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    Fly and Drive USA and California: how to organize a road trip 

    Who I am
    Martí Micolau
    @martímicolau
    SOURCES CONSULTED:

    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    If you have reached this article by browsing the search engines, you will probably already know what is meant by "viaggio Fly and Drive“, And it would be useless to add anything. However, in case there is someone among you who has been intrigued by this particular formula, it is good to quickly explain what it is, and then explain step by step how to organize a Fly and Drive USA, travel style particularly suitable for destinations such as California and the West Coast, but suitable (and in my opinion recommended) also for all other destinations (if you are not convinced take a look at our Itineraries section).



    So let's see in detail how to organize a Road Trip in the USA!

    Index

    • Fly and Drive USA: what is it about?
    • How to choose the stages
    • How to choose the flight
      • 1) Where is it convenient to land?
      • 2) Is there a way to save on the ticket price?
      • 3) Flight + hotel: do you really save money?
    • How to choose the rental car
      • How to save?
    • How to choose accommodation
    • Documents and health insurance

    Fly and Drive USA: what is it about?

    By definition, Fly and Drive is one holiday formula which includes a trip by plane and a trip on the road. Secondly, from a slightly more personal and interesting point of view, we could define Fly and Drive as a real travel style in the name of total freedom of choice. In what sense?

    Since the interest in the travel arrangements Fly and Drive has been growing exponentially in recent years, it is not uncommon for the travel agencies propose offers of this type to those of their customers who want to throw themselves into the on the road adventure, to experience an unconventional holiday, to discover new places independently (on our dedicated page you will find a series of travel packages in America, including Fly & Drive, operated by our affiliated tour operator).



    However, there are those who are never satisfied, and here the need arose among travelers to find the online resources to organize a holiday in aeven more complete autonomy, choosing each stage of the journey according to your own taste, perhaps even including itineraries that are not really touristy. But not only! The Fly and Drive mode leaves the traveler the taste (and the responsibility!) Of the choice of flight and car, of the careful selection of accommodation, of places to eat, of attractions to visit and of all those precautions that are needed when a road trip is organized. Plus, if you move early, it's possible too save a lot on the cost of travel to California and parks.

    But let's get into the merits: what are the steps to organize a Fly and Drive in USA? How do you plan a trip like this, for example, to California? Let's go and find out together.

    How to choose the stages

    A glimpse of San Francisco

    The very first thing to do when organizing a Fly and Drive in the USA is to choose carefully the stages that must not be missed on our journey. This obviously applies to all of America but, in the case of the California and of the West Coast, there is truly spoiled for choice, and the combinations are endless, although there are some classic tour models that many travelers rely on.

    Do you need a tested and ready-to-use itinerary for your itinerary? Take a look at our ebooks American Dream Routes, available on computer, tablet and smartphone, and complete with day by day itinerary, interactive maps, suggestions on where to stay and much more!

    Browsing a bit on our site, you will undoubtedly have your mouth watering, but to do a bit of order, we recommend that you take a look at our sections dedicated to the great American cities, national parks and itineraries possible, both on the West Coast and the East Coast and, if you are looking for less inflated destinations, do not neglect the Pacific North West, the South, the Rocky Mountain region or the Mid West. For those who aspire to a crossing from one end of the States to the other, in the name of the variety of landscapes and encounters, I recommend browsing through our section on Route 66 and the one on the Coast to Coast.



    How to choose the flight

    Let's imagine our journey begins right in California: if we think about it a bit, the questions immediately start crowding into the mind. Among these, we choose three, which are also the questions we are asked most frequently.

    1) Where is it convenient to land?

    As you can read in our article dedicated to tours in California, the best cities to land in to start yours Fly and Drive West Coast, or simply to visit the Golden State, are San Francisco and Los Angeles. However, there is another airport, which is considered strategic for a road tour in those areas: that of Las Vegas, Nevada. What are the criteria for choosing between these three airports we talked about in our article on flights to California: take a look!

    2) Is there a way to save on the ticket price?

    Certainly there is a way, indeed more than one. The slowest and most cumbersome is to search the sites of the individual flight companies and search according to the criteria we have chosen, to then cross the results and choose the most convenient flight. But why do this boring job when there is someone who can do it for us?

    In our article dedicated to US Low Cost Flights we talked about exactly this. There are some price comparison sites that allow you to search within a huge database that will compare prices, choosing the best rate at the best conditions.

