Breakdown Of The Total Cost For The California Road Trip
Return Flights (We flew London to Los Angeles Return): £978
Car Hire: £267
Sightseeing Tickets: £144
Total Cost: £3074 (£2096 Without Flights)
Trip Dates: 31st October 2019 to 15th November 2019
Please Note: We have not included travel insurance in the total cost (as we have a worldwide policy because we will be travelling to other countries). Quotes for travel insurance our individual, you can find many companies offering reasonable rates online.
A few general tips about our California road trip costs:
Car Hire: We booked this really early when Car Rentals were offering up to 50% discounts. Great thing we found is that insurance is fully comprehensive and extra driver is free. Worry free car hire as they call it. Keep your eye out for the bargains!
Accommodation: Book as early as possible and always on free cancellation. We couldn’t find better prices than Booking.com and nearly all rooms can be booked and cancelled for free, giving us the opportunity to swap accommodation if a better deal comes up nearer the time, which quite often did. Sign up with them and after booking with them for a while you will gain genius status with regular offers of up to 15% discounts, free breakfast, room upgrades and cool stuff like that! We researched our motel rooms well, wanting the best prices but with good reviews on cleanliness, comfort and good bath/shower room, and decided against shared hostels, although we have nothing against them! All having a fridge, microwave and coffee maker, all had super huge comfy beds/pillows.
Sightseeing Tickets: One of the best purchases we made was the America The Beautiful Annual Pass. Costing us $80 for the year it gives you access to all the National Parks in America including Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. Entry for many of the parks can be as much as $35 per car. We visited National Parks on 5 occasions each costing $35 dollars to enter (works out we would have spent $175 on entry fees – we saved $85 and have the pass for the rest of the year if we return). Obviously you’ll have to work out how many parks you are going to visit to see if its better value (Visit more than two and its a saving!).
Why we spent this amount: Simple really, to save money – which you get to spend on other things. As a result of the saving, we were able to pay for a further 7 nights accommodation in San Diego! From where I am presently writing this blog. It’s the only part of our budget where we could actually save money and our view is that if we have to go without a few treats of big meals in restaurants and breakfasts in Diners to allow us to see another city or location then its well worth it!
It won’t be everyone’s view and some people couldn’t manage it, but we are more than happy to give you advice or share our tips on this in greater detail. Just get in touch.
DAY 1 -Los Angeles Airport to Camarillo
1 night stay at Days Inn Camarillo Accommodation priced at $58 USD for the night
DAY 2 - Camarillo to San Simeon
DAY 3 - Full Day in San Simeon
DAY 5 - San Simeon to Monterey
DAY 5 - Full Day in Monterey
Day exploring the Monterey and Carmel area. 1st stop Carmel by the Sea (beautiful beach with views of Pebble Beach Golf Resort and the village centre is lined with boutique shops and cafes). Back to Monterey and parked at Downtown East Parking Lot (Great price – $7 for the day).
2nd stop Fishermans Wharf – Whale watching trip with Monterey Whale Watching ($100 for two tickets + $2 coffee on board).
Review: Brilliant! Big Boats, Really Friendly Knowledgeable Staff, Snack Bar On Board, Free Trip if No Whale Sightings (We saw Blue Whales and Humpbacks!).
DAY 6 - Monterey to Mariposa
Review: Breakfast Included, Comfortable Bed, Nice and Clean, Free Parking, Free Good Wifi, Well Priced Accommodation For The Area
DAY 5 - Full Day in Yosemite National Park
Tip: Tip: If you like Mexican takeaway look out for Taco Sonora for excellent Burritos located on Coakley Circle in Mariposa!
DAY 8 - Mariposa to Visalia
DAY 9 - Full Day Around Visalia
DAY 10 - Visalia to Ridgecrest
DAY 11 - Ridgecrest to Las Vegas
DAY 12 - Full Day in Las Vegas
DAY 13 - Las Vegas to Flagstaff
2 night stay at Budget Inn Flagstaff priced at $91 USD for 2 nights
DAY 14 - Full Day Around Flagstaff
DAY 15 - Flagstaff to Barstow
DAY 16 - Barstow to Los Angeles
Total Miles Driven: 2629
Total Cost of Trip: £3074 ($3843 USD)
Trip Dates: 31st October to 15th November 2019
Have a comment on this article? Join us on Social Media and share your thoughts!
Disclosure: Some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. Any income helps to keep this site free and helps us continue bringing you useful content, thank you for your support!