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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    In a small town in the northen part of Iceland called Olafsfjordur.

    Default Advice for a summer trip

    Hi. We are three friend from Iceland. We are planning a trip across America next summer. The plan is to take about 5-6 weeks to cross the States. We plan to start in LA. Then head up to San Francisco. The next stop is Las Vegas and the Grand canyon. We don't really have a clue where to stop from there on our way to Oklahoma. From Oklahoma we plan on going to New Orleans. From there we will go to Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago. New York will be our final stop.

    We have reserved hotel rooms in the 3 first stops. The plan is to have some freedom as to where we go. How difficult is it to find room without reservations in June-July?

    Can you recommend a place to find car rental comparisons. We would need a car that could hold our photography equipment.
    Can someone recommend places on the way that are great for Photographers.

    Since we come from a small town we have been warned about safety issues. The people have been warning us about the dangers of traveling across America. How seriously do we have to take that advice? Do we need to buy pepper spray or something like that. Is it legal to carry pepper spray on you across state lines?

    How much should we expect to spend on a daily basis on food, gas and lodging? How much should we expect to spend on a rental car for 5 weeks. Our budget should be around 12000 each.

    I would welcome any advice and help that you can offer.
    This is a great site and I can see that I will be spending quite some time reading through your posts.
    I hope my grammar isn't to bad. I apologize if it is.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Five Weeks is Plenty of Time to Cross America

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Between the Grand Canyon and Oklahoma City, you have your choice of two routes, both have things to recommend them, so the choice will be yours. The first and easiest is to just head south to Flagstaff and get on I-40 east. This is a high speed motorway, so you could get to Oklahoma City in as little as two days, or you could spend some time to see a few of the places around Flagstaff, the Petrified Forest, Red Rock State Park in New Mexico, Petroglyph National Monument, and/or take a side trip up to Santa Fe. The second option is mostly on two-lane roads and is a bit longer, and so would take about three days to just drive. Sights along it that you'd then have the chance to see would include Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, Wolf Creek Pass, and Capulin Volcano. The two routes rejoin in Amarillo, TX, site of Cadillac Ranch. In fact, there are a number of other options, but those are the two main ones.

    As for finding various rental car rates, you need look no further than the top of this page. Click on "Travel Reservations" in the green tool bar, and fill in where you'll be picking up and dropping off the car, and the dates and type of car you want, and it will comparison shop for you. With the one-way drop-off fee and renting for a month, you should probably expect to pay around $1200-1500 for an intermediate car. I don't think you'd all be comfortable for a month in anything smaller, you might want to go bigger.

    To be honest, safety is generally not an issue. I've driven over a million miles in the U.S., through all regions, big cities and small towns, and I've never really had a problem. I think most people's experiences would be about the same. Just remember that everywhere you go will be somebody's home. Yes, there are seedy areas of both cities and rural areas, but they're pretty much obvious. If you feel unsafe, leave. There is absolutely no need for anything like pepper spray.

    When I travel alone, I use $100/day as my guideline for what I might expect to pay for gas/food/lodging. You can, of course, spend more, but I think you'll spend less (per person) since you'll be sharing gas and lodging expenses. If your budget is 12000 Krona, then you are in serious, serious trouble, but if it is $12000 each, you can travel very much in style.

    So, munch on all that for a while, and then if you have any more questions, ask away.


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