Who’s that girl?

I’ve been travelling solo on my Gap Year. That’s not to say I have always been on my own, I’ve made some incredible friends on my journey but soon I will have a partner in crime!

That’s Rachel. We’ve been friends for years. We went to business school together back in the day and was actually one of my first friends at university. Rachel has booked some time off work to come and join me for part of my travels. Don’t let her looks or blonde hair fool you, Rachel is actually a genius and a avid traveller too. She’s visited many different countries including the likes of Australia, Thailand, Tanzania and Jamaica.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other. I think the photo (right) was probably the last time I saw her.

Will certainly be a change to my dynamic travelling with a friend from back home as opposed to people I have met on the road. The beauty of travelling solo on a Gap Year is the ability to just be selfish. You don’t like a place or a group of people, you just leave. As fun as it might be fun to abandon Rachel if she annoys me I don’t think she would be too happy with the situation.

Anyway, we actually need your help!

We’re going on a road trip! We are starting and finishing in Los Angeles and have 17 days to do the west coast. Here’s the catch; we don’t have a clue!

We’ve kind of pieced together that we would like to do Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Grand Canyon.

Here’s what we would like you lovely people to do. Are you a local or have you done a similar trip? Can you suggest a route? Recommend budget accommodation or a good car rental company? What should we be seeing? Alcatraz? Universal Studios? Should we drive back from Vegas through the desert? What are the driving times like?

We refuse to pick up a Lonely Planet. We want to do this whole trip using word of mouth and social media. So please leave a comment, a tip or retweet on twitter. We are also doing a week in New York before Rachel leaves me, so any suggestion for NYC too would be greatly appreciated.

Keep your eyes peeled for the USA Road Trip Series! Cheers for your help guys!

10 Comments

  • Ali

    July 21, 2010

    I’m going to San Francisco this weekend so I’ll let you know how that goes. I do know that you have to book the Alcatraz tour a few weeks ahead of time b/c they book up early. We heard the night tour (which is at 6:30 or 7) is the best so that’s what we’re doing.

  • Becky

    July 21, 2010

    Yo yo Amar!

    I think I’m joining Raquel and your wonderful ‘Taio cruz’ self in NYC! …Is there room for one more..? I wanna shout out. Boooo yar.

  • Amanda

    July 22, 2010

    The only city I’ve spent any amount of time in on the West Coast in Seattle. And that doesn’t seem to be in your plans, so I really don’t have much input! But it sounds like it’ll be fun. I’ll get back to you on some NYC suggestions!

  • Adventurous Kate

    July 22, 2010

    VEGAS VEGAS VEGAS! Go to Madame Tussaud’s and pose inappropriately with the statues (half price tickets at Tix4Tonite)! Also, any club you want to go to, let me know — since you’re not an all-girl group, you should get on a real (not fake) promoter’s list. My top three are Tryst, XS and Body English. The Palms is great, too.

    And go to Tijuana to get yourself another country. πŸ™‚

  • Emily

    July 23, 2010

    How fun! I hope you two have a blast. While you’re in California, I suggest you go to Santa Barbara. It’s GORGEOUS! If you love history/crime stuff, you should definitely tour Alcatraz when you go to San Francisco.

  • Abbie

    July 23, 2010

    San Fran – Fisherman’s Wharf. I’ve bought tickets for Alcatraz a couple days in advance, so check on it first, but it’s definitely a cool place to visit.
    L.A. – Venice Beach boardwalk for sure
    Vegas – Walk the strip day & night – it’s an interesting place. The cheapest way to do Vegas is to eat at the massive cheap buffets and sit down at a table/slots for a bit and they’ll bring you free drinks.

    Drive Times:
    L.A.->San Fran 5.5-6 hours
    L.A.->San Diego 1.5-2 hours
    L.A.->Vegas 3.5-4 hours

    Oh and I live in Orange County πŸ™‚ I avoid driving before 9-10 a.m. and between 3-7 because of wicked traffic…

  • Ghazala Irshad

    July 30, 2010

    There’s more to Vegas than casinos & clubs! Go hiking or skiing on Mount Charleston, about 30 miles outside the city, & about 30 degrees cooler too! Have a refreshing stay in a log cabin along the range with stunning views in the Mount Charleston Lodge…something off the typical tourist track but worth it!

  • Tara

    August 1, 2010

    I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 8 years. For a very “L.A.” experience, be sure to hit up Mid-Wilshire area (5700 Wilshire Blvd) any weekday from 11-2-ish to sample some food truck fare, a very Angeleno experience and there are some great trucks! Zuma beach is a great one further up on the Malibu side (where the water is actually pretty decently clean πŸ™‚ ) Sky Bar for drinks is pretty nice too. Oh, and if you need to couchsurf before Aug 15th or so…give me a shout!

  • Najia

    August 2, 2010

    Drive up (or down depending where you start) the Pacific Coast Highway from LA to San Fran. It’s a longer drive than the five hour one on highway 5 but well worth it.
    Did that drive myself and my favorite is the stretch between Carmel/Monterrey up to Half Moon Bay – Pacifica (check out Montara State Beach) to SF.
    In LA I liked Venice and the Getty has some amazing views of the city.
    Also maybe check out Joshua tree – maybe 2-3 hours from LA?

  • Globetrooper Lauren

    August 7, 2010

    Hey, we’re doing the same thing starting mid-Sept. Hopefully we can cross paths somewhere! http://globetrooper.com/globetrooper-founders-road-trip-canada-usa-2010

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