Timing for USA trips

me and my friend want to go to the us. One problem we want to miss all the mad rushes and peak cost times. Considering this what would you think the best time is to go ?:confused:

The U.S. is a big country. Where do you want to go?

It all depends – do you want to ski? Lounge at the beach? Hike? Gaze at miles and miles of nothingness? Tour a big city? Attend a sporting event? Etc.

Avoid Thanksgiving weekend (November 27th-30th this year). This is the peak travel, especially air travel, weekend. Other US holidays with heavy travel, with perhaps more of an emphasis on highway travel) are Memorial Day (last Monday in May), Labor Day (1st Monday in September) and Independence Day (4th of July).

There is also a rush to places that appeal to college students in the spring (Spring Break). Not really set dates, generally late March/ early April I think.

With those dates in mind as times to avoid, the advice you have already gotten about this being a big place and your ultimate decision depending on exactly where you go is very good advice.

Minnesota - January.

No crowds and you’re sure to get a story to tell when you get back home.

Better yet, North Dakota in January or even February. There is no problem with crowds and the stories will be even better than those from Minnesota.

Houston in August. Don’t forget the sponge they will need to soak you up with for the trip back to chilly old England.

A few years ago when “Weakest Link” was just starting to fade in the ratings the host Anne SomthingorOther referred to Americans as stupid 'cause most of us don’t have a passport. I guess she and probably many other English forget that we don’t need a passport. We can pretty much go and do anything somewhere in the US. We can even leave the county without a passport.

The current plan is to go somewhere around LA, San Francisico, Las Vegas. Which leads to a different question.

Say we wanted to hire a car what are the rules on a forigner driving in the US? how difficult is it to use the gear change I always see in the movies (The stick near the steering wheel).

Also what sights would you recomend visiting?

There are very few off times for the 3 cities you listed. You just need to pick a date, check for conflicts but calling a couple hotels and seeing if they have rooms, and go.

Lots of scenic areas around there. Grand Canyon is about 5 hours east of Las Vegas. Expect to spend at least a day there. Casino’s are all over Vegas and each will have a show. Each show will run between $50 and $100 per person. Vegas is starting to lean away from the family entertainment they were trying to push so expect more adult fare then you might have heard about before.

Dunno about LA but San Franciso should make you feel homesick except the girls are actually very very pretty. :wink:

The gear change (automatic transmission, I assume you are asking about) is very easy, especially if you are used to manual. After learning on a manual transmission, it’s like “Oh, so the car practically drives itself.”

The Los Angeles freeways, on the other hand, are truly daunting. Look into it before you commit to just coming on over and driving everywhere. You could get completely lost/ overwhelmed (or is it just me?)

There was a good thread a while back on foreigners renting cars, you may want to search.

You don’t need to use a stick shift. Most rental cars are automatic. But you will need to drive on the right. Plus how are you in freeway traffic, think 4 lanes or more one way.

The best time to visit would be February or March. That way you have avoided the crowds and it is still somewhat mild weather rather than the hot you get in summer (mid to end March, Vegas starts to hit 100F or greater temps). If you are nice to us L.A. locals we might even think about getting you the winter deals for locals to the amusement parks in the area. The drawback to Feb/Mar timeframe is that alot of National Parks are not open yet to camping and so you access to them might be limited.

I don’t know about the rules, but just make sure you ask for an “automatic” car, instead of a stick shift. Stick shifts are great for experienced drivers, are commonly found in fine cars, and do save gas, but if you’re not familiar with them you’ll have no problem getting an automatic. Careful to stay on the correct side of the road!

Be aware of distances–you do know, for example, that LA and San Francisco are about five hundred miles apart?

I also recommend Hoover Dam and Red Rock National Park, both sights you can’t see in the UK, near Las Vegas.

Most everybody loves Brits over here and everybody will dig your accent. But just be aware you might get a lot of questions about the Queen and nobody could care less about soccer :smiley:

Thisthread has some good info on what to see in the SF/LA/Vegas/Grand Canyon area.

September is a good time to travel in this area. School is in session so there’s fewer people about in the tourist areas, but the weather is still very summer-like.

Thanks for the advice. There’s somethings I hadn’t thought of, which is why I asked the questions.

If your freeway’s are similar to our motorways then I’ll be fine.

Soccer, I don’t care much for it, moto GP is much more fun :smiley: