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Want to plan 2 holidays dubai/hong kong and america - advice please

(16 Posts)
mosschops30 Wed 29-Jun-11 21:20:51

i have a real urge to travel more and want to do two trips within the next year or so.
I am really good at planning my usual european hols but am at a loss when it comes to something like this.

So i would be sooooo grateful if anyone has any tips at all, how to plan, who to use, or self book direct, hotel recommendations, airline recommendations, thinfs to do etc etc.

Want to do dubai and hong kong as a 2 centre holiday. 4 nights ish in dubai and 4 or 5 nights in hongkong.
Secondly want to do america, 2 nights in vegas, grand canyon and then couple of city nights before coming home (not frisco tho).

Go for it, tell me all i need to know smile

mosschops30 Thu 30-Jun-11 10:09:28

Bump for the daytime crowd smile

californiaburrito Thu 30-Jun-11 13:39:25

Arggg!!! My stupid post disappeared before it posted.

I can only help with America as I never been to Dubai/Hong Kong

Vegas-

48 hours is the longest I would recommend that anyone stay in Vegas. It can be depressing and will make you feel dirty.

I would either go really cheap or expensive, there's no point in going somewhere in between.

For the cheap option you can find somewhere to stay off the strip. A couple years ago I stayed at a place across from the Hard Rock for $30 a night. I believe it is now called Holiday Royale.

Or you can splash out on one of the fancier hotels and eat in the nice restaurants and go to the spas and there is a mall I quite like at the top of the strip called the Fashion Mile or something like that. I think this would be best booked as part of a package, but I'm not sure who would be good.

Grand Canyon-

I would recommend walking into the canyon, staying at the little hostel/lodge at the bottom and then walking back up again. All of this can be booked through the National Park Service, although spaces do go quickly. It is a trek but when you get back up to the rim you can get a massive ice cream at the trailhead. This is AMERICA after all. You'll need to think about when is best to go weather wise for you.

City Break-

I would say SF, but since that's out have a look at the travel section of Sunset Magazine for ideas.

And feel free to PM me you have any more specific questions, I'd be happy to try to help.

Have fun!

mosschops30 Thu 30-Jun-11 16:32:13

Thank you so much, i realise i was a bit vague but have had a look online and have a few more ideas now.

Would it be better to fly in and out of LAX. Think virgin are the only airline to fly direct to las vegas. I read its a good 6 hr drive to vegas fron LA. How far then onto gramd cnyon, and is car hire reasonable?
Yes i think 2 nights would be all we'd need there.
Have seen mentioned page arizona, is that worth visiting?
Also Anaheim and sandiego which may be worth it for our city bit.

How many nights in grand canyon?
Is there anything else we must see?
Where would you reconnend when we head back towards LA. City or beach would be fine.
Do you think we could do it in 7 nights?
Finally, would we be mad to take dcs (15, 6 and 2)? Part of me wants them to come for the experience and part of me just wants to enjoy it with dh and have our usual summer hols together as a family.

Sorry soooo many questions smile hope you dont mind

mosschops30 Thu 30-Jun-11 20:20:31

Ok am a bit further on now
Fly into las vegas, stay 2 nights.
Take 3 nights doing canyon and any other interesting surrouning areas.
City for 2 nights and fly home fom LAX

So las vegas hotels needed
And still suggestions for canyon or surrounding area
Suggestions for city break before home

californiaburrito Thu 30-Jun-11 20:27:51

Hmmm, 15, 6 and 2. That must be tricky.

I fly back to LAX with my DD about twice a year, about half the time on my own. I always INSIST on going direct so if the Virgin flights didn't work out for me I would be driving to Vegas. Also, if you decide on San Diego British Airways having started flying direct to/from Heathrow, so you could go in to LAX and out of San Diego. I've never done Virgin with kids, but BA is great, particularly with Terminal 5. I don't fly with American carriers with my DD despite the fact that my father can get me tickets for £50 plus taxes. Snobby, I know but I did it once and never again.

Car hire is fairly cheap and petrol will be laughably cheap to someone from the UK. My experience is that the issue Brits have with driving in the US is the big distances, but I'm sure you know your limits. If you do plan to fly to LAX and then drive to Vegas you'll probably want to do the first flight of the day or the last flight, get a hotel room, have sleep and then head out really early. It should be about 6 hours and you have cross LA in it's entirety but then there's not much else until you get to Vegas.

<goes to look up Page, Arizona> ahh.. I'd skip it but that's purely my personal opinion.

If I remember correctly it another 6 hours to the Grand Canyon and what you end up doing there will probably be determined by whether you bring the kids or not. What you want to see/do at the Grand Canyon?

