Western USA 3 weeks trip and rental car advises
Replies: 94 - Last Post: Feb 2, 2013 2:19 PM Last Post By: NYCRoadTripper
Jan 15, 2013 3:31 PM
Jan 15, 2013 3:37 PM
32If you already have a credit card, see if you are able to upgrade to a Platinum card. They usually cover you for all car rental insurances in the US and Canada. Also, that info about the ESTA and the Visa Waiver Program does not apply to Canadians.
Jan 15, 2013 3:44 PM
33Well, I absolutely think that the OP should spend some time in southern Utah, and if you're there and heading to Grand Canyon, then MV isn't much of a detour. I think it is worth seeing, even worth something of a detour. But not worth planning a whole segment of the trip around.
What else is there to see? Well you can start with the National Parks: Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion. Add in Escalante/Grand Staircase National Monument. Those alone can keep you busy for weeks, and you've only just scratched the surface in this area.
Jan 15, 2013 3:54 PM
34yeah I can believe it ! Ok, we'll be around there but we'll do the NP first. thanks for the advise.
we really want to spend time in the desert and different landscape in southwest UTAH. It looks amazing ! We'll probably stretch the trip to 20 days between seattle to san francisco and then do an other one between SF and LA.
I am french, not Canadian. I am aware of the visa policy. I know I will have to buy a visa at the entrance in the US. It is already the case if I cross the border between Quebec and the USA.
For the insurrance, I have a gold credit card. I am asking to my bank for the coverage and waitin for the answer. But still, I think it will be better to take the liability insurrance at least (just in case)...
Jan 15, 2013 4:04 PM
35Sorry, did you say where your home country is? If you did then I missed it. I ask because this will affect car rental rates and insurance. I have been looking into this myself lately for a 28 day rental from Denver to Las Vegas. I am from Australia and when I go to Avis.com and mention that I am a resident of Australia it gives me a quote which includes CDW and LSI insurances.
I believe this is because in Australia our car insurance does not cover us PERSONALLY, but covers our CAR. So when we travel we don't have this kind of insurance on us as DRIVERS. I hope that makes sense. As opposed to residents of the USA who apparently can get this kind of car insurance on themselves as drivers.Therefore they have the option to add this insurance for it or not, depending on their own situation.
You can have a look and compare these yourself at Avis.com or any other car rental company which asks your country of origin when quoting. Compare your resident country to an American driver and see the change in daily rate...
Anybody, feel free to correct me. I have only been researching this for about a month so I am fairly new to this.
Jan 15, 2013 4:06 PM
36Buy the Visa at the entrance of the US? I hope you mean, you need to have a Visa prior, to coming to the US.
I agree Utah is gorgeous....
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Jan 15, 2013 4:19 PM
37I come from france.
And you're right, on avis.com they provide the liability. I did the quote on kayak and carrental.com and the prices are really better there but it doesn't say if the is any insurrance ! (because they don't ask where I come from...)
Ok I will ask them directly. I think it will be better !
Then for the visa programm (or the programm of not needing one), if I understood well on the website, I can get one at the border (6 dollars)
Jan 15, 2013 4:43 PM
38At the risk of repeating FlagStuff (but maybe with a bit of amplification), you will be in Utah at just about the perfect time of year for Arches, Canyonlands (at least the Needles District), and Zion. Bryce may still be a bit cold and snowy (though not to anything like the degree Yellowstone will be), which may or may not be a mildly negative consideration - it's a great place anyhow, and stunningly beautiful in a rather different way with some snow present.
I agree that Monument Valley is well worth a drive-by/through and even a bit of a detour, but ought not be treated as a major destination.
Assuming an unlikely-in-April-but-possible major cold storm is not in the area (which, if present, could make the Boulder Mountain crossing a bit dicey), Utah 24 (west of Hanksville) and 12 provide an extraordinarily scenic route from the Moab area via Capitol Reef to Bryce/Zion. Taking that route would turn Monument Valley into a bit of a detour.
Jan 15, 2013 5:03 PM
Jan 15, 2013 7:09 PM
40Since you have a keen interest in Utah, I would suggest looking into Peek-a-Boo canyon. There is actually another slot canyon adjacent called either Spooky or Hole-in-the-Wall (I forget). It also affords the opportunity for some (free!) backcountry camping. The night sky is pristine.
Jan 15, 2013 7:38 PM
You either have a visa already, that you obtained from an embassy or consulate, or you enter on the Visa Waiver Program (which is not a visa but a visa waiver, i.e. it waives the requirement for a visa) and pay a corresponding administrative fee.
Jan 15, 2013 7:42 PM
Jan 15, 2013 10:03 PM
43Yellowstone: As indicated above, Yellowstone is normally in snow until the end of May. Yes, there is a hotel in the park that is open all winter, but getting there could be a problem, depending on the snow situation. Now, in mid January, we don't know what the snow accumulation will be in late May. Also, some highway pases are closed to vehicles that do not have tire chains, and rental contracts frequently prohibit the use of chains on their vehicles.
Yellowstone has some very small but cheap cabins right behind the main lodge at Old Faithful.
On the interstate between Flagstaff and Albuquerque is Meteorite Crater, where 40,000 years ago a meteorite rearranged a large chunk of ground. It makes a nice geological counterpoint to the Grand CaNYON.
Jan 15, 2013 10:34 PM
44I would suggest looking into Peek-a-Boo canyon. There is actually another slot canyon adjacent called either Spooky or Hole-in-the-Wall
All this is in Escalante/Grand Staircase National Monument. Spooky is adjacent to Peek-a-Boo. Both can be done in a half day's fairly easy hike. Brimstone Gulch is another right in the same area, combining all three makes for a full day. The access road is called "hole in the rock road", which is a long bumpy dirt road. It is perfectly suitable for a passenger car (when dry, which is usually), but your rental contract may have some restrictions in the fine print about dirt roads - sometimes an outright prohibition, sometimes vague wording about "unimproved roads", sometimes nothing at all. You'll need to check.
Contrary to to what some people have suggested on this board, no one will track you with a GPS, see you've driven on a dirt road, and slap you with fines when you drop the car off. However, any roadside assistance or insurance you're carrying will be void, and you may be subject to additional charges if you do get caught somehow (like if you get stuck and call the rental company for assistance).
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