Apologies if I go on a bit here
This is a little way off yet but i'm getting married in January 2014 and would like to do a mini-tour round Western US for our honeymoon, I'm travelling from the UK so any help you can provide will be very helpful. I'm trying to plan 3 weeks of travel, with main stays (5 to 6 Nights) in Las Vegas and Hawaii (unless you can persuade me otherwise), Hawaii is a must for me as I feel this will be my only chance to visit.
My plan so far is to Fly to Vegas (Preferably from Manchester, England)
I then want to do a round trip to
then finish back in Vegas, and fly home from there.
Basically im after the best/cheapest way to go about this - I've thought about doing a Fly/Drive but the 9hr drive from Vegas to San Fran has put me off a bit.
Are there any particular Airlines who do cheap flights between Cities?
Is there any knack of getting cheaper flights or upgraded flights? Same for upgraded hotel rooms?
If im to go out of my way is there anything in particular I 'NEED' to see/visit? - obviously i'm already planning the Grand Canyon
Also when is the best time to start booking hotels/flights as getting lots of mixed messages at the moment?
I'll leave it at that for now and hopefully you can point me in the right direction.
Many many thanks in advance for your help and taking the time to read
(trying to plan perfect honeymoon for my amazing wife to be)
Manchester, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Hawaii, Los Angeles, Las Vegas then back to Manchester...
With only 3 weeks I think you're really pushing the logistics. In fact, I'll say that it's actually nuts. You're trying to see a pretty big hunk of real estate plus flying another 5,000+ miles back and forth to Hawaii. That's a whole lot of rushing around in a really short period of time.
Start by talking to a Travel Agent and getting your flights in/out of the US figured out. I'm betting that Las Vegas makes no sense whatsoever as a starting and ending point.
Thanks for the reply, Thats the kind of info I need, i'll have a re-think after I've spoken to a Travel Agent and see what happens.
If you or anyone can give any other info on the things I've said, that'll be great
I agree with CheersT, and also, January is not the best time for either the West Coast or Hawaii. I lived in Hawaii, and now in the Pacific Northwest (Portland). If you want to see both, I'd delay the trip until early spring for some rain-free weather.
Traveling to California in January is kind of nuts. You will get your worst weather of the year here between January 15th and February 28th. This is the time when we all go somewhere else. Same for Vegas and same for Hawaii. I agree with the others that moving your trip to the April to June timeframe makes much more sense.
Also, I suggest you skip LA and take that nine-hour drive down from San Francisco to LA, stopping at the spots in-between. There are many fabulous spots there (Monterey, Carmel, Hearst Castle, wine regions of San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, and Santa Barbara, as well as Santa Barbara area itself), which are all better than the smog-ridden metropolitan traffic clogged town of Los Angeles. I lived in LA for over 25 years (now live near Santa Cruz/Monterey) and can testify that the best thing about LA is leaving it on the weekend to visit the other local areas--both north (just mentioned) and south (San Diego), or east (Las Vegas and/or Palm Springs).
This would be an especially good trip to take in the Springtime.
Enjoy--and ask back if you have more questions.
Thinking this over, one type of "honeymoon" you could take during this period would be one to the ski slopes--and also to Vegas and Hawaii. Good skiing spots in California (or on the California/Nevada border) are:
Just east of Yosemite: Mammoth Mountain (largest ski resort in California)
Near the Lake Tahoe area (meaning good shows and gambling are available at the local casinos)--and Reno is only 30 miles away--so flying in is easier:
Northstar at Tahoe
A short ways south of Tahoe:
East of Los Angeles (about 90 miles east and slightly north):
Another great resort is also in Oregon:
Mount Bachelor (near Bend, Oregon)
Well, first off, I myself don't think 3 weeks is pushing it. I do it all the time but, I'm a solo traveller. I also, disagree that it's not a good time of year to do your trip. You MUST keep in mind that if you are heading to Arizona, especially Phoenix it will be a 40 degrees Celsius in mid-summer. The same goes for Las Vegas. It is cooler in January and not 30 degrees Celsius. You will find somewhere between January and June to be a trade off, as you will either be too hot or too cool by traveling to these destinations. Hawaii however, is tropical weather yearlong.
So, it will be your inclination whether you like it hot (Las Vegas) or cool (San Francisco) as to what time of year to travel. I travel to Vegas at least once a year-it's not what it used to be. It has become very crowded and expensive. You can subscribe to travel newsletters that always have Vegas deals. From Vegas-is a good way to see the Grand Canyon as they have bus tours, limo tours, and helicopter tours from there. You could get a good package on that from Vegas-unless your adventurous and want to rent a car (probably) better to take a tour.
And, yes you don't want to drive 9 hours to San Fran, because gas prices are out of their minds right now in California. It really depends on what you want to do in any of these cities but, I would bet fly to each, and take bus or other tours would be the best.
US Airways has a hub in Las Vegas and Phoenix. Right now you can fly from PHX to LAX for about 120.00 USD, or to PHX-SFO for 221.00 USD. Also, they have Hawaii on sale for 379.00 USD from PHX, just to give you an idea.
So, if you drive you might push your agenda, however if you fly you would have a good taste of each city for the first time.
I would fly to Las Vegas just before the weekend and enjoy a show or two and some gambling, etc. then on Monday or Tuesday take the bus tour to Grand Canyon with the add on helicopter tour. Then, fly from Vegas (or bus about 5 hours) to LA and do 2-3 days and do a city bus tour, then, go to San Fran, fly or bus-and do the same thing.
Then fly to Hawaii and spend at least a week and weekend there. So, that's 5 days in Vegas, 5-6 days California, and a week in Hawaii, and 2-3 days travel to/from UK. Looks like about 21 days.
Upgrade flights, if you are a frequent flyer of say Star Alliance might get you bumped up, no other ideas. Same thing for hotels, belong to rewards program like Intercontinental hotels and become an ambassador and always receive a full category upgrade at check in (no other ideas).
To do this trip it will take adequate planning-like the Wedding isn't enough. Unless, you are a whiz at travel planning, consult a travel professional. They may have insider knowledge of the perks your looking for. But, there is time to plan from now until 2014, and you may experiment with the dates for optimum weather; and a lot can change. But, I believe it can be done.
I would rather plan 2 holidays.
A proper honeymoon, which would be only about relaxation, pampering and enjoying quality time with your honey. Honeymoons have to be perfect!
And a second holiday, wherever you want to go and have plenty of time to enjoy and explore the choosen destinations.
But, hey, everybody has different opinions, this is just something I would love my husband to think about.
(who know, he might be reading this as well)
Many thanks for all your replies, Iv sat and spoken to the Wife to be and done some initial costings, It would appear that Hawaii is going to be put on hold as the cost to stay and fly there is going to push our budget too far.
What are your views on this "Tour" (Thanks avsent for heads-up on the cost of gas but trust me its cheaper than we pay - £1.45 for a litre so a gallon costs us £6.50ish (Just over $10)
Going to do a fly-drive
Fly to Vegas - 5/6 nights
Then to Death Valley > Yosemite > San Francisco > Carmel/Montery > Santa Barbara > LA > San Diego.
That way our longest drive is 5 hours (which I dont mind) plus we get to see more.
Let me know your views
That's fine, but I'm betting you won't last 5/6 nights in Vegas, which will simply give you more time for the road trip, no worries.