I assume when you say Anaheim/ San Diego you mean Disneyland or San Diego? I would say that the 6 y.o. would love Disneyland but the 15 y.o. is too old and the 2 y.o. is too young. If you take the kids I would recommend San Diego (disclaimer- I am from San Diego) You've got the SD Zoo which is very good, Sea World, which is obnoxious but worth it once. And you have Legoland, which is great for the little ones. The older one could hang out at the beach or do surfing lessons, if that's the sort of thing they are interested in.

Of course, I would suggest totally different things if the kids weren't going, but I think America is pretty easy to travel with kids. There's a lot of space and things like restaurants and hotels are easy. Having a shared language would make it easier for the older one to be a bit independent as well.

Oh, and I would do 10 nights, it's way too much internal travel for 7 nights.

Feel free to ask more questions.

gregssausageroll Thu 30-Jun-11 20:35:01

Signature at MGM is where we stay when we go to Vegas. You won't even see one full hotel in 2 days. I see no point in doing Vegas at all if all you can do is 2 nights. It takes a day to do one hotel and that is before everything else that is on offer.

San Fran is probably the best for a city break but again you won't see enough in just 2 days. Can you spend more time in the States? It is such a long way to go for just 7 nights.

More time if you can or if you are stuck with 7 nights then I'd do Vegas and the Canyon or cut both out and do San Fran and may be yosemite.

You can stay on the South Rim at the Canyon. Have a look on the trip advisor pages for the Canyon.

That's my opinion though. I don't think you will do the West Coast justice with such a quick trip.

gregssausageroll Thu 30-Jun-11 20:38:26

I have just read your thread again. You are doing too much driving. 6 hours from LAX to Vegas and then about another 6 to the Canyon so that is an entire day out of your 7 on top of the 12 hours flying there and back. You need to work out timings a bit better. You are trying to fit too much into a short break.

Virgin fly into Vegas from Gatwick. BA and Virgin fly into LAX. BA and Virgin also fly into SFO.

mosschops30 Thu 30-Jun-11 20:48:45

No ive already said we will fly direct into vegas with virgin, then drive to canyon then onto wherever to fly home from LAX.
Have decided not to take the kids, will go when older one has left home and the younger ones are older.
I would just like to see the canyon, maybe do a hike, dh is a keen photographer so its important we get to see as many amazing things as possible grin
Could do 3 nights vegas i suppose, i have been looking at the signature actually as its one of th top hotls on trip advisor.

So would you recommend going back to LA or San Diego for a few city days before coming home. Plus i imagine LA is mahoosive, where would we stay?

papooshka Fri 01-Jul-11 07:53:26

For the Dubai/HK trip I would suggest you look at Emirates, as you would prob get a flight to HK with stopovers in Dubai. I'm sure they would have deals with hotels etc on their website?

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 01-Jul-11 08:44:23

Mosschops,

re your comment:-
"No ive already said we will fly direct into vegas with virgin, then drive to canyon then onto wherever to fly home from LAX"

I would reconsider this plan because its too much in too few days and it won't be a holiday for you at all. Driving to the canyon will also eat up the best part of a day; you need to fly there really from Las Vegas.

Flying into one airport then out from a different one will be a lot more expensive in terms of cost, let alone time money and effort. Also LAX is a well crappy airport compared to Las V.

Also BA now fly direct into Las Vegas from Heathrow's T5 and their service seems more reliable than Virgin's.

What time of year are you thinking of heading to Las Vegas?. I would not go there any later in the year than April (its 43 degrees c out there currently and its not yet August (and I've been there in August). Canyon now for instance will be too hot to hike safely in.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 01-Jul-11 08:52:30

Would recommend you go and see the Valley of Fire National Park (that's only about an hour's travel time away from Las Vegas and you can hike there).

mosschops30 Sun 03-Jul-11 20:02:10

Thanks for all these suggestions, am putting this thread under my watched threads to help with planning

lostinpants Sun 03-Jul-11 20:11:49

What about time of year?
I would suggest October for HK as weather is pleasant.
Summer - hot, sticky & typhoon season. Winter/spring cold, wet, monsoon type rains and well ... wintery.
Second Emirates, good airline, excellent to do Dubai/HK
Loads to do - fab shopping, superb food, beaches, Disneyland, Ocean Park, the Islands to explore, giant buddha, temples, great walks, junk trips, The Peak, markets galore Etc.....

mosschops30 Sun 03-Jul-11 21:27:25

Tell me more lostinpants? smile
october would be fine, nothing planned yet, am waiting to see if i win my case and will spend the money on family holidays we can remember forever

willali Wed 06-Jul-11 14:16:07

why do you need to go back to LAX? OPen jaw is the way to avoid mucho driving

We are about to go on a road trip organised by Complete North America who have made a bespoke tour for us, hotels etc from San Fran to Phoenix. MAy be try them?

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