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  1. Default Need some advice with my epic plan...

    Currently a Brit who has been working in New York for the last 12 months, my contract is not being renewed so I'm having to go back home the the UK. Before I do though and slightly last minute I'm planning one seeing as much of the country before I go as possible.

    As such I have put together this route:

    Saturday 20-Sep NYC
    Sunday 21-Sep NYC
    Monday 22-Sep Philly
    Tuesday 23-Sep Baltimore
    Wednesday 24-Sep DC
    Thursday 25-Sep DC
    Friday 26-Sep Richmond, Virgina
    Saturday 27-Sep Chesepeake
    Sunday 28-Sep Raleigh, North Carolina
    Monday 29-Sep Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Tuesday 30-Sep Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Wednesday 1-Oct Nashville, Tennessee
    Thursday 2-Oct Nashville, Tennessee
    Friday 3-Oct Birmingham, Alabama
    Saturday 4-Oct Birmingham, Alabama
    Sunday 5-Oct Mobile, Alabama
    Monday 6-Oct New Orleans
    Tuesday 7-Oct New Orleans
    Wednesday 8-Oct New Orleans
    Thursday 9-Oct Houston, Texas
    Friday 10-Oct Dallas, Texas
    Saturday 11-Oct Dallas, Texas
    Sunday 12-Oct Abilene, Texas
    Monday 13-Oct Roswell, New Mexico
    Tuesday 14-Oct Tucson, Arizona
    Wednesday 15-Oct Yuma, Arizona
    Thursday 16-Oct Tijuana
    Friday 17-Oct Tijuana
    Saturday 18-Oct San Diego
    Sunday 19-Oct San Diego
    Monday 20-Oct LA
    Tuesday 21-Oct LA
    Wednesday 22-Oct LA
    Thursday 23-Oct LA
    Friday 24-Oct Santa Maria
    Saturday 25-Oct Monterey
    Sunday 26-Oct San Fran
    Monday 27-Oct San Fran
    Tuesday 28-Oct San Fran
    Wednesday 29-Oct Yosemitie
    Thursday 30-Oct Death Valley
    Friday 31-Oct Vegas
    Saturday 1-Nov Vegas

    The route is as it it for several reasons, firstly the ultimate goal is to be in Chicago for the election on November the 4th. Initially I had planned on driving up route 66 but have come to realise there will not be enough time to fit that all in so I have a flight booked from Vegas to Chicago on the 3rd, so effectively the road trip ends when I get to Vegas.

    The terms of my visa state that I'm permitted 30 days additional stay once my work contract has expired, so I have to leave the country by the 18th of October. Hence the route goes through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona so I can dip into Mexico and some back to finish the trip a few days later on a tourist visa.

    The only specific routes I have in mind is the coastal road from LA to San Fran, apart from that I'm hoping for as many suggestions on roads to take and places to visit as possible. Although I'm keen to see as much of "backwater" America as possible I'm also aware of the fact that this is being planned at such short notice and am looking at making the whole experience as cheap as possible so by sticking to fairly major cities the likelihood of getting a cheap room in a hostel rises dramatically.

    So, am I completely crazy? Is this feasible? How much will it cost? What should I pack? I need as many answers to these questions as you can help me with...

    Also I have a car lined up to buy on the cheap but how easy is it to get insurance on a British license and how do I go about getting the necessary registration documents in place before I go?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default a potential pitfall

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    Your visa issue is the one that seems like a pretty big potential issue. Basically, are you certain that you will be eligable for a tourist visa, 2 days after your work visa expires? That is something I'd make absolutely sure of, since you wouldn't want to be stuck in TJ without a way to get back to the US.

    Getting a car licensed and registered shouldn't be too hard, since you've already got an address in NY that you can use for the paperwork.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Wow...that's a lot of stops you have planned!

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums!

    This discussion will give you some tips and explain the obstacles on buying a car. I think buying the car is do-able if you have someone who can mail you the permanent license plate. Selling it at the end is risky though. With only 2 days in Vegas, it's doubtful you'll be able to get it sold and start the paperwork to do so. And I have a sinking feeling that there might be a glut of cars sold there previously owned by unlucky/bad gamblers. It might be a better place to buy a car than sell a car.

    I think you're a lot better off just renting a car for the month. Less hassle and it probably won't cost you all that much more in the long run.

    However, you won't be able to take a rental car into Mexico. If you do buy your own car, you will need to buy additional insurance specifically for Mexico before crossing the border. But, if you're only going into Tijuana, you can easily just take a bus from the border, too.

    Here's some tips on determining your budget. There are too many variables for us to give you an exact number but this should walk you through what to consider. Play with it, come up with some numbers, and come back here for more feedback.

