Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > America - USA > West
Reload this Page >

Help with planning my Pacific Northwest and Western U.S. trip

Help with planning my Pacific Northwest and Western U.S. trip

Old Nov 27, 15, 10:30 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: HKG
Programs: PR - Elite
Posts: 18
Help with planning my Pacific Northwest and Western U.S. trip

Greetings!

I'm planning to travel to Yellowstone, grand canyon, seattle and kelowna for my pre-wedding photo shoot some time between Sep-Oct.

The maximum length of this trip is 16 days and I would like to cover the following places:

- Boeing Field
- Yellow Stone National Park
- Grand Canyon
- Las Vegas
- Kelowna and the Okanagan in BC
- Vancouver

After weeks of research, I've found the following tickets to be quite attractive:

1. AA+JL+CX+AS | HKG-HND on CX, HND to DFW on JL, DFW to JAC on AA, YVR to LAX on AS, LAX to HND on AA, HND to HKG on CX | Fare HKD$6450 all in

2. PR all the way | HKG-MNL-SFO, YVR-MNL-HKG | Fare HKD$4650

3. CX n/s | HKG-SFO, YVR-HKG | Fare HKD $5850

4. Delta coast to coast | HKG-NRT-SEA-BIL, YVR-SEA-HKG | Fare HKD$6880

Can someone here with more experience with traveling in North America give me some idea, as to how should I plan this trip?

Much Appreciated!

Timothy
timothy_tw is offline  
Old Nov 27, 15, 10:47 am
  #2  
Moderator, OneWorld
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: SEA
Programs: RAA RIP; AA ExEXP
Posts: 10,234
There are quite a few issues you need to deal with -
  • Are you planning to hire/rent one or more cars? Visiting many of these places really requires private auto transportation.
  • Yellowstone can easily be quite wintry at high elevations by September/October. (I've been snowed on in Yellowstone in August.) Are you prepared for such conditions?
  • Sixteen days, assuming that includes travel days, is a very short amount of time to visit all of these destinations. The Grand Canyon, for example, needs three days - one to get there from, say, Las Vegas, one to visit the park, and one to get back. The same thing goes for Yellowstone, except with Yellowstone you need more like four days to do the park justice.
  • No offense intended, but why Kelowna? Do you have family there or some other compelling reason to go there? Not that there's anything wrong with the BC Okanagan, but it's not in the same scenery league as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or even the likes of Whistler in BC.
Gardyloo is offline  
Old Nov 27, 15, 10:58 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: HKG
Programs: PR - Elite
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
There are quite a few issues you need to deal with -
  • Are you planning to hire/rent one or more cars? Visiting many of these places really requires private auto transportation.
  • Yellowstone can easily be quite wintry at high elevations by September/October. (I've been snowed on in Yellowstone in August.) Are you prepared for such conditions?
  • Sixteen days, assuming that includes travel days, is a very short amount of time to visit all of these destinations. The Grand Canyon, for example, needs three days - one to get there from, say, Las Vegas, one to visit the park, and one to get back. The same thing goes for Yellowstone, except with Yellowstone you need more like four days to do the park justice.
  • No offense intended, but why Kelowna? Do you have family there or some other compelling reason to go there? Not that there's anything wrong with the BC Okanagan, but it's not in the same scenery league as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or even the likes of Whistler in BC.
1. Planning to renting an RV during my stay in Yellowstone, and I've spend 10 years venturing in the great white north (Canada), I'm sure I can handle it.

2. It is indeed a bit tight, Seattle is optional, I can remove that from my itinerary.

3. I graduated from UBC-Okanagan, and worked in k-town for 6 years. Memories, man.

Timothy
timothy_tw is offline  
Old Nov 27, 15, 2:40 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: on the path to perdition
Programs: Delta, United
Posts: 4,119
1. Fly into Seattle and fly home from Vegas. Rent your RV on way and drive through parks.

2. Fly into Vancouver rent a car a drive around there. Return car to Vancouver and fly to Las Vegas, rent RV and see parks in AZ, UT, WY. Return RV to Vegas and fly home.

The latter would be preferable.
FlyingUnderTheRadar is offline  
Old Nov 27, 15, 2:47 pm
  #5  
Moderator: Travel Buzz, Chase Credit Cards
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Sunny San Diego
Posts: 2,776
Moderator action: I'm going to move this to the "WEST" USA travel forum. I think you may get more help over there.
StartinSanDiego is offline  
Old Nov 27, 15, 8:59 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SJC/SFO
Programs: UA 1MM/*A Gold, WN A+ CP, Mar LT Tit, IHG Plat, HH Gold
Posts: 5,340
Originally Posted by timothy_tw View Post
1. Planning to renting an RV during my stay in Yellowstone, and I've spend 10 years venturing in the great white north (Canada), I'm sure I can handle it.

2. It is indeed a bit tight, Seattle is optional, I can remove that from my itinerary.

3. I graduated from UBC-Okanagan, and worked in k-town for 6 years. Memories, man.
For a 16 day trip I suggest focusing on either a northern loop or a southern loop, not combining sites far north and south. For a northern loop, which it seems you might prefer since you have a personal connection to the area, consider adding Jasper, Columbia Icefield, Banff, Grand Teton, and various places in ID, OR, and WA states. If you do it in September you should be reasonably okay in terms of weather.

If you can't go until later, that would be a good argument to do a southern loop instead. Conditions in Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Escalante, Arches, and Canyonlands are great in October.
darthbimmer is offline  
Old Nov 29, 15, 11:52 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,508
Personally I'd visit Glacier over Yellowstone. I've been to both and Glacier wins hands down.

Starting in Seattle means a lot of driving to get to places. If you can, fly to Missoula or Bozeman MT and you save 1-2 days of driving to get to either Yellowstone or Glacier. When you rent an RV you pay by the mile as well as by the day so keep that in mind as well.

Sept-Oct is kind of pushing it weather wise, especially driving an RV around, good chance you'll run into snow at those high elevations.
KoKoBuddy is offline  
Old Nov 30, 15, 5:59 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Erie, CO USA
Programs: UA, Marriott, Starwood, et al
Posts: 1,554
Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
For a 16 day trip I suggest focusing on either a northern loop or a southern loop, not combining sites far north and south. For a northern loop, which it seems you might prefer since you have a personal connection to the area, consider adding Jasper, Columbia Icefield, Banff, Grand Teton, and various places in ID, OR, and WA states. If you do it in September you should be reasonably okay in terms of weather.

If you can't go until later, that would be a good argument to do a southern loop instead. Conditions in Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Escalante, Arches, and Canyonlands are great in October.
I generally echo the comments above. But even the northern route seems ambitious and a lot of driving in only 2 weeks if you really want to be flexible for picture taking. You might also want to look into taking the train from Vancouver to Jasper or Edmonton, and then renting from there south to Glacier, YS, Grand Teton, etc. Not sure if prices will be impacted for renting in one country (Canada) and returning in the other (US). I certainly see that in Europe.

And for recent US domestic trips, I am seeing very little price benefit of booking round trips (or open jaws etc.) instead of booking one ways.
TRRed is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread