In this post it’s going to be all about our roadtrip through California / Nevada / Arizona, as so many of you wanted to read a review and some TO DO’s and DON’T DO’s :P
For those who wonder this was our route:
. 1 night close by the airport, as we landed around 7pm and just wanted to go sleeping immediately (was around 3 am in the morning in europe tho) would totally do this again
. 2 nights in LA Downtown
would not recommend this! But as it was our first time in LA we just choose the cheapest and best lookin place :P
Better take a hotel close to Beverly Hills, Sunset Blvd or West Hollywood (1OAK and lot of other nice places are at West Hollywood)
. 1 night in Laughlin
This got actually planned by the agency and I would never recommend that to any of you! Better plan a full day from LA to Las Vegas and drive a bit longer but you'll safe 1 night in an aweful place. It's like a smaller, cheaper copy of Las Vegas. It's really tiny, no restaurants and just totally unnecessary to see!
. 2 nights in Las Vegas
Las Vegas was by far one of the craziest but also funniest and loveliest places I have ever seen!
I would totally recommend visiting Las Vegas and if I'm going again than for sure longer than only for 2 nights, as I feel like we have only seen 1/10 of the city. (BTW You can read more about Las Vegas here)
. 1 night in Fresno
Fresno was also a planned stop from the agency. I would never go there again and cannot recommend it to you. Only thing we did there was joining an outlet to buy some clothes as a bunch of our stuff got stolen in Vegas (more about that below)
. 1 night in Mariposa
Exactly as Fresno, also Mariposa got planned by the agency.. It was such a big roundabout way for us, and totally unnecessary. I would never go there again, expect you'll take a look at the Yosemite National Park. That one must be beautiful, but it was sadly too cold to visit it for us, as we were there in November.
. 2 nights in San Francisco
Oh I totally fell in love with San Francisco. I would totally recommend you to take a look and maybe stay a bit longer than only 2 nights. Sadly we hadn't the best weather there, but everything else was super nice. Read more about it here.
. 1 night in Monterey
Well Monterey was necessary as it would have been a way too long drive from San Fran to LA otherwise. I would recommend it everytime as it was super lovely, a wondeful beach and super nice people. Must be beautiful in summermonth :-)
. 2 nights at Redondo Beach
I have never heard about Redond Beach before, but as it got planned by the agency as well we just spend two nights there. Aaaand it was one of the best stops ever! O-M-G I can't find any words, it was one of the loveliest places ever! Almost no tourists, super calm, small, perfect for surfing and the sunsets are breathtakin! We spent two full days only at the beach, went swimming in December and enjoyed every minute. Redondo was seriously one of my favorite spots of the whole trip!
(actually 6 stars out of 5 haha)
. 1 night in Santa Monica
I totally loved this spot! The weather was amazeballs and the beach as well as the city of Santa Monica is worth more than just a visit! Totally loved it and would always go there again!
. 1 night at Venice Beach
Oh Venice Beach, I totally fell in love with you. In total I have to say I just fell in love with every spot in Los Angeles. This city is soooo huge. I loved West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Redondo, every spot is so different and totally unique. At Venice Beach you'll find the most chilled people ever. Everyone is such in a good mood, helpful and having so much fun! I loved the vibes and would love to live close to Venice one day! <3
My personal TO DO's and DON'T DO's:
. DO have a rough plan about what you wanna see
I have to be honest, our road trip got planned by an agency as my boyfriend won the trip but it was such a weird route. They planned that we’ll start our road trip just a day after landing. And what I didn’t knew that jetlag is going to be that hard haha. So please plan a minimum of one day in between your flight and your roadtrip. We changed our plans a bit and stayed in LA for two more days than planned in advance, and it was the best decision ever. But anyways I guess you should have at least a rough plan what you wanna see, where you wanna go and most important how long it will take you to be there by car.
. DO book your car rental in advance
Well, you don’t have to, but after flying 14 h (as we did) all you want is to drive to your hotel asap and fell asleep immediately. We booked our car over ALAMO and were totally happy with that choice. At the airport you’ll find a bus which drives you straight to the Alamo-Area. Everything went well and we had the possibility to choose a car out of like 10, on our own. :-)
. DO book your first night from home
I would totally recommend booking your first night in advance. As I already told in the first point it was so good we didn’t had to look after a car-rental or a hotel, after flying that long. I was soo happy that we were able to just drive to our booked hotel and fall asleep sooner than later.
