Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Other Destination advice Las Vegas and road trip

  • Travel Strong 324 posts

    Hi @Supergers49 – if you’ve been and come back, I’d appreciate any feedback or thoughts. We’re going to do a very similar itinerary to yours in January


    @PeteM
    We just returned from a similar road trip, and whilst much is already covered in this thread and others – one thing that is worth considering early is:

    – Apply for permits in advance if you are wanting to hike anything restricted.

    We just hiked Angels landing (Zion) and it was incredible… but we had to apply for the permits in a lottery many months in advance.

    There are other hikes which have even less availability and again you have to be in the draw month before. Havasu falls is also one which you have to be ‘on it’ on the day of ticket release to be in with a chance.

    PeteM 804 posts

    Thanks, @Travel Strong – have a reminder in my diary already for the Angels Landing lottery. Given the time of the year I am hoping for not that much competition 🙂

    Havasu Falls is probably a bit too involved for this trip, but very good point!

    Blindman67 143 posts

    There’s also a Lottery for The Wave if you’re interested.

    We’ve been to all 50 states at least once and will not consider returning due to Trumpism, high costs and (IMHO) pending revolution!

    There’s a lot more world to see, the USA has lost its charm IMHO.

    PeteM 804 posts

    There’s also a Lottery for The Wave if you’re interested.

    Thank you – that’s one I hadn’t considered!

    Blindman67 143 posts

    On-line lottery 3 months before or walkin lottery the day before

    January should give you better odds.

    davefl 1,452 posts

    There’s also a Lottery for The Wave if you’re interested.

    We’ve been to all 50 states at least once and will not consider returning due to Trumpism, high costs and (IMHO) pending revolution!

    There’s a lot more world to see, the USA has lost its charm IMHO.

    I’m more than half way through my 2nd all 50. Please don’t dismiss the majority for the idiots.

    I’m nearly at the end of week 4 of 7 and virtually everyone I’ve met along the way resulted in hours of wonderful conversation, and knowledge swapping. Only met 2 raving trump fans and that conversation was 90% about bikes. They can be avoided quite easily.

    High prices… some stuff yes but can be balanced out. Bring toiletries and medicines etc with you as those are scandalously expensive, but watch for Macy’s and Target sales and you’ll get Levi’s jeans for £34 as an example.

    Food that used to be way cheaper is now pretty much the same as back home. The tipping does add a chunk though

    Blindman67 143 posts

    There’s also a Lottery for The Wave if you’re interested.

    We’ve been to all 50 states at least once and will not consider returning due to Trumpism, high costs and (IMHO) pending revolution!

    There’s a lot more world to see, the USA has lost its charm IMHO.

    I’m more than half way through my 2nd all 50. Please don’t dismiss the majority for the idiots.

    I’m nearly at the end of week 4 of 7 and virtually everyone I’ve met along the way resulted in hours of wonderful conversation, and knowledge swapping. Only met 2 raving trump fans and that conversation was 90% about bikes. They can be avoided quite easily.

    High prices… some stuff yes but can be balanced out. Bring toiletries and medicines etc with you as those are scandalously expensive, but watch for Macy’s and Target sales and you’ll get Levi’s jeans for £34 as an example.

    Food that used to be way cheaper is now pretty much the same as back home. The tipping does add a chunk though

    The essentials needed for a great road trip in the USA have risen hugely in costs viz Car hire, “gas”,food and accomodation.

    We travel for the sights and having seen quite a few in the USA have moved on and have been to the places you refer to in an earlier post-which you could have done.

    (I’ve got a lot of Africa and the East as well a couple of european continent places to visit as well as a south american Argentina/Chile/Urugauy/Paraguay for maybe next year on the planning list. San Marino was my 51st country… which one is next I’m not sure 🙂)

    If you are a newbie to the USA then by all means go, there are some stunning sights and it is a huge country. Most of the out of city people are Ok.

    My top picks would be The Wave as mentioned, Tuweep and Dead Horse Point state park

    Each to their own.

    tiriavpo 321 posts

    What’s the benefit of this over all the mature free alternatives? And over just having data while you’re there which you will do anyway?

    Sorry, missed your question.

    Mainly, it is a fully functional standalone satnav, with all the maps on your phone – ideally downloaded before you go, and a system we are familiar with wherever we are. Clearly the more you travel the better value it is.

    No data connection is required to use it but is useful if you want traffic info – but that is small amounts and easily doable with a small eSim package. With most modern rental cars now having CarPlay you can have it displayed on the car’s own screen

    Travel Strong 324 posts

    I’ve applied for the Wave 4 times now, it is a *very* limited number of spots and a lot of applicants.

    The last occasion, after missing out on the advance lottery I also drove at speed to the ‘daily’ lottery (you have to be in Kanab area by 6pm local time), arriving to enter 5 minutes before closing.
    … we still didn’t get a permit.

    On all these tight lotteries, both myself and P2 have entered – which doubles the chances for the sake of an extra £7 or so.

