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  1. Default Road trip route - 3 months from East Coast to West Coast

    Yay I am so so happy to find this website…I have been frequenting another well known travel site and they are all so jaded!

    I am of course planning a road trip (roughly 3 months), starting in New York in April next year and finishing in either Portland, Washington or maybe Vancouver, whichever is easiest (moving to Vancouver once this trip is finished but don’t want to confuse my question with this detail at this stage)

    I plan to spend a month or so on the East Coast, down to Florida before making my way to New Orleans. From New Orleans I am keen to go to San Antonio then Santa Fe, maybe up to Colorado before heading to Salt Lake for a couple of weeks (to visit my sister)

    From Salt Lake on to Las Vegas for about 4 days, then onto LA and San Francisco. (expect this leg of the trip to take a month or so)

    I guess I was hoping someone could suggest some of the more scenic routes for my journey.
    I am a big fan of beautiful scenery (living in western Australia everything is so brown and flat!!) but also love cities.

    I know I’m being a bit vague but hopefully someone has some good suggestions.

    Thanks for your help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Vague is Good

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You've got three months to drive around America, and a few destinations already penciled in, but I think it's a bit early yet to be looking at specific routes except along the east coast where you know you'll be going. Rather, I think you should be just figuring out which regions of the country you want to see. There is plenty of beautiful scenery and lots of big cities pretty much everywhere. On the east coast, a week or so in each of say New England, the Appalachians, the Outer Banks and the southern coastal cities would do nicely. Then lets say a month working across to Salt Lake City, the Gulf Coast, Texas, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, and the Colorado Rockies. Your last month would be seeing the southwest and Pacific coast: The National Parks of Utah, Arizona and southeastern California, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, the Pacific Coast Highway, San Francisco, the Redwoods, Crater lake, Mt Hood and Portland and Seattle before ending up in Vancouver. There are lots of resources here on each of those areas, so have a look around, use the Search function and follow the Similar Threads links at the bottom of this (and other) pages.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Coast to Coast in the Spring

    Quote Originally Posted by tasha View Post
    Yay I am so so happy to find this website…I have been frequenting another well known travel site and they are all so jaded!
    Well, I don't think that adjective would apply here! What was the other travel site? I moved your thread to this forum topic because, generally, all trips that are longer than three weeks tend work better over here.

    There are literally thousands of scenic routes between New York City and Vancouver, Washington. One of the best ways to begin to plan is to get a large wall map of the USA and Canada and start adding pins about places or events that interest you. You can also do this with virtual maps. As a way of getting started, take a look at this A to Z list of places we find interesting for each of the states you have mentioned. You might also find this Challenge thread of driving to all of the USA state capitals of interest. Like AZBuck mentioned, there are lots of resources on this Forum. I would suggest you also read the threads in the Field Reports section -- many of our members have shared coast to coast trips there. Another thread to think about is this one by AZBuck of sample places to stop along all of the major Interstate highways in America.


  4. Default

    Excellent advice AZbuck and Mark, exactly the sort of help I was after having really no idea where to start...There is so much to do between now and then.

    Other website is the thorntree/lonely planet site. They keep calling me a troll for asking questions they think everyone should know the answer to.

    I have been wondering just how much money I am going to need if I try to do this on the cheap/medium cost?

    - 3 x months travel (petrol)
    - 1 x reliable car (to be purchased, or rented...I know this is one of the BIGGEST questions on the roadtrip topic)
    - Food (sometimes going out to eat, sometimes beans warmed up in a can!)
    - Fun (winery tour, national park entry, touristy stuff)
    - Accomodation (cheap motels, occasionally sleep in the car, nice-ish hotels in Vegas etc)
    - Other (goodness knows what could pop up along the way)

    So far my bf and I have $17,000 AUD saved (15k US) for all of the above.
    Still have roughly 7 months to save some more money.

    Will about $20,000 be enough for a 3 month trip or should I be saving harder??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default $125 to $160 per person per day

    Quote Originally Posted by tasha View Post
    Will about $20,000 be enough for a 3 month trip or should I be saving harder??
    The expenses are entirely dependent upon how much luxury you are seeking, how much on-the-road travel you will actually do during those three months. As a rule of thumb I use $160 per day per person and so at 90 days that would be US $28,800 (not including the cost of the vehicle). There are several cost-reducing methods, so you might well be able to drop this to $21,000. But your costs would be somewhere between these two numbers I would think (vehicle cost/rental would be in addition to this).


  6. Default Which Car - Fold down seats for comfy sleeping


    I am looking at buying a car for my road trip and was hoping someone may have suggestions of what type of car to purchase.

    American names and brands are very different so I need somewhere to start.

    We have about $5,000 and want something that is relatively fuel efficient 2 people can sleep in, in relative comfort. I dont plan to live in the car, just sleep in it once or twice a week while on the road (3 month coast to coast trip)

    Some car's I have looked at so far:
    Honda Element - excellent fold down seats
    Hyundai Tucson

    Any other suggestions?

  7. Default

    Thanks Mark,

    I dont plan on being very luxurious for most of the trip, just the occasional nice hotel and meal, the rest will be cheap motels, car made sandwiches and diner meals.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Purchase Back Program?

    $5000 for car that will go for three month road trip -- is a bit unrealistic. I think you might want to look into a purchase back program -- here is one thread where the member used Adventures on Wheels.


  9. Default

    I didnt mention that I'm actually moving to Vancouver once this trip is over so I could spend a bit more money and keep the it over the boarder...this would bring up the issue of transfering the registration etc.

    I have noticed that there are many many cars for under $5000 online which look like they would be fine to take across country?
    Honda Odyssey or Dodge Caravans look alright to me.

    My car over here in Australia is a 1995 Mazda and has done over 200,000km's and is still running I dont understand why purchasing a car for under $5000 is going to be a problem??

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default considering

    I think you should be able to find a suitable car for $5000, but you're going to find a pretty wide range of cars and conditions. There will be plenty of cars in that range that you wouldn't want to take on a long haul roadtrip, but there will some excellent bargains out their too. Minivans can be a good option at this price point, so the cars you are looking at could very well work. As with any used car, you'll want to make sure you get a good inspection and you'll need some money set aside for repairs.

    What I would really recommend considering your situation is that you reconsider how you are going about this trip. It actually will probably be much easier to start your trip in Vancouver and do this as a huge loop. That way you can purchase the car, insurance, taxes, registration, at the address where you'll be living after the trip.

    It will be difficult to do all of those things on the east coast without a local address, and even more importantly, moving a car from the US to Canada is not just a matter of transfering registration. You'll also be looking at significant taxes, tariffs, and other fees for importing the car into Canada.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-22-2008 at 12:03 PM. Reason: typo

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