Planning our California Road Trip

Earlier this year we wanted to embark in a once in a lifetime style trip for our two week holiday. Having thoroughly enjoyed our holidays to the USA in the past we opted for the good old American Road Trip.

As a couple, we have taken two fortnight holidays to North America before and we always enjoy our time there. We like American food, the conveniences of the cities, the huge variety of things we can find to do and of course the shopping (although our dismal £ makes this less appealing).

On our Road Trip we wanted a bit of variety, we love American cities and have a few on our list to do, but we also wanted to experience some places outside the urban realm. And boy am I glad we did, we found some truly phenomenal places.

We quickly fell upon California as our destination, with LA and San Francisco high on our agenda. I had also heard a couple of things about Death Valley and was intrigued enough to look into it. During the planning stages our road trip took on many different forms - there was so much we wanted to do.

We looked into travelling north from San Francisco into the wine region, we thought about spending more time in the mountains, we really wanted to drive through Yosemite but quickly discovered the road is closed until a month after out trip. We wanted to go to Palm Springs but then realised we were driving through during Coachella - it was too late to get tickets but hotel prices were through the roof.

In the end, despite all our plans, it came down to flights. Flying into one city and out of another city can add a significant cost to your trip. We weren't planning this months in advance - we booked our fights in March and flew out in April. So we needed to look for a round trip.

Then I discovered that in March, my trusty favourite airline British Airways, were starting a new route from London Gatwick to Oakland (just outside of San Francisco). As it was a new route there were some great prices to be had and it is still a really good price option for California today.

As with all trips, I keep an eye on prices over a few weeks, using the BA app. A price dip one afternoon bought two return premium economy flights to Oakland in at £1500. We booked them that afternoon.

And thus began the finalising of our California road trip. We arrived in Oakland on a Saturday afternoon and we had two weeks (almost to the hour) to get back again.

With Yosemite closed we opted to drive north to Lake Tahoe and down route 395 to Death Valley. From Death Valley we couldn't not pop into Las Vegas to see what all the fuss was about. From there we headed off to Los Angeles and finished off in San Francisco.

I did of course buy your standard California guide book, but truth be told for a road trip I found blogs far more informative and full of useful tips and unusual places. My favourites were California Through My Lens and 2 Girls Trippin'.

Unusually for us we also took a far less rigid planned approach to our trip. We wanted to book a hotel for each night in advance, but we didn't plan our days excessively. Perhaps with the exception of LA where we booked a few dinners.

Instead we took the whole trip a day at a time, we would spend the evenings looking at what was coming up on the road ahead the next day and highlight any places that would be worth a look. I'm sure we missed stuff that would have been awesome, but equally we found ourselves in some pretty incredible places that I will remember for the rest of my life.

We took sooooo many photos on this trip that it is only now that I have managed to sort through them all. So this is more an introductory post to a new series sharing the geographical highs and lows of our amazing road trip. Do make sure you're following over on Bloglovin to catch up with all these posts - go on you know you want to!

We also filmed quite a bit too so check out You Tube if you also like travel videos....

Speak soon x

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