. DON’T leave your luggage in the car (especially in Vegas)
Some of you might have seen it on my snapchat or instagram. Our car got robbed out 2 nights in a row and the window-car got broken as well. While we were in Los Angeles we had our hotel in Downtown in between all the homeless people and nothing happend. But in Las Vegas you can’t even leave your luggage in your car in the parking area of the hotel. Isn’t this is crazy? I mean, first thing we always did was asking at the reception if parking will be safe and they always told us, yes for sure we’re having a securityteam and cameras. But as told our car got robbed twice in a row so definitely don’t leave anything in it.
. DON’T go on a roadtrip with someone you can’t stand 24/7
Going on a roadtrip definitely means having each other around all the time. Thanks god I knew André long time before and knew how it will be traveling together as we were in Berlin & Barcelona together aswell. I love spending time with André as I can truly can be myself around him. :-) If you’re going on a roadtrip I guess everyone will have some little fights and discussions. But most important is that the happy and funny times are way bigger than the little fights :P Wish you so much fun and the best time of your life if you decide going on a roadtrip
. DON’T expect super healthy food
Oh well, that was one thing I really didn’t believe but it is so hard to find healthy food. Especially in smaller towns you’ll only find diners including super fried stuff. Thanks God I totally loove mexican food and there are a lot of mexican restaurants everywhere. Sometimes you have to drive a bit longer but it’s worth it in the end.
. DON'T give yourself an exact time-line
I find it super important that you don't plan minute for minute. As told above it's a good thing to have a rough plan, but leave a few time-caps, for visiting national-parks or just to make a stop somewhere on the road to take a look at roadside attractions. There are a few of them and you'll find something stunning every few minutes while driving, it's like one big fun park, I loved it!
. DO make some research before leaving
Especially about some special rules in every country you'll be. I'm more the spontaneous type but was super excited to read a lot about the cities we'll be soon. Therefore just search the most intesresting points you wanna see during your roadtrip before leaving - either cities, attractions or special regions.
. DON’T invest in maps
Well that depends from person to person, but I personally find it soo hard to read fold-out maps. Especially in countries I don’t even know one street. So Google Maps on my iPhone was truly our savior. Don’t forget to search the route as long as you’re having wifi, don’t forget to take a screenshot to be safe and let’s go. Best thing about the app is that even without internet, google maps will always find your current destination and this way it is soo easy to find the way to your next destination. And if you don’t have wifi, just search for the next starbucks :-) I’m so thankful there are that many starbucks, best internet and coffee eever :P
. DO plan to need more money than excepted
I heard it from so many of my friends that in America you'll spend so much more money than you'll actually plan to need, and yes sadl it is true! For sure you can try to not go shopping and don't spend too much money on hotels and food.. but sometimes it's hard to find a good restaurant which is cheap on the other side.. especially healthy food is always more expensive, which makes me a bit sad. And as our luggage got stolen in Vegas, we just had to buy new clothes haha. Anywayss feel like all the spend money was more than worth it, especially our two last nights in Santa Monica and Venice Beach were quite expensive but soo soo worth it. BTW Taxis are super expensive, so try to arrange a car, you'll safe a lot of money on that!
. DO open google maps and search for the route from your car-rental area
to your hotel before flying
The thing is that Wifi doesn’t work everywhere sadly.. most probably you’ll have wifi at the airport and you’ll be able to search your route there, but to be sure search for it at home and take at least a screenshot. In this case you’ll be safe to find your way to the hotel.
. DO ask locals for spots to eat or going out
Most exciting thing about traveling for me is always getting in touch with locals. So if you search for a good restaurant or just a wash salon ask them. Most probably they will know better stuff than the internet and in the best case you'll get in touch closer and may do some exciting things together, you never know :P
. DO have fun
Let me tell you, a roadtrip is so much fun! Exploring a new city almost every day and hopping between hotels, restaurants and beaches is the coolest thing ever. But keep one thing in mind, it's also really exhaustive. Not that I wouldn't do it over again, I would do it immediately. But just give yourself a day off or at least at the end of the trip around 2-3 days at your favorite place. For us it was the beach, so at the end of our roadtrip we decided to stay 2 more nights at Redondo Beach as well as 1 night in Santa Monica and one at Venice Beach. Best decision ever, as I was truly full of power after these 4 days off.
I hope I was able to answer a lot of your questions and wish you soo much fun on your own roadtrip maybe one day!
If you're having any more things you want to know, feel free to write it in the comment section :-)
I'll answer all :-) Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful day!