3 week road trip LA to San Francisco for £1284 (total £2567) including flights, hotels and car hire @ Norwegian Air
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3 week road trip LA to San Francisco for £1284 (total £2567) including flights, hotels and car hire @ Norwegian Air

29
Found 26th Feb
This deal is based on 2 adults flying out of London Gatwick on Wednesday 5th September returning Wednesday 26th September.

If these dates aren’t ideal for you, Norwegian offer similar priced flights throughout the year.

I have chosen to do a 3 week road trip starting in LA, exploring Highway 1 along the coast and finishing in San Francisco. All hotels have free parking .

At the present moment highway 1 has a section of it closed. It says it should be reopened in September however this trip is still amazing even if the section of the road is still closed, it will just take a little longer to drive.

All the places I’ve chosen are have good reviews in TripAdvisor and have free parking.

Itinerary

5th - 9th - LA
10th - 12th Santa Barbara
13th - 15th Pismo Beach
16th - 19th Monterey
20th - 21st Boulder Creek
22nd - 26th San Francisco

5th - 9th September - LA

You land in LA around 0900 and once you’ve picked up the car and checked in you have the full day. I’ve chosen the All Star Inn which is located around 40 minutes drive from the heart of LA.

LA has so much to offer, Disneyland, Universal studios, Hollywood hills, Santa Monica pier and Six Flags just to mention a few. You have 5 days to explore this bustling city.

You will check out on the 9th but make the most of the day and don’t drive up to Santa Monica until the evening. It will take between 1.5/2 hours to drive to Santa Barbara depending on that notorious LA traffic!

I’ve chosen Oasis Inn and Suites which comes with free breakfast, an outdoor pool and is a 10 minute drive into town.

10th - 12th September - Santa Barbara

You will have 3 full days to explore this beautiful part of California. From the beautiful beach to relaxing in the hills, there will be something for everyone here.

On 12th September you will check out and spend the full day here. Drive up to Pismo Beach in the evening to avoid the traffic, it should take just under 2 hours to get to the studio. It is located around 20 minutes from Pismo Beach. I’ve chosen the Oasis Palms motel which has an outdoor pool and free breakfast.

13th - 15th September - Pismo Beach Area

You have 3 days to explore the area around Pismo Beach. Definitely visit San Simone, there you will be able to see the elephant seas. Morro Bay is also nice and there are also a few state parks to explore.

On the 15th drive to Monterey bay, this should take around 2.5 hours on the I101. Only do this is H1 is still closed. If H1 is open, spend the 3rd day driving to Monterey bay. I’d suggest leaving early in the morning and spend the whole day stopping off. You will have time in Monterey bay to drive back to places such as Big Sur. Be clever when planning it and don’t rush.

I’ve chosen the Bayside Inn which is in the heart of Monterey. It has free breakfast and is centrally located.

16th - 19th September - Monterey Bay Area

You have 4 full days to explore the Monterey Bay Area, there are some beautiful places such as Carmel, Big Sur and Pfeiffer State Park. I fully advise going whale watching, until this day it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.
If you were lucky enough to drive on highway 1 from Pismo Beach if it was open, make sure you still explore the area to the full.

Leave the Monterey area late on the 19th and drive to Santa Cruz which will take just under an hour.

I’ve chosen the Beachview inn which is located along the beach front in Santa Cruz. The hotel has a free breakfast and is an ideal location for a spot of relaxation.

20th - 21st September - Santa Cruz

Spend 2 days exploring the beautiful national parks around this area, enjoy the beaches and relax.

Leave late on the 21st and drive up to San Francisco airport to drop off the car which should take around an hour. Hop on the metro from the airport to San Francisco.

I’ve chosen the Union Hotel which is in the heart of the city. It has a shared bathroom but has good reviews. If you want anything with a private bathroom you’re looking at paying well over £100 a night!! I chose to get rid of the car as you won’t need it here and finding a hotel with parking isn’t easy.

22nd - 26th September - San Francisco

You will have 3 and a half days to explore this city. One of my favourites, make sure you do the Alcatraz tour, we did the night tour, amazing.

On the 26th make sure you give yourself plenty of time to drive over to Oakland, it should only take 40 minutes or so on the BART. The flight departs at 1820.

This is just an example of an itinerary, you can adjust the nights to suit your need.

The car hire doesn’t include a one way fee, it has been wavered on this route. I have chosen a Ford Focus, if you want a smaller car you can save yourself a few £££. With Budget you need to be over 25 otherwise they charge a fee. If you’re under 25 check other providers to see if they don’t charge, make sure there is no one way fee too!!

I have only included hand luggage to keep the price down. You will be surprised how much you can fit into a 10kg hand luggage case along with your second handbag/rucksack. There are plenty of washing facilities along the way and in some of the accommodation, if you want to keep the price down.

If you feel this just isn’t enough for you, think about sharing a 20kg suitcase, it will add £50 onto the cost of the trip if you share one, or £100 onto the total cost if you want one each, think and pack carefully!

