micro-climate, so it's always a little foggy, but December isn't a bad time to be there. Further down the coast, it is the wet season in California, but to put it in context, according to, 74% of days in LA are sunny in December. It's the grey-est month, but it's still pretty sunny.

Given the southerly nature of your route (San Diego - Tuscon - El Paso - Houston - New Orleans - Miami) it would be very unusual for you to see any major accumulations of snow and/or ice. There is always a possibility anywhere, but it is rare. At some points through California, Arizona and New Mexico where you might gain some elevation and thus have a higher probability of snow, but it shouldn't be too bad and would likely clear up pretty quickly.


5. Posted by frimann85 (Budding Member 16 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Don't worry about the weather in Miami - always great :)

If you don't like it too hot January is actually one of the best months to visit.

As for NY - expect it to be cold as mentioned above :) Especially when you come from the nice temperatures in Miami.

6. Posted by CariLB2 (Budding Member 10 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

New York that time of year is wonderful, as long as you can stand the cold! Make sure you see a show, it will be well worth your time! Take a carriage ride through Central Park, a bit cheesey, but very memorable. I went last year and we did the mile long Christmas window shop display (from Macy's to Bloomingdale's) which wasn't all that fun. You are basically just cold the whole time and stuffed on the sidewalk with a ton of other people.

A great night time adventure- take the subway to Brooklyn and then eat at Gramaldi's. Probably THE BEST pizza place I've ever eaten at. It is run by this hilarious Italian man, you'll love him!
Here is the address: 19 Old Fulton St Brooklyn, NY 11201
After you eat, there is an icecream place just behind the pizzeria, which sits on the water front, a very romantic place at night!
Once you've finished cross the Brooklyn Bridge at night and head back toward the city. The view is amazing. It is a wonderful experience, even in December!

7. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I'd save the camper idea for another time as 4 weeks doesnt give you much time to stay any where and most tourist places are closed for the winter and the cost of renting a camper and putting that much mileage on it
(they charge by the kilometer/mile) and that much gas in it you'll be lucky to do it for under $10k which would be better spent on a future trip where you can buy a used camper for that price and explore N.America.
You'll remember more of the trip if you rent a car and drive up or down the California coast for a few days,then fly to Florida and rent a car do the keys and the coast up to Daytona,check the NASA site to see if a Shuttle launch is scheduled if not at least go to the museum,then fly to NYC and dont rent a car just take public transit all over.

8. Posted by PsptJunkie (Budding Member 26 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I can't help you specifically on the RV question, but if you decide to look at transport alternatives - all the cities you plan to hit are served by a budget US airline called Southwest ( - this airline won't appear on major websites like expedia, orbitz, etc but often their tickets are cheap and one really good thing for a trip like yours is that tickets are exchangable without fees. For short hop trips in the US they really can't be beat in my opinion.

You could also do a train up to NYC from Miami, as a slower way to see things along the way.

Think the weather question has been answered - I agree with what has been said thus far. Enjoy.

9. Posted by sonic75 (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hey Everybody

Thanks for the great replies! :) I'm really glad I joined this site. Sorry I have't replied sooner, been busy with wedding stuf!!

Lots to take in here, but some great opinions and ideas. I'm gonna crack open a beer and take it all in, then start my planning in earnest!

Thanks a million :)

10. Posted by way2goeh (Full Member 159 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I second PsptJunkie last comment. Foregt the Rv and take southweat airlines. More time in more places and cheaper than an RV. Personally I love driving, but the costs will be greater and time consuming with the driving. Dont forget Vegas (didnt see it on yr list)