Disneyland Resort and Southern California LIVE! Guidebook
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One of the major obstacles to a Southern California vacation is figuring out how to get there in the first place. Many of us think along the traditional (and expensive) lines first, and become discouraged. It doesn’t have to be like that. There are more ways to get to Southern California than you probably realize. Below we describe each, beginning with the most popular. At the end of the list, on
BY CAR, VAN, TRUCK, OR MOTORCYCLE
Most vacationers still arrive at Disneyland and other Southern California attractions in their own vehicle. The rising sense of excitement as you draw closer is hard to beat, and it’s great to have the freedom of your own wheels upon arrival. Driving may also eliminate the concerns you or family members may have with air travel. Additionally, driving might be less expensive than air travel for large families, especially with the cost of gas these days. Be sure to compare the costs of driving versus flying before you decide. On the downside, you may spend long days on the road, which cuts deeply into your time with Mickey.
If you opt to drive, carefully map your course ahead of time. Most of us now do this on our smartphones or GPS. If you don't have a GPS-enabled device, you can do this with a AAA TripTik—a strip map that guides you to your destination. You must be a AAA member (see page 11 ) to get a TripTik, but you can easily join for $66/year. We also recommend you get a good paper map or atlas of the Southern California area, just in case your smartphone has an issue—request a free one at http://visitcalifornia.com/visitors-guide-request.
If you live more than 500 miles away, spread out your drive over more than one day, allotting one day for every 500 miles. Arriving overly road weary is no way to begin a vacation. If your journey spans more than one day, decide in advance where to stop each night and make reservations accordingly. Sleeping in your vehicle because you cannot find a vacant motel is neither relaxing nor safe. We recommend getting a tune-up and inspection, particularly of the air-conditioning system, before making a long trip. Westbound drivers are likely to be traveling through the desert for hours on end.
Drivers unfamiliar with Southern California laws and freeways should visit California Driving: A Survival Guide at http://www.caldrive.com. This web site provides an excellent introduction to the “car culture” of California. You may find driving in this region stressful if you are not accustomed to large, dense cities, but Jennifer manages despite living in a town of just 120,000 people. Read more tips on getting around by car on page 22 .
Top Photo Slice: (℗ 51911) Photo contributed by © GingerJ
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