    Your overall plan is OK but you're going to be hard-pressed to see Yosemite and Death Valley in the time you have alloted. Particularly if Tioga Pass is closed and you have travel on the California side. At the time you're going, there is a possibility it might be closed but it is a tad early in the season. But the weather has been so strange, who can predict?

    I also think you're giving way too short of a time for New Mexico and Arizona. Those are amazing states and you'll just have to zip by so many wonderful things.

    If there's any way possible for you to add some time for southern Utah/northern Arizona...especially the amazing Grand won't regret it.

  4. Default

    As far as re entering the United States, to get a tourist visa I need to submit the proof that I will be leaving before the three months is up. I'll have all my travel documents with the domestic flights and a copy of the ticket back home as proof that I'm heading back to England which I believe is all I need.

    We've managed to find a nice reliable car pretty cheap, even adding on the insurance its much cheaper than renting. It looks like the next step is to call the DMV in New Jersey and find out exactly what documentation I need.

    I'm painfully aware how quickly we'll be zipping through New Mexico and Arizona, be all means please suggest as many places of interest as possible and I'll try and see as many as I can en route through these states.

    As far as the Grand Canyon, that's definitely on the list. We're staying in Vegas for 4 days so the plan is to visit it on one or two of those days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Read Question 29

    When you attempt to re-enter the U.S., you will need to fill out form DS-156 'Nonimmigrant Visa Application'. Pay particular attention to question 29 which asks for ALL previous visits to the U.S. and requires a detailed description of your most recent visit, specifically when and for how long. Why do you think they ask this? Are you planning on 'fudging' your answer? Note that your passport will carry your just expired work visa. You think they won't notice that? You are being very cavalier about messing with the laws of the U.S.


  6. Default

    I don't think I'm being cavalier at all. When I say 'tourist visa' I mean a DS-156 and I am in no way trying to disguise anything.

    I will of course be fully disclosing all my past visits to the United States including the last 12 months spend on a work visa. Added to that I will provide proof of my departure from the United States in November. Exactly what have I fudged here? Please elaborate.

    I am purely doing it as I want enough time to see as much of the country as possible. I can barely fit it all into 6 weeks so 4 would be impossible.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Elaboration

    Then you need to do as Michael first suggested and check with U.S. Customs and Immigration before you leave the country and just assume that you will be let back in two days later. Visas come with time restrictions for a reason, and to think that you can circumvent that by just leaving the country for a day or two IS cavalier. Your reasons for wanting to overstay your visa are immaterial. Again - before you try to pull this off, make sure that it is legal. I strongly suspect that it is not and that you would be in for a very rude surprise when you try to re-enter.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Agreed

    I'll have all my travel documents with the domestic flights and a copy of the ticket back home as proof that I'm heading back to England which I believe is all I need.
    In this case, you need much more than to believe something, you need to have the facts 100% confirmed.

    It is distinctly possible that because of your work visa's recent expiration, you would be ineligable for a tourist visa. I'm not 100% clear on the rules with a work visa, but I do know that if you enter the US on the 90 day tourist visa, you can not simply enter Canada or Mexico and then apply for another 90 days. Your 90 day clock doesn't restart unless you visit a "non-adjacent" country.

    As Buck says, it is very cavalier to make an assumption on something of this magnititude. If you were to try this and guess wrong, you can and will be denied reentry into the US. If it were me, the desire to have 2 extra weeks to sightsee wouldn't be enough of a reason to take an unnecessary gamble of possibly being stuck in Mexico and having to try to find a way home from there.

  9. Default

    Firstly I should point out that I've been working in New York as part of an internship organized by a larger company and they sponsor many people each year to work in New York for 12 months like I've just done.

    It is through them and the people who have traveled after completing their internship in the past that I know I will be allowed to re enter the country. I know people in my exact situation who have done this exact thing, perhaps this is why I came across as sounding cavalier.

    Regardless though I have spent the last day attempting to find someone on the end of a phone at various different government organizations, the state dept / immigration / border control, but I have official confirmation as well that I will be allowed back on US soil.

    Moving on, does anyone have any route suggestions or places of interest near to my planned route?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Glad that Worked Out

    I am amazed that Customs and Immigration verified that that little stratagem works, but so be it. There are, of course, amazing sights to see all over the U.S. so be sure to wander through the various discussions here and make ample use of the Search function and the 'Similar Threads' listed at the bottom of each thread. In my own neck of the woods, (Tucson) you should probably make time for Kartchner Caverns and Saguaro National Park for the scenic beauty. If you're in to Old West kitsch, then Tombstone is certainly worth a visit as is possibly Old Tucson, a movie lot west of town. Another thought - I'm not sure what you have in mind for the Nashville - Birmingham - Mobile - New Orleans leg, but see if you can't fit in at least a bit of the Natchez Trace Parkway which runs between Nashville and the Mississippi River at Natchez, MS.


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