California Road Trip

I booked another last-minute trip yesterday. My cousins are headed out to California and Las Vegas for vacation next week and I thought I’d tag along. The ticket was about $380 which is more than I usually like to spend on a ticket to the West Coast, but open jaws, especially super-last-minute can be tricky. It’s (sadly) going to be my first time on a plane in 2015! Eight months into the year, it’s about time!

This is a whole new type of travel for me. (I classify it more as a vacation than travel, but that’s a point for another day). Growing up, trips were always just me and my mom or sometimes my grandparents. This time I’ll be joining my cousin, her husband, their 2 kids (12 and 14) and my great-aunt. That’s a big crew with a wide range of ages and interests!

Considering I lived in San Francisco for a few years collectively and have visited LA a bunch of times in the last few years, none of it will really be new, but it will be the first time I’m going on a trip with extended family! It’ll be fun to show my cousins around my old SF stomping grounds and some of my favorite parts of LA.

I actually don’t have much of an idea of what we’re doing yet. After all, I’m just a tag along. My cousins are flying in to LA, but I’m meeting them in SF on Tuesday since I didn’t feel compelled to take the road trip between LA and SF in both directions. It’ll also give me an afternoon to try to catch up with some old friends there. And maybe get some Phở.

The whole trip is about 8 days. I’m headed home a day early because the flight was cheaper that way, but I’ll still have plenty of time to see and do everything. The plan at the moment is to spend a day or so in SF, then drive down Route 1 to LA. I’ve never done that drive beyond Santa Cruz so I’m excited to see the full coast! In the LA area I know Disneyland is on the agenda, possibly also Universal, and of course stopping at the beach. My 14-year-old cousin is Snapchat-obsessed so I want to bring her by their HQ in Venice Beach for a meta-Snap. Who knows, maybe they’ll even let us in!

From there, we’re driving out to Las Vegas, which is a drive I did (ok, well I was the passenger) on my cross-country road trip a few years back. My cousins have family in Las Vegas so they’ll be joining us and have apparently booked us tickets to see Britney Spears among other shows. (WHA?!?) This will definitely be up there with my more glamorous trips, that’s for sure. Oh, and I’m told there will be eating. A lot of eating.

This whole adventure is really going to challenge my usual packing strategy. I’m breaking out my carry-on suitcase for the occasion and will need all manner of clothes from SF-ready layers and warmth to LA beach to Las Vegas-appropriate heels and fancier-type stuff. I honestly have no idea how I’m going to swing it considering I don’t even have “club” clothes.

I am looking forward to experiencing Las Vegas as an over-21-year-old. The last time I was there I was about 17 or so for a National Student Council conference. (Yeah. I was definitely really cool in high school.) I think we’re staying at a hotel on the Strip so that should be a fun experience although I’m not much of a gambler. I might try to sit at a Blackjack table, but in all reality I’ll probably just park myself at a nickel slot machine if they even have those. I don’t know the first thing about poker or roulette.

Overall, I’m excited to finally hop on a plane and go somewhere! Unfortunately it’s a USAirways flight, so I won’t be making any progress toward keeping my United status for 2016, but miles are miles and going somewhere is the real point! And, of course, having awesome experiences.

As usual, updates will come in the form of Tweets and Instagram posts, so be sure to follow along there!

Have you ever gone on a family trip as an adult? Any ProTips you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!