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  1. Default East to West Coast 2008


    New to the forum, just trying to do some initial planning for a road trip in early 2008 (February-ish). Myself and my girlfriend are coming over from the UK on our honeymoon, and want to travel from New York to San Francisco, hopefully taking in Washington, Chicago and Vegas at some point. We're going to need to rent a car, and we're not looking for massive luxury, just the basics for getting accross. I think we'd rather not just be constantly driving (though obviously there's going to be a lot of time behind the wheel), but would like to take our time enough that we see some things without a windshield in the way sometimes. I was wondering if anyone could help me with...

    1. Routes - any and all considered.
    2. Time - shortest and longest possible time limits.
    3. Cost - ballparks for car rental, gas, food and accomodation.

    You all seem very helpful in other threads, so thanks in advance for any advice.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Thought Adjustments

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Here's my first piece of advice, from an old married duffer. Get used to thinking in new terms. You and your girlfriend are NOT coming over from the UK. You and your wife are! OK, enough of that.

    1) There are any number of possible routes, including many that even the most experienced RoadTrippers here have not even thought of yet. My point is you get to make up your own route. sit down with your fiancée and a good map of the US and just start highlighting the places you think you might like to see. Pretty soon a pattern should start emerging that let's you connect the dots to make the route that is ideal for you. If this is going to be a one-way transit, then you'll have to be a bit more focused than if you were going out and coming back and could see one set of sights on the westbound trip and a different set on the eastbound. A second major consideration is that February can be a very difficult time to cross the US especially on northern routes (say I-70 and north). Not that you can't and not that they aren't gorgeous in the winter, but they may entail an extra day or two while you sit out a snowstorm.

    2) Absolute minimum for such a crossing, considering it will be a honeymoon and you'll want to explore a bit - it's not a speed run - would be about 7-10 days. Even at that you'd be spending 5-7 hours driving on many if not most days. Two weeks, and you're really starting to get the pace down to something very enjoyable. There is no upper time limit.

    3) There are several threads and posts that discuss budgeting in detail, but some quick rules of thumb for a couple travelling together would be about $150 (£75) per day for food and lodging; $450-500 total for gas depending on how much wandering off the main track you do; and $200/week plus a $300-400 drop-off charge for the car. Again, those are ballpark estimates.


  3. Default

    Thanks man, all really useful stuff (especially the wife bit, best not let my future mrs know I left that out!)

    I'll have a more detailed look round for stuff. We were actually planning maybe 4 weeks-ish, so sounds like plenty of time. Another possibility for budget reasons is Greyhound travel for say half the trip, then car rental for another half. Does anyone have any strong anti-views towards bus travel?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Bus Travel, Etc.

    Busses are certainly an option for keeping costs down. If you haven't already, take a look at this recent thread for some basics on bus lines in America. It's been many, many years since I have used them for inter-city transport, but I must say that the times I did were very enjoyable. In the midwest especially, they are a good way to see small town America. In the absence of your own car, they provide the only way into these places. Greyhound offers some special fares that might prove of use to you. But the biggest headache of a travel expense you're going to have is that one-way drop-off charge for picking up your rental car in one city and returning it in another. You might be able to do a bit better by picking up and dropping off at airports in major cities, but it's still going to be a couple of hundred dollars at least. You also can probably get by on a bit less per day than I originally suggested -have a look at this article for some pointers.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-06-2007 at 01:26 PM.

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