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  1. Default Los Angeles CA to Boston MA - then back to LA!!

    Hi all,

    First time poster on this forum, and being an Aussie, I'd like to say a big "G'day" to all!!!

    I'm in the very early stages of planning a US road trip for June 2009 with my partner. Looking at flying into LAX, working our way up to Boston to catch a Red Sox game, then coming back down to Los Angeles going in a different direction.

    My partner wants to go to San Diego Zoo, Seaworld in San Diego and Times Square in New York along the way - I would mind trying my luck in Vegas as well!!! Have been looking at Google Maps to try and find a good way to go, and it looks as if a route through Vegas - Denver - Lincoln, Nebraska - Omaha, Iowa - Chicago - Cleveland - NYC - Boston is the way to get there, then wouldn't mind checking out Atlantic City (I'm a Monopoly nut!!), then heading down to Atlanta and crossing through the southern states back to LA

    Planning to rent an RV for the stay - looking at a rental from 1st June through to about the 24th/25th (partner's birthday is on the 23rd) - Cruise America have some pretty good deals by the looks of it for RV hire that will look to cost around $2,500 of Aussie currency for about that length of time (hopefully less if the Aussie dollar pulls itself out of a funk!!)

    Being that I'm all the way over here in Melbourne, Australia and have never been to the USA, I had a couple of questions that I wanted to ask to help my partner and I plan for the trip, and I'd appreciate any assistance!!

    1). According to Google Maps, the round trip I'm looking at is about a 6,600 mile drive. Now I'm a person who loves driving (even though I'm going to have to get used to driving on the other side of the road!!), but am I giving myself a realistic time frame (around 24 days) to get my itinerary covered??

    2). What would be a rough estimation of fuel costs for such a journey, given that RV's appear to chew up the gas!! Have had estimates of around $2,200 - would this be realistic??

    Think that's about it for now, but if anything else pops up (mainly judging on the answers to my questions) I'll shoot them over!!

    Thanks in advance!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,066

    Default reasonably fast

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    It looks like you are on basically the right path. A trip like this certainly can be done in 3 weeks or so, but you won't have lots of time to linger