Real LA to San Francisco

Trip Code: SSYG

Why we love it

No great west coast road trip is complete without some time in Los Angeles. Fulfil your dreams of strolling the Hollywood Walk of Fame, or people watching down at Santa Monica., Vegas is a spectacle by night, but what happens before dark? Appreciate the neon-filled city at all hours of the day with time and flexibility to do as you please., Get your fill of incredible landscapes when you explore the desert terrain of Joshua Tree National Park and discover the winding gorges and desolate rock formations of the Grand Canyon., Cover Yosemite’s many trails over two full days and three nights dedicated to the park. You will be able to hike and explore until your heart (and camera) is content., San Francisco is an ideal destination to spend some extra time in, exploring its vibrant heart and the diverse scenery of its surrounds. Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Silicon Valley, Napa… they’re all at your fingertips!

Is this trip right for me?

Less time spent in a vehicle; more time to explore each destination. This trip has been carefully designed to give you the best experience of a region by reducing the number of one-night-only stops, giving you extra time in the places that matter.

This trip includes time spent travelling in a private vehicle with your group. Extra space can be tight, and conditions may feel a little cramped. It’s all part of the adventure and a great way to get to know your fellow travellers. Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates.

Although our private vehicles do have air conditioning, it has to work pretty hard to keep a full group cool. Expect to feel hot during summer and cold at other times of the year, especially at night. Please consider the season and research the weather conditions to determine the best time to travel for you. Remember to come prepared with adequate clothing.

This trip involves either a partial or full camping experience, giving you access to more remote destinations at close proximity, and the joy of camping under the night skies and beside a campfire. This is a participatory trip – a fancy way of saying you’re not just along for the ride, but you are part of a team! Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and help out with camp activities like food prep and washing up. It’s all about giving your new travel mates a hand, and everyone knows there’s nothing worse than trying to put up a tent on your own!

From the steep hiking trails of the various national parks to the hilly San Francisco, this trip can involve a lot of walking. Please ensure you bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes. To make the most of the trip, it's best if you have at least a moderate level of fitness.

Important information

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6:00pm on Day 1 in Los Angeles and finishes on arrival into San Francisco at approximately 5pm on Day 11.
2. The group will be in 8 and 6 person dorms, with shared bathrooms. The hostel will do their best to separate the group by gender, but it's not guaranteed.
3. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however excludes night 1 (Los Angeles) where you will be in shared accommodation.
4. On the last day of the trip: The arrival time back into San Francisco on the last day depends on each group, but if you decide to fly out on this day, please don't book a flight before 9 pm.
5. A sleeping bag is required for this trip.
6. Please note that the legal drinking age in the US is 21 and in some parts of Canada it's 19.

What to bring/pack

As well as your underwear, toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip.

ESSENTIAL
- Sleeping bag. Please bring one from home or purchase one before your trip starts - you may not have time once we're on the road. Sleeping bags can easily be bought in the US and Canada at big stores like Walmart, Kmart, Target or at sports and camping supply stores. Renting sleeping bags isn't possible on our trips. As we offer trips throughout the year and travel in diverse climate zones, we recommend you carefully consider the weather and choose an appropriate sleeping bag. Please bear in mind that nights can be very cold even in the warmer months. We can experience temperatures as low as -5C and even snow.
- Towel
- Travel pillow
- Reusable water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. Tap water in the US and Canada is safe to drink and there are many places to fill up along the way, so please save plastic by bringing your own water bottle.
- Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
- Clothing you can layer. You may encounter a wide variety of temperatures en route due to altitude and unforeseen weather conditions - so be prepared! Make sure to pack a warm fleece and a waterproof jacket. We suggest you check the expected temperatures en route and bring clothing that you can layer.
- Closed-in shoes. As this trip includes camping and/or bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.

RECOMMENDED
- Power adaptor
- Insect repellent
- Spare camera battery. You should have access to electricity to charge your battery most nights, but as some of the places we stay are a little isolated, it is always a good idea to carry a spare.
- Swimwear
- Head torch
- A simple plastic bag/waterproof toiletry bag (that can hang on a nail on the back of a door) will be useful to keep your clothes dry inside basic camp shower structures.
- Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, anti-diarrhoeal, antibacterial gel, wet wipes, bandaids/plasters etc.

OPTIONAL:
- Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather.
- Thermarest. While we provide a basic camping mattress for each client, some travellers find they like the extra comfort of a double layer.
- Ear plugs to guard against a snoring tent-mate
- A good book, a journal or an Ipod for the long drives.

Physical rating

 
2

We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the weeks before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trip to its fullest.

Many of the National Parks that we visit have hiking opportunities where walks of up to 4 hours can be an option for you. There are often easier options. Throughout the trip there are more adventurous optional activities that require some consideration regarding your physical abilities to complete the activity.

Joining your group

HI Los Angeles Santa Monica Hostel, 1436 2nd Street, Santa Monica, Santa Monica, 90401, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Just blocks from the beach on LA’s trendy West Side, HI Los Angeles Santa Monica hostel is the perfect spot for living the California dream. Your accommodation is a few minutes walk to 3rd Street Promenade for shopping, the famous Santa Monica pier for social media shots and easy enough to grab a bike and ride to nearby Venice Beach.