    For most other permits, it is a lot easier.
    We both ‘won’ our first pick times for Angels landing.

    davefl 1,452 posts

    @Blindman67 not going to go over all the points you made but I’ll say that if you haven’t been lately then prices have started to flatten out. Car hire is typically back down to £230-270 for a week (compare that with Norway that I just looked at which was £500+) – both Avis, mid range.

    Hotels. yes if you want luxury you pay for it, but I’ve stayed in plenty of Holiday Inn express/BW/Hampton/Marriott over the past 4 weeks that were sub $150 and some still sub $100. Compare that with 5 Italian cities in March, (especially Milan) where everything was 30% more at least.

    I was here for specific things which just don’t exist anywhere else in the world and I’ve been shown such incredible hospitality by random people and friends and aquaintancies that I’ve just literally walked into over the years. So far I’ve had 3 gifts thrust upon me by random people that I’ve met, it brought a tear to my eye.

    Anyway, sitting in O’hare waiting for my flight to Seatle where it’s 15C lower than Chicago and raining. Car return, Bag drop, security all flawless. Didn’t even need take off my belt for the scanners – LHR should pay attention.. they have exactly the same scanner and I was pulled up for a tissue in my pocket last time.

    ianwardz 48 posts

    We recently (May 24) drove most of Route 66, diverting to Palm Springs after Oatman as we had been to LA a couple of times before and were not bothered about going again.

    Car hire was £600 for 2 weeks one way hire, we booked a Focus or quivilent but ended up with a Mondeo type saloon.
    We drove 2500 miles and spent about £170 on fuel. All gas stations were chip and Pin, except for one, so I didn’t fill up there and found another down the street.

    I used google maps, downloading the next days maps each evening via hotel Wi-Fi. I had an Airalo e-sim and signal very rarely dropped.

    I used a Nationwide Credit card as it has zero exchange fees and had no issue paying anywhere. It find it crazy that in the US in restaurants they still take your card away and bring back a slip of appear to sign. I think only two restaurants we ate in had chip&pin.

    Regarding cost of eating and portion size. We got into the habit of ordering 1 starter and 1 main between the two of us. We had no issues doing this in any of the restaurants and always had plenty to eat with no wasted food.

    We were very surprised at the lack of Trump flags etc, especially as we were travelling across the fly-over states, that we expected to be massive Trump supporters. The people we did meet that started any political discussion were totally disillusioned with both choices available to them at the upcoming election.
    As @davefl says, all the people we met, were very friendly and wanted to chat. In St Louis we even got taken out for a meal by two locals we met outside the baseball stadium in the fan park. They drove us to the restaurant, insisted on paying (we covered the tip), drove us back to our hotel and even gifted my wife a St Louis Cardinals handbag.

    I know most people here like a chain hotel, but we try to avoid them. We target smaller family run or independent hotels as we find them more friendly and generally cheaper.

    The Savage Squirrel 610 posts

    Good to hear prices are flattening a bit, although I’m not optimistic about reductions.

    It’s certainly true that any discussion of USA eating-out food costs absolutely has to start with the concept that you will only need 2 meals per day, not 3!

    davefl 1,452 posts

    I used a Nationwide Credit card as it has zero exchange fees and had no issue paying anywhere. It find it crazy that in the US in restaurants they still take your card away and bring back a slip of appear to sign. I think only two restaurants we ate in had chip&pin.

    Yeah, this is typical. Wierdly I’m finding that if I leave a tip on the line on the slip it almost never gets re-processed for the new amount. So I’m saving a fortune and they’re losing out.

    We were very surprised at the lack of Trump flags etc, especially as we were travelling across the fly-over states, that we expected to be massive Trump supporters.

    I’ve seen a few, more than vote Biden, and one that said “die trump”

    The people we did meet that started any political discussion were totally disillusioned with both choices available to them at the upcoming election.

    Yes that seems to be the real story as with the UK. Both have poor choices for their main candidates.

    As @davefl says, all the people we met, were very friendly and wanted to chat. In St Louis we even got taken out for a meal by two locals we met outside the baseball stadium in the fan park. They drove us to the restaurant, insisted on paying (we covered the tip), drove us back to our hotel and even gifted my wife a St Louis Cardinals handbag.

    Last weekend I was at a small festival with a friend that I met several years back at a Chicago festival. We met up with someone I met last year at that same festival who not only brought bag chairs for the two of us to sit on, but went to the loo and came back with a $25 T shirt as a gift for my friend… so sweet of him.

    PeteM 804 posts

    I’ve applied for the Wave 4 times now, it is a *very* limited number of spots and a lot of applicants.

    The last occasion, after missing out on the advance lottery I also drove at speed to the ‘daily’ lottery (you have to be in Kanab area by 6pm local time), arriving to enter 5 minutes before closing.
    … we still didn’t get a permit.

    Was this fairly peak times, out of interest?

    Travel Strong 324 posts

    Was this fairly peak times, out of interest?


    @PeteM
    Always April/May time, but weekdays. So whilst the time of year might be ‘peaky’, avoiding the weekends should have helped.

    However when you read in to the amount of people entering and how few selections there are, there isn’t much hope either way!

    Travel Strong 324 posts

    (But enter for as many days as possible, and for P1 and P2, to increase the odds… if you are up for spending $7 for each set of entries).

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.