Price breakdown

LA flight booked through Norwegian - £369.80

LA hotel booked through Hotels.com £228.34

Santa Barbara hotel booked through Hotels.com - £267.63

Pismo Beach hotel booked through Hotels.com - £243.02

Monterey hotel booked through Booking.com - £345

Santa Cruz hotel booked through Hotels.com - £122.04

San Francisco hotel booked through Agoda - £471.60

Car hire booked through Gotrentalcars via Skyscanner (Budget car hire) - £290

LGW flight booked through Norwegian - £229.80

Total price - £2567.23

Total price each - £1283.62


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Top comments
Only trouble is you'll have to follow around a bunch of hotukdealers for 3 weeks!
28 Comments
Heat added for your effort in creating the itinerary. We were in the US last week and drove 2000miles in a couple of weeks. There seemed to be a macdonalds every 200 yards for refreshment. Shake Shack was the place to go for burgers.
Excellent and fantastic effort. Thanks for posting @BlueSkies
wow, great effort, have a good time over there
Nice. I did a west Coast road trip a few years back: Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite - San Francisco - LA - San Diego.

Much prefer going south as you’re hugging the coast line and makes it easier to just quickly pull in.

Also, Yosemite is one of my favourite places in the world. Just takes your breath away.

Oh yeah, and a soft top is an absolute essential.
Edited by: "greencode" 26th Feb
Was using a pic of a train for a fly drive meant to be ironic

It doesn't look much like the West Coast either!
Nice find it’ll take you longer than 10mins to reserve out of your parking space in LA let alone drive anywhere.
In'n'out burger everytime in California!

Nice effort OP, good value itinerary you've put together. As someone commented, it's nice to go north to south so you start of with the cooler weather and more ragged coastline, then gradually warm up and get to the typical manicured surfy beaches around LA.

But either way, this would be a great trip.
Nice deal. It’s a stunning drive
Dude.... I salute you for effort!
Only trouble is you'll have to follow around a bunch of hotukdealers for 3 weeks!
H1.HWK1 h, 30 m ago

In'n'out burger everytime in California!Nice effort OP, good value …In'n'out burger everytime in California!Nice effort OP, good value itinerary you've put together. As someone commented, it's nice to go north to south so you start of with the cooler weather and more ragged coastline, then gradually warm up and get to the typical manicured surfy beaches around LA.But either way, this would be a great trip.


Also, North to South means whilst on the PCH, you’re driving closest to the ocean and have (marginally) better views.
Great work .im off .do de charge more if you are 40 st..I have to get a passport .been caught by police .can I get visa ..so many quizzes
Did this (N to S) in one afternoon and evening many years ago, in a rented Chevy Camaro (didn't drive as well as it looked!). Well, you have to make the most of these opportunities when the firm is paying! . It would be good to go back and do it again at a sane speed though.
Edited by: "Besford" 26th Feb
I am assuming 'Compact B' wouldn't be a convertible V8 mustang would it?
LOL_is_stupid43 m ago

Also, North to South means whilst on the PCH, you’re driving closest to t …Also, North to South means whilst on the PCH, you’re driving closest to the ocean and have (marginally) better views.



And much easier to stop too (already mentioned i think). The PCH is awesome and I remember stopping too many times because it was so beautiful. I plan to cycle it one day....
Wow, I'd love to do this, maybe when the kids have left home. Price might have increased mind you.
Awesome!!!!!! Brilliant research8)
Have done this (& a few similar including Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite - San Francisco - LA - San Diego) a few times (got married in Lake Tahoe) & it's an amazing trip, never tire of it! heat added @BlueSkies
I so want to do these kind of trips, amazing. Have a good time.
wishihadadonkey59 m ago

Have done this (& a few similar including Las Vegas - Death Valley - …Have done this (& a few similar including Las Vegas - Death Valley - Yosemite - San Francisco - LA - San Diego) a few times (got married in Lake Tahoe) & it's an amazing trip, never tire of it! heat added @BlueSkies


Is the cost about right? And how long did you go for on your previous trips?

We are literally planning this sort of trip for last of Sept
Great work.

When driving MAKE sure you use the car pool lane (if theres more than 1 of you in the car). You will save hours and hours of traffic. I drove down From San Fran to LA. There is a fantastic plane spot in LA (search google) where the incoming flights come into the runway and they are no more than 4 floors high from you. Its spectacular. Its right next to an In-out-burger which is an amazing eatery aswell.
Shared bathroom??
What ever you do, get a mustang! There is nothing like it on H1!
Have some heat for a great trip at a great price, did this last year add Yosemite if you can awesome
Heat for huge amount of effort!

I've done this trip in an RV with some friends and I couldn't recommend it enough.

Be aware that they don't normally let you pick up your car the same day you land though, due to potential jet lag.
Edited by: "LadyAdy" 28th Feb
adyharold2 h, 54 m ago

Heat for huge amount of effort!I've done this trip in an RV with some …Heat for huge amount of effort!I've done this trip in an RV with some friends and I couldn't recommend it enough.Be aware that they don't normally let you pick up your car the same day you land though, due to potential jet lag.


What?? Always just walked from baggage collection to car rental desk and driven straight off.
termite9 h, 47 m ago

What?? Always just walked from baggage collection to car rental desk and …What?? Always just walked from baggage collection to car rental desk and driven straight off.


Hmm. Perhaps it's just Cruise America's policy then. They needed to see our flight details!
Amazing price did this last year and there is so much to see and do we ended in Vegas but this is great price for anyone looking to do this.

Great effort op
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