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  1. Default Help. Planning NY to La to Miami Trip

    Me and my cousin are planning to to do a round-america trip in a couple of years. We are both from Italy and would fly into New York.
    Basically we though we could get a rental car in NY, drive to DC then to detroit, chicago, milwaukee, minnealpolis, mount rushmore, yellowstone, denver, salt lake, reno, sacramento, san francisco, LA, Vegas, route 66 all the way to little rock then down to New Orelans, Talahasse and finally Miami.
    I know it sounds crazy, but we would be able to put in around 3000 each (not including the tickets) and about two months of the summer.
    Does anyone think it's feasable or is it just plain crazy?
    My biggest concern is that in the month-and-a-half, two month time limit we would have to drive like crazy and not get to see much.
    Also i'd be interested to know how much a rental car would cost for that kinda trip and if buying a car is possible and maybe cheaper.
    thanks
    ciao
    luca

    I forgot to mention that we would be very frugal and willing to cut back on any luxuries and rough it out. camping, sleeping in the car and taking turns at the wheel would be regarded as possible solutions to avoid costly motels as much as possible.
    The sense of this trip would be the adventure, although we have chosen a route which is full of things to see, we would probably spend very little time in the same place (from 1 to 2 days per location), the rest would be driving and making occasional stops at some original places.
    Any opinions?
    Last edited by lucavirili; 02-27-2008 at 11:35 AM. Reason: specifications

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Driving like crazy

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums!

    Basically we though we could get a rental car in NY, drive to DC then to detroit, chicago, milwaukee, minnealpolis, mount rushmore, yellowstone, denver, salt lake, reno, sacramento, san francisco, LA, Vegas, route 66 all the way to little rock then down to New Orelans, Talahasse and finally Miami.
    Well, the way you have your trip laid-out, you would be driving like crazy to see it all in 6-8 weeks. That is if you have listed the places you want to go in the order you intend to see them. There is a more efficient way to organize your itinerary to make it all more do-able.

    Does Miami have to be last? Is that where you're planning on flying home from? Or would you be open to re-routing your trip so you fly out of a western airport like Los Angeles or San Francisco? Or even Portland OR, or Seattle WA?

    And I'm confused about the "route 66 all the way to little rock". Route 66 doesn't go anywhere near Little Rock. It goes from Chicago IL, through the states of Missouri, Oklahoma, northeastern Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, to Santa Monica CA.

    So, with tweaking of your route, your plan is feasible in the time you have but you can't do it on $3000 each. Your rental car and fuel will eat up a huge chunk of that. I plugged in a 2-month car rental, with NYC pickup and San Francisco drop-off, into one of the major rental agencies website. The economy car option is about $3500 And it's possible that there will other fees on top of that (depending on your age and what insurance options you will need).

    And then there's fuel costs. I could easily see this being a 10,000 mile trip. So fuel could easily be $1500 (or possibly much more depending on what happens with gas costs in the next couple of years). So we're at $5000 minimum.

    Here's a post about estimating the rest of your budget.

    No matter how frugal you are, $1000 is not going to stretch for 2 months of eating/lodging/etc.

    So your time is OK; your budget is not. You might consider a shorter trip here or exploring only one region of the US instead of the whole country in order to keep fuel costs down. You could also save on car rental if you pick-up/drop-off at the same location.

    Buying a car is very difficult for non-US citizens. Check this discussion out for some particulars about that. And finding something road-worthy for less than about $5000 is going to be quite difficult. You will definitely need to have funds set-aside for potential repairs and breakdowns. Selling the car on the back-end to recuperate some of your investment is going to have its own complexities as well. It's not impossible but it would take some extra work and knowledge of the system to make it feasible.

  3. Default corrections

    you're right, i meant to say that we would go back up route 66 and get off at a point where we could get to little rock then head south.
    i guess we would try to camp most of the time, or at least as much as possible.
    On one hand i already knew that dropping the car off in a city which is not close to where i picked it up would turn out expensive but, the idea of finishing of on the beah in miami just sounded really cool. I might have to rethink that, and maybe head back up to new york after new orleans.
    Also most of the places from chicago to minneapolis would be one day things, we would spend the essential amount of time there, and in milwaukee we have friends who can give us a place for a couple of days, basially we would concentrate on yellowstone, rockies, SF, LA and the grand canyon.
    I know that at that point it might be better to shorten the trip, maybe concentrating on the west coast, but the whole roud trip has it's appeal.
    After your pointer though, i think a chicago round trip would be better, so the same trip just starting and ending in chicago, cutting out the south and east coast.
    Any opinion on doing that loop? and if there would be a way to keep New Orleans in there?
    Thaks
    luca

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default It's not the route or the time to see things that concerns me!

    I'm more concerned about your budget. By the time you rent a car (or buy one if you can find a way to make that work for you), you don't have enough money left for the trip itself. You will either need to save more money for this or shave off some time and miles.

    It would only save you $750, if I remember correctly, by not having a 1-way drop-off charge so that isn't enough to fund the rest of your trip.

    BTW, since you have friends in Milwaukee, if they are willing to help you with the car purchase, that might be your best bet to have a US address and get through the red-tape, etc. Read the link to the post about buying a car in my first response for particulars about this.

    To be honest, any route you pick would be fine and fun and full of great things to see and do. This is a big country with many fascinating landscapes, cities with very different architecture/cultures/hot spots worth seeing, and a wealth of national and state parks to choose from. You really can't go wrong as long as your time and budget can cover your trip.

    I think you need to work out the budget issue further before you work out the details of the trip itself.

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