    The question is, are these sites reliable? Not only are they reliable, but they often offer discreet savings opportunities that are not present on the company's official website. To check the list of the best price comparison sites, we refer you to this section of the aforementioned article, dedicated to how to search for a US low cost flight on the internet.



    3) Flight + hotel: do you really save money?

    Usually, many doubts arise about the actual possibility of saving in these cases. Yet, reading our in-depth study on flight + hotel in New York you will find that the advantages of this offer are many and you will get surprising rates. Obviously, this also applies to the other main American destinations: to take advantage of the offer, the arrival and departure airports - both in America and Spain - must be the same.

    How to choose the rental car

    After the "fly", you will have to take care of the "drive", and here the fun begins, because the most interesting part of the trip to the USA is undoubtedly the on the road. The first thing you need to understand is the type of itinerary you want to do with the car, because this factor affects not a little on the choice of the type of car.

    Let's take this West Coast tour as an example, which is a 20-day on the road itinerary that covers all the most beautiful stops in the area, including cities and national parks (alternatively you can also choose this 15-day West Coast tour). If it is your intention to embark on such an adventure, among the various types of cars available, you will have to choose one that allows you to move easily even on rough roads (the Valley Drive of Monument Valley comes to mind, which with a economy is not exactly practicable, as you can guess from this video).

    If, on the other hand, yours Fly and Drive in California it will be less demanding and will just go from one city to another - perhaps from San Francisco to Los Angeles, along Highway 1 - you could also rent a car of a lower category, although sometimes the price difference is so low that in any case it is better to rely on a safer type of machine.

    How to save?

    In our article dedicated to car rental USA, in addition to listing the documents necessary for the collection and driving of the vehicle, we have provided you with a series of tips on how to save, pointing out the best online resources to make a personalized price comparison of the agencies available. The sites reported to This Page, in our experience, they are the most reliable and up-to-date. Moreover, it is not uncommon to find really advantageous rates.

    How to choose accommodation

    Accommodations to take your breath away: Grand Canyon Lodge

    On the road lovers who are organizing theirs Fly and Drive in USA they often write to us that the ideal for them would be not to book accommodation in advance, but to choose them while traveling, in order to maintain the right and freedom to change their mind or route until the end. Well, we understand them! This need is perfectly part of the on the road adventure logic, even with all its limitations. However, remaining lucid, we believe it is fair to say that, in our opinion, the reasons for which to book accommodation in advance are very convincing:

    • we are not always blessed with the good fortune of immediately finding the perfect room for our needs when we arrive, for example, in a remote town in the Nevada desert (which perhaps has only one or two motels with a dozen rooms);
    • even if we are lucky, it could happen that the cost of the room is much higher than the value of the accommodation;
    • in our article Hotel USA we have indicated some useful online tools to compare the quality and prices of better accommodations in California and beyond. A site like Booking, for example, gives the possibility to filter the search according to various, useful criteria: the area, the price, the type of accommodation, the presence of the parking space, breakfast and options, and also the precise distance from the nearest attractions!
    • the savings opportunities e low cost offers found on these sites are truly remarkable;
    • most hotels offer the possibility of cancel the booking of the room up to 24 hours before arrival. This free option is to the advantage of hardened road travelers, who have until the last day to change accommodation if necessary!
    • take a look at our Where to sleep section, to find specific advice on finding accommodation in the main US destinations (be they cities or natural parks)
    • We remind you that Expedia's flight + hotel offers are a great way to save something on the final price.

    Documents and health insurance

    The last step to take in organizing a Fly & Drive USA is perhaps the most boring: you will have to make sure that you have all the documents in order for the trip and stay in the United States. Yes, if it is your intention not to use an agency - which usually also takes care of paperwork - you will have to take care of this aspect. However, don't worry: the formalities are very few and relatively simple. We refer you to our page on US documents, where you will find all the useful information on:

    • ESTA
    • USA visa
    • Passport
    • International driving license

    ... that is, everything you need to fulfill the bureaucratic issues. Without forgetting the medical coverage, which is a necessary precaution if we want ours Fly and Drive in USA be as calm as possible from every point of view, even the most unpredictable ones. In our article dedicated tohealth insurance we have explored the criteria by which to choose a reliable policy for a trip to the United States. Check it out!

    How to choose health and travel insurance?

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