Heading to the beach? The hostel has beach towels and volley balls for guests to use. A guest kitchen is open for limited meal prep if you want to eat in. Free WiFi, smart showers, game room and an outdoor courtyard are just some of the features you will find.

Joining instructions

The hostel can easily accessed from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). A taxi to the hotel will cost approximately $55-$75 USD one way depending on traffic.

The Santa Monica Flyaway shuttle bus runs hourly from 5:45 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. daily, including weekends and holidays. Buses depart in both directions -- from LAX and the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium at 1875 Main Street which is a 10 minute walk to the hostel. The shuttle departs 15 minutes before each hour.

Finishing your trip

Stanford Court Hotel, 905 California St, San Francisco, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Phone: +1 415 989 3500

Stanford Court is in a prime location in Nob Hill, steps from Union Square it offers guest wonderful views of the city. Amenities include state of the art fitness center and day use of e-bikes for those wanting to explore the city on 2 wheels. All rooms are equipped with a HD television with HDMI and USB Ports, USB outlets, and a mini-fridge.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 1

CAMPING
On our camping trips in North America, we operate an optional kitty, where travellers are encouraged to contribute to a central fund which is used to buy groceries which then supply meals to the entire group. More details of the estimated costs and exclusions can be found in the Money Matters section.

Buying and cooking the food, washing up, etc are shared amongst everyone on the trip. Teams of two people will carry out the camp duties on a rotating basis. On camping nights, we usually cook our evening meals together on our own stove, or barbecue food over the camp fire. We usually prepare salads, grill meats and cook pasta, rice and vegetables. For breakfast we usually buy milk, coffee, tea, cereals, bread, jam, butter etc.

Travellers with dietary requirements may prefer to opt out of the kitty, purchasing and preparing food that is suitable to their individual needs.

Climate & seasonal information

USA NATIONAL HOLIDAYS
The following national holidays are observed in the US, which can affect our itinerary as traffic can be extreme, and shops, restaurants and attractions can be closed:

New Year's Day (01 January)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (third Monday of January)
Washington's Birthday (third Monday of February)
Memorial Day (last Monday of May)
Independence Day (4 July)
Labor Day (first Monday in September)
Columbus Day (second Monday of October)
Veterans Day (11 November)
Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday of November)
Christmas Day (25 December)

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please contact our operations base on 1-800-786-8735 (toll free in the USA and Canada) or +1 707 523 1800 (office hours).

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

POLICE AND AMBULANCE
In case of an emergency, local authorities can be contacted by calling 911 – this is the toll free phone number for the police, fire department and the ambulance in the USA and Canada. In case of doubt, call the operator on 0.

BOOKING ENQUIRIES / ISSUES
For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at:
http://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/contact-us

Intrepid's Local Operator:: +1 415-642-7378 ext 5

Accommodations

NORTH AMERICA CAMPING
The campsites that we use are selected for either their scenic beauty, their convenient location to places of interest and/or the facilities available. We aim to offer you a selection of different types of campsites.

If you've never camped before - no problem! We provide a complete set of camping and cooking equipment. This includes roomy easy-to-pitch tents, which are shared by only two people and are equipped with thin foam rubber mattresses and vinyl floors. Your leader will show you how to pitch a tent on the first day. On many trips we also spend a few nights in reasonably priced hotels/motels/hostels (as per the itinerary).

Remember that sleeping bags are not provided. Check out the Packing section for more information.

You'll find the necessary facilities - toilets and in most cases showers, washing machines and dryers - at many of our campsites. The showers at some campsites only have cold water available and some may require a payment (usually no more than US$1-$3 for a quick shower). This is payable locally and is a contribution towards the cost of a limited water supply. Some campsites won't have any facilities, but this will rarely be for more than one night at a time. This is true of many campsites within Yosemite National Park, so if your trip is visiting this park, please prepare to go without a shower on this night, although it can often be arranged to stop and utilise facilities on our way out of the park.

In all campsites there are strict quiet hours when no loud noise is allowed. This means that all music, singing and group gatherings must stop. We request that all our travellers respect these campsite rules.

For trips where there are lodges/cabins used, couples travelling together may be separated as our rooming arrangements are based on single gender.

Our high-quality camping equipment (including tents) can be affected by bad weather conditions. This can result in some wet and cold conditions inside the tent. Your spirit of adventure and flexibility will help make your adventure trip an exciting and unforgettable experience. On nights where the group is camping, and weather conditions are extreme (such as snow or heavy rain), there may be an opportunity for the group (if everyone agrees) to stay at an alternative location such as a nearby hostel or hotel. When this is the case the upgrade is at your own expense.

Transportation

NORTH AMERICA VEHICLES
Our large fleet of vans are fully equipped with dual air-conditioning system, V8 engines and any camping or cooking equipment needed for your trip. Most have cloth-upholstered seats and carpeted interior with radio/tape or CD players. Your luggage is transported in a trailer which is towed behind the van.

The vans are regularly serviced in our own maintenance facility and continuously checked and serviced by a well-established network of maintenance and service facilities throughout the continent. However, unforeseen maintenance problems can still occur while on the road and we appreciate the patience of our travellers as we make necessary repairs as quickly as possible.

While your group will have a van for all included activities on the trip, the services of the van and the driver may not be available for your use during free time, or after you have arrived for the day. If you need a special trip into town you may need to arrange transport or a taxi.


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