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  1. Default Just two Aussies on a budget. Help!


    travelling from Australia in OCtober 2006. Looking at a road trip once we get to Chicago to take us to the following:
    Chicago to Detroit, down by Toledo, Cleveland up to Buffalo visit Niagara Falls and then onto Toronto, making our way up to Montreal (maybe via Ottowa) then across to Portland down the coast to Boston somehow making our way to NYC where we plan to spend approx 7 days or more depending on time and then making our way down through Philadelphia, Balitmore and finally ending in DC.

    We are allowing ourselves about 35 days to do this trip.
    Looking for assistance on:

    a) budget car rental that will allow most of this (may not use rental car for all legs eg. some train, some bus depending on costs/fatigue/time etc) - we are only 23 also!

    b) is this enough time to do it? - mainly wanting to visit main attractions and some unique spots along the way, we have great felixibility in that if we dont like somewhere we will leave earlier and save time and then stay longer in others so any tips on some "must sees".

    c) is it better to pre-book accommodation or is it easy enough to find something once you are in a town??

    We have not looked at any road maps as yet so forgive the ignorance if some of these sections cannot be done but thats all coming soon once we know whether our plan is feasible.


  2. Default LA to TJ

    Previous post was the second part of our trip but before getting to Chicago we are visiting LA.

    I thought it better to make a new thread as it is a separate question but...

    wanting to drive from LA through San Diego cross the border to Tijuana then back up, and maybe Palm Springs before heading back to LA

    needing to know if any rental companies will allow a drive over the border, and if there needs to be additional insurance purchased for this??

    also is this trip possible in 5-6 days?? I understand it is only 4-5 hours to get from LA across the border?

    PS. we are spending two days in LA either side of the road trip to explore as well so LA not included in 5-6 days.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-20-2006 at 09:53 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default All Things Are Possible

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    The short answer to almost all of your questions is "Yes, for enough money!" The biggest headache you'll run into is the car rental, so let me lay out some of the obstacles and how much it will cost (approximately) to overcome them. Your main problem is that all of you are under 24, the 'magic' age when you will all suddenly become responsible drivers in the eyes of the rental companies. I did some quick checks for rentals in LA, and while the stated costs are not bad, you will have to add $25/day/driver for each of you who is going to drive and is under 24. You will also be restricted in the types of car you can rent. It will be very tough for you to rent a sports car or off-road SUV for example. Most companies will allow you to drive into Mexico, but be aware that Mexico requires that you buy insurance from a Mexican company to cover your driving in Mexico. Your standard insurance will not be any good. You can arrange for this insurance in any border town, or you can buy it at the counter through the rental company (for about $25/day). Either way you decide to do it, be sure that the rental company knows that you plan to take the car across the border. You will have similar problems when you rent your (separate?) car in Chicago for that portion of your trip. There are not as many restrictions on taking a rental car into Canada as there are on taking one into Mexico, but again make sure that you are clear on your intentions with the rental firm before you sign up. So the best piece of advice I can give you is to start now surfing the web and looking at who you might rent from. Read the fine print - look for the links to each company's requirements for drivers and geographical restrictions on their rentals. You don't want to be surprised when you get here.

    Everything else you seem to have a more than adequate handle on. You've got plenty of time in your schedule to actually see and enjoy the areas you're going to be travelling through, and your general itinerary looks good. Given your philosophy of wanting to be able to move on if you find a particular area is not to your liking or linger if you're enjoying it, as well as your general unfamiliarity with the lay of the land, you should probably not pre-book your motels. There is almost no chance that you will get somewhere and not be able to find a room with one notable exception. October is the height of the fall foliage season in northern New England. Rates will be high and rooms scarce. If you are going to be in that area in the first few weeks of October, then you should seriously look into locking in some motel rooms now.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-20-2006 at 10:09 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Border crossing

    Hi John,

    wanting to drive from LA through San Diego cross the border to Tijuana then back up, and maybe Palm Springs before heading back to LA
    Have you thought about crossing the border by foot and leave your car on the American side of the border? That way, you wouldn't have to bother with all the paperworks and vehicle insurance. Just make sure your personal travel insurance is applicable in Mexico and be sure to have your passports and maybe some photocopies of it with you, in case they get stolen. Entering Mexico is a piece of cake, but when you get back in the US you must have your passports. If possible, leave your valuables and most of your personal belongings hidden in your car.

    Have a fun trip!


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