Coast to coast with G Adventures
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Sep 23, 2012 4:01 AM Last Post By: SummerLady25
Sep 16, 2012 4:23 AM
Coast to coast with G AdventuresHi, I'm hoping to hear from anyone who has gone on a G Adventure trip, from new York to San Francisco (or the other direction). Or anyone who has any opinion on escorted tours (maximum 12 people).
It's a 23 group group bus tour that goes everywhere we wanted to go (NY, Washingston, New Orleans, Texas, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas , San Franciso) and a few more amazing places we had considered but didn't think we could do on our own. It's costs £1800 and includes travel on a bus, 16 nights camping and six nights in hotels. It also includes most meals.
We had been planning on doing the trip on our own but we visited a local travel firm ( STA Travel ) and they suggested this trip. On the plus side it goes loads of amazing places, we wouldnt have to worry about organising transport or accommodation, we would have a guide who can make sure we see all the best places and we would have a small group of people to travel with. On the potentially negative side, it's a bit more of a whistlestop your than we were planning, includes a lot of hours of the bus (between three - six hours both days) and doesn't seem as though it would offer much free time.
I know only I (and my husband) can decide if this trip is right for us but I would really like to hear from anyone who has done the trip or something similar. I'm also open to advice/ opinions from others with experience of American travel.
Hope someone can help (please be nice)
Sep 16, 2012 4:33 AM
Sep 16, 2012 5:48 AM
2I have traveled with Gap (their previous name) although not in the US. They provide a well-organized tour. The advantage is that it's a very efficient way to travel. With all driving and accommodation set up ahead of time, you'll see a lot. It would be nearly impossible to see all those places in that amount of time on your own. The disadvantage is that the only locals you are going to meet are your tour guide and some hotel desk clerks. So I guess it depends on your priorities. To me, that type of tour is best for countries where you don't feel comfortable traveling by yourself or you have very limited vacation time.
Sep 16, 2012 7:10 AM
3I'll suggest two other companies to look at:
Green Tortoise Cross County tours Very popular with younger, more adventurous people, but will be more than 12 people. A lot of camping or sleeping on the bus, which converts to beds. Less expensive than other tours.
Intrepid Travel Smaller groups. Several overland trips. Hostel/hotel based. 12-16 people.
Sep 16, 2012 6:20 PM
4That is not a bad deal at all, it certainly gives you a lot of variety and important sites and cities, but man, that is a LOT of moving around to be honest.
I would for sure add 2-3 days on to NYC to start and also San Fran at the end, maybe rent a car and go to Napa Valley/Wine country.
Here is the schedule.
Day 1 New York City
Arrive at any time.
Day 2-3 Philadelphia/Washington, DC (1B,2D)
Follow the trail of American history in Philly. Visit Independence Hall, and head to D.C. Tour the monuments, free museums, and even the White House. Stroll through Georgetown or head up to Dupont Circle for some nightlife.
Day 4 Shenandoah NP/Appalachia (1B,1L,1D)
Pass through Shenandoah and explore the ancient Appalachian Mountains along the the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Day 5-6 Nashville/Memphis (2B,2L)
Opt to explore Nashville with a visit to Elvis' Graceland, the Grand Ole Opry or a real country bar. Be sure to catch some live entertainment in Memphis, the birthplace of rock & roll and the home of the blues.
Day 7-8 New Orleans (1B,1L)
Turn on some jazz tunes on guided city tour of New Orleans. Take an optional swamp tour or cruise the Mississippi on a steamboat. Bourbon Street anyone?
Day 9-10 Houston/The Alamo/San Antonio (1B,2D)
Get a taste of the 19th century in Lafayette before continuing on to Houston. On Day 10, check out historic San Antonio and The Alamo.
Day 11-12 Carlsbad/Santa Fe (2B,2L,1D)
Cool off in the clear waters of Paradise Canyon, and discover historic Fort Stockton before exploring the Carlsbad Caverns on a guided tour, dodging the 400,000 bats heading out to hunt at sunset. Visit eerie Roswell then take in southwest culture in Santa Fe.
Day 13-14 Durango/Mesa Verde NP/Monument Valley (2B,2L,1D)
Explore the lives of the ancestral Pueblo people on a guided hike to cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde. Learn about Navajo culture, consider an optional Navajo-led 4x4 excursion tour.
Day 15-16 Grand Canyon NP (2B,2L,2D)
Explore the Grand Canyon along numerous trails. Take an optional helicopter flight or watch a spectacular IMAX movie. Return to camp for a campfire BBQ.
Trek surrounded by awe-inspiring views, taking in the "Grandest of Canyons", take to the skies on an optional helicopter flight for a birds-eye view of the canyon.
Day 17-18 Las Vegas (1B)
Welcome to Sin City! Explore Las Vegas with a guided tour along the famous Vegas Strip. Optional VIP limo ride.
Day 19 Death Valley NP/Bishop (1L,1D)
Visit the hottest, driest and lowest point in North America: Death Valley. Stargaze at a secluded hot springs.
Day 20-21 Yosemite NP (2B,2L,2D)
Morning trip to Mono Lake, walk among the tufa towers. Marvel at spectacular views of the park's peaks. Take hikes to majestic waterfalls, lakes and meadows, and walk amongst giant sequoias. Option to rent bikes for a ride in Yosemite Valley.
Day 22 San Francisco (1B,1L)
Check out the Golden Gate Bridge on a guided tour. Rent bikes and explore the city on wheels, or set sail to the setting sun.
Day 23 San Francisco
Depart at any time.
If this is the same outfit as Gap Adventures, they have a good reputation on the Central America (Guatemala to Panama) branch, as well as Intrepid.
Sep 16, 2012 9:00 PM
5On the potentially negative side, it's a bit more of a whistlestop your than we were planning, includes a lot of hours of the bus (between three - six hours both days) and doesn't seem as though it would offer much free time.
If you were planning this for yourself (two people in a rental car, budget motels and hostels), then how long would you be planning to take for the trip? I would look at the economics of doing it independently ($30.00 a day for a car, $60.00 a night for accomm, plus fuel and food). The price from the website is $2,900 per person (or $5,800 for two). If you travelled for 29 days independently, you would still not need to spend $200 per day, for accomm, transport, fuel, and food - even with a one-way drop-off fee for the car.
I think your negative feelings are a good indicator ... a couple driving across the US can be really economical, and everything on the tour company's itinerary is easy to drive to.
Sep 16, 2012 9:03 PM
6Where can you get a car, oneway, with insurance for $30 day? I would double that. And $60 for a hotel? That is a bad hotel most likely, $100 is more realistic. I think $200 day with meals is low for the USA. But $200 day for 20 days is $4000.
Sep 16, 2012 9:08 PM
7Our pre-booked rental cars from carhire3000.com are in the range $26.00-$30.00 per day (with insurance), and you can find motels for $60.00 per night that are perfectly okay (we use the Super 8 website). Sometimes we pay more (up to $100 max) - but you don't have to. The one-way fee is an unknown, granted, but we have done four extensive road-trips in the US (self-catering most meals), and there is no need to spend $200.00 per day to have a great time. We stay in no bad hotels.
In terms of days - we usually budget about 150mi (250km) per day - steady but not too rushed.
Random example - Super 8 Oklahoma for $62.00.
Sep 23, 2012 4:01 AM
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