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  1. Default First Time Road Trippers-California to New York/Canada.

    Hi,
    I'm from the UK and a friend of mine and I are planning a three month(ish) road trip in the States. We dont want to plan it too rigidly yet as we dont know what kind of funds we'll have at our disposal when we get to the States so its a case of getting an open-ended ticket and flying back when the money runs out!
    Anyway, our main priority is to hear from Seattle down through California and possibly Death Valley and Las Vegas. However, we still want to see other areas such as New York, Chicago etc and we thought to cut flying time it would be best to fly from the UK to New York or possibly Toronto and then head to California from there. We're planning to head out in October time. Basically any advice people could give and any answers to the numerous questions i have would be much appreciated!

    Recommended rental agencies for international visitors?
    Is it difficult to come across the border from Canada into the US?
    Any particular areas or safety issues we should be aware of?
    We were talking bout having a week maybe seeing areas separately to avoid 'cabin fever'-is this a good idea or is it simply better to have days apart in the same city or town?
    Advice on motels etc and booking ahead or risking it and stopping at the nearest one possible? Im afraid ive got too many questions to ask but i'll probably be back on here in the months leading up to October for lots of advice and help!
    Thanks!
    Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Tips

    Welcome to the RTA forum! We're glad to help try and answer your questions as best we can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gingle
    Is it difficult to come across the border from Canada into the US?
    It really shouldn't be. I'd check to see what -if anything- you're required to have other than a passport as a British resident. I'd also make sure having the open ended itinerary isn't a problem. But as long as you have your passport and all of the other visa and/or other documentation that allows you to enter the US, it should be pretty smooth.

    It could however, be difficult to cross the border in a rental car. You'll have to check the requirements with whomever you decide to go with.

    Any particular areas or safety issues we should be aware of?
    As with any travel really, bringing along common sense is the best tool you have to protect yourself.

    We were talking bout having a week maybe seeing areas separately to avoid 'cabin fever'-is this a good idea or is it simply better to have days apart in the same city or town?
    It is a good idea to plan for some time apart, particualrly if this trip will last more than a month. I think you'll find it is a lot cheaper to try and split up within the same area and then come back to the same place at night. Breaking off separately for a week will basically double your expenses, since you'll need two cars, two motels, etc...

    Advice on motels etc and booking ahead or risking it and stopping at the nearest one possible?
    That's a popular topic on the forum, and it really depends upon how comfortable you are with the possibility of not being able to find a place to stay where and when you want to stop. Personally, I rarely make reservations in advance, and when I do its at areas I know will be very popular (like Yosemite or the Grand Canyon), or because I know I will have to be at a certain place for a night and want to shop for a good rate before hand.

    Recommended rental agencies for international visitors?
    I'm going to answer this one by saying the one major problem I see with your plans. As much as I love the idea of just going until your money runs out, I don't know of any rental car company that will share your vision. They are going to want to know when and where you'll be dropping off the car.

    However, The Editor has found one option that could work for you. Its a company that sells you a car and promises to buy it back when you are done. We haven't had any first hand reports about it yet, but it does sound like it would be a good option for you.

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