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  1. Default english students looking for any advice/suggestions on proposed NY to LA trip

    Hello all,

    I am currently trying to plan a road trip for the summer of 2010. I realise that this is a long way off but I currently know very little about roadtripping so I thought I would start planning early!

    I would be grateful for any advice you could give me, particularly regarding my proposed route, method of transport and time it will take. Here are the details I have planned at the moment, however I am very open to any suggestions for change!

    I hope to do this trip with my boyfriend, we will be 22 and 23 when we arrive in the US - how easy will it be for us to rent a car at this age? Also are there any companies you would recommend who are more willing to rent cars for long periods of time and for long distances? Or would it be better to try and buy a car, bearing in mind the fact that as foreigners we know nothing about the tax/insurance rules you have?!

    We originally thought we would have from mid-june to the end of august to do the trip, but have discovered our graduation ceremony is at the end of july, so we can only go from mid-june to mid-july or end of july to end of august. It would probably be better for us to go july-august as that gives us a chance to earn some money before we head off, however I'm not sure which period is better weather-wise, so any suggestions about that would be great!

    Also, this only gives us about 4 weeks, probably 6 at the max. Is this enough to do the following route?:
    NY - Boston - New Hampshire (I have friends here we would like to visit) - Niagara Falls - Lake Michigan (possible staying in Chicago?) - Milwaukee (again friends here) - Minneapolis - Badlands NP & Mount Rushmore - Rocky Mountain NP - Salt Lake City - Grand Canyon NP - Las Vegas

    and then we could go straight to LA, but we would very much like to visit the West Coast, so thought we could perhaps go from Las Vegas - Death Valley NP - Yosemite NP - San Francisco - Santa Cruz - Santa Barbara (via coast road from Santa Cruz) - LA

    Any advice about this route would be welcome - is it doable? Are we going to any areas not worth visiting? Any things we have missed that we should really see in these areas?

    Sorry about the many questions! Your help is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default For Starters

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I wouldn't start sweating the details yet, but you are right to at least take the long view, determine what are some reasonable goals, and set out to do the ground work to set up this trip, all well in advance. First of all, it is almost never cost effective to buy a car for less than a few months, and that's without the added hassles associated with trying to do it in a foreign country. So just start concentrating on rental companies and shopping for the best deal. It will be easy to find a company that will rent to you for a one-way cross-country trip over several weeks, BUT you will be charged some heavy premiums (around $25/day each) since you are both under 24, and for the one-way drop-off charge ($300 or so). But with a year to shop you might be able to find some better deals. Remember that typically, there is no fee for canceling a car reservation so if you find a deal that you can live with, take it but keep shopping. You might find something better.

    Either of your time periods will work for the trip you have planned, I might give a slight edge to mid-June to mid-July, but it wouldn't be by much. The general route you've laid out can work and, again, a month is sufficient but you will have to keep an eye on the calendar. As far as specific sites and routes, all of the places you've mentioned have been discussed at some length in other threads, so use the Search function and follow the leads in the Similar Threads box at the bottom of this page and poke around a bit. When you're ready to start crossing t's and dotting i's, we'll still be here.


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