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  1. Default Boston to San Fran: 2 weeks

    A friend and I are planning on doing a cross-country road trip from Boston to San Francisco in August (and fly back to Boston from San Fran). We're hoping to do the trip in 13 days. Can anyone offer advice on whether or not this is psosible? I have seen posts that say a coast-to-coast trip averages 5-6 days of straight driving, so I'm assuming 13 days should give us a semi-liesurely drive across the US (averaging 4-5 hours of driving a day), with the hope of doing a handful of small stops along the way and not rush through the scenery?

    Is this realistic? Any advice of interesting/odd stops along the way? We're hoping to do more of a northern route through Wisconsin, S. Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, and Nevada. We'll plow through the eastern side until we reach Wisconsin (so maybe 8-10 hours driving for 2 days) as we've already seen much of that, and so we can spend more time taking in the sights out west.

    Any reality-checks and/or unique day stop recommendations (funky diners, interesting biways, etc) would be greatly appreciated! We're flexible with the route, just not with the alloted time. Thanks!

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

    Default Yeah, it should be a good trip

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums.

    so I'm assuming 13 days should give us a semi-liesurely drive across the US (averaging 4-5 hours of driving a day), with the hope of doing a handful of small stops along the way and not rush through the scenery?
    Yeah, that about sums it up. And if you stop somewhere that you enjoy so much that you want to layover an extra night, you should be able to easily make up the time. I would say that you will want to have a target destination every 4th night or so to keep yourself on track so you're not rushed at the end (or find you've rushed too much).

    Is this realistic? Any advice of interesting/odd stops along the way? We're hoping to do more of a northern route through Wisconsin, S. Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, and Nevada. We'll plow through the eastern side until we reach Wisconsin (so maybe 8-10 hours driving for 2 days) as we've already seen much of that, and so we can spend more time taking in the sights out west.
    It's very realistic. For ideas, check out this discussion (and the links within it) for a trip taken from Wisconsin to South Dakota. And scrolling through this list, finding the states you're going through and reading the list of things to do in them (sometimes obscure) should give you a ton of ideas. This roadtrip report about South Dakota is chock full of good information. Use the search tool (green bar above) to find other discussions here with ideas.

    Any reality-checks and/or unique day stop recommendations (funky diners, interesting biways, etc) would be greatly appreciated! We're flexible with the route, just not with the alloted time. Thanks!
    I don't think you need any reality checks. A search and a bit more research of your own, plus the other tips that you'll hopefully get here, should help you find those funky places you want to explore. For interesting byways, you can't do better than the Scenic Byways website.

    Keep asking questions as you plan your trip so we can help you tweak things and offer tips, etc. Happy planning!

  3. Default

    Thank you for the in-depth reply!

    Any tips on car rentals? We can't seem to find anything under $1800 because of the immense drop-off charges. We have gone through 5 of the major car rental places (Alamo, Budget, Hertz, Enterprise, Thrifty) and can't find a good deal anywhere.

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

    Default My pleasure!

    It looks like you've searched most of the major car rentals. You might try National, or is it Nationwide? Well, google both, I guess.

    All agencies will have one-way drop-off fees. No way around that. Sometimes it pays to shop around for prices at different pick-up/drop-off points. Example, it can be cheaper to rent from the airport locations (and drop off there, too) than from a downtown location. Or sometimes the reverse can be true.

    And if your dates aren't yet written in stone, sometimes a day one way or the other can change the rates.

    And then, of course, there are so many places you can go through. You might want to try both going straight to the company websites and trying travel sights like Expedia, Travelocity, etc.

    From what I've seen, comparing rates on a car is about the same as comparing airline ticket rates. Ya know, you pay $500 for your ticket, the guy on your left paid $900 and the gal on your right paid $200. Yeah, it can be a nightmare.

    Also, make sure you're using any potential discounts you are entitled to. Sometimes people can get discounts for their employer (if the company uses a lot of rentals and allows it), for belonging to certain groups like AAA, Costco, etc; and some credit/debit cards have discounts, too. The list of potential discounts you might be eligible for goes on-and-on.

    Yikes! It wears me out just thinking about it. :) Enjoy the challenge!

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