Fleeing as far away from reality as possible seems like the only way to go about getting some quality R & R nowadays. Run and Repeat that is. We take months to plan the perfect vacation just to come back to dull ourselves out and start the planning process all over again. What if 2020 is here to teach us that ‘getting away’ doesn’t require much distance, or time. Did you know that according to experts, the average human needs two rest days in order to feel fully rested and recovered? But when was the last time you came out of a two day weekend feeling like you just got back from a week long trip to the Caribbean? It’s time to change that! No matter where in the world you live, adventure is all around us and I can confidently say that some of the most epic adventures I’ve been on, from Iceland to Portugal to the U.S, have been short, and sweet. Today I’m going to dive into my experience road tripping through the California desert with my best friends, but if you’re interested in more details or destinations, follow me on Instagram / TikTok & Subscribe to my YouTube channel @jetlaggedlovers 🙂
When it comes to going on a road trip through the US, choosing your itinerary is the hardest part because the struggle is narrowing down your dots once you realize all of the possible things to do and see! But whatever you choose will definitely not disappoint! We picked a long weekend, rented a soccer mom van and started our drive off in Las Angeles with Las Vegas as our end point. We decided to leave the in-between as loosely connected as we could to make it as spontaneous of an experience as possible! (or we just simply couldn’t make up our minds from the overwhelming number of places that we wanted to see in 4 days….). Either way, whether you’re a fast paced adventure chaser or a slow and steady cruiser, this road trip has something to offer for everyone. From infinite hiking trails, to paddling along what could easily be mistaken for planet mars, to scenic hours of driving and diving into the worlds most exclusive spa, how you pace your trip is completely up to you! We mixed and matched ours, making decisions along the way to be able to fit the most into a 4 day long weekend, but also left enough room to slow down and take it all in.
Driving from California to Nevada is like driving from the north pole to the south pole and back again. You get to experience all 4 seasons in one 8 hour drive, from snowy mountain peaks in Utah to gigantic Cacti in Nevada, to sand dunes in California and lush escarpments in Arizona. Long story short, you’ll want to bring everything from loose linen dresses and sun hats to knit sweats and beanies when packing for a trip like this (and of course don’t forget your Haileys Hair Elastics!). You’d be surprised at the drastic drop in temperatures in the desert at night! But whatever the weather, you’ll want to set aside your favourite outfits for this weekend getaway because the photo opportunities are endless and will make for the most epic ongoing throwback pics!
My best advice from our past travel experiences is to never overlook off-season. Of course, when it comes to travelling to some places, tourist seasons are set in place for safety reasons, but a secret to travelling to many places is to go right before or right after what is commonly known as ‘peak season.’ Not only will you be able to experience more without the need for pre-booking things, being put on waitlists or standing around in lineups, but you’ll also find that prices are drastically cheaper, from your flights to hotel stays all the way to your excursions. This was surprisingly the case when it came to this roadtrip. For example, tourist reviews warned us that we wouldn’t be able to visit the Antelope Canyon (see Image above) because it required us to book a tour that supposedly sells out months in advance. Little did we know, we scored ourselves a tour right then and there when we drove up to Paige and our group was so small that you can pretty much consider that we got our own private tour of the Canyon! So sometimes sacrificing a little warmth in weather goes a long way if you’re on the hunt for an adventurous experience.
This brings us down to the commonly asked question of cost. much like the itinerary on its own, your budget for this roadtrip is fully up to you. If you’re on a budget, you could look into renting an RV or bringing camping equipment to save up on your stays. We pretty much winged our way through the trip and turns out that finding roadside inns and inexpensive hotels is pretty easy in the many remote towns that you pass on this road trip. If you follow our itinerary (see below) you’ll also want to save a morning to explore the dreamy grounds on Amangiri, which is known as one of the worlds most exclusive hotels. Contrary to what you may believe by the sounds of it, a birdie told us they take guest reservations for breakfast lunch and dinner so we took any chance we could get to get a sneak peek at the hotel sitting on acres of untouched million year old land. And surprisingly, our meal didn’t break our bank either!
Long story, short if you’re craving a getaway, don’t let time, money or distance stop you! Summer 2020 is one for exploring what’s around us so lets make the most of it by treating ourselves to some real R & R every weekend we get! Okay now time for the reveal of our epic secret 4 day US roadtrip Itinerary…..
Day 1: LA -Cathedral Rock hike Sedona, Arizona
We spent the first night of our trip in Sedona, AZ after watching the sunset the night before from the infamous Cathedral Rock that I’m sure you’ve all heard the buzz about by now.
Day 2: Sedona, AZ – Page, AZ
Leaving the red rocks in Sedona behind, the next morning we took off to drive to Page to cross off the Antelope Canyon & lake Powell (aka planet mars) from our bucket list.
Day 3: Page, AZ – UTAH – Las Vegas, Nevada
On this day, we left our day open to be able to explore UTAH, starting off with a spontaneous visit to Amangiri and finishing off with an off roading ATV tour which lead us to some incredible views, real dinosaur footprints and Native American hieroglyphics! Leaving no time for waste, we continued our drive to Nevada and I guess you can say what happened in Vegas, did not stay in Vegas because the very next morning we took off half asleep to cross off our next bucket list must…
Day 4: Las Vegas – Death Valley National Park – LA
Death Valley National Park. If theres three things that I took away from this day then: One: Make sure you have gas driving in to the park, Its a lot larger than you might have ever imagined it to be. Two. Don’t drive in the dark, it’s terrifying and not worth it and you can make better use of your time by parking your car and taking a look top at the sky: I’ve never seen anything like it. And three: As glad as I am that we crammed this in to our weekend and got to see a glimpse of it, the teaser that we got has only left me longing to go back and see more of it. Death Valley is an adventure of its own!
Thanks for reading! Happy and safe travels to all my fellow jet lagged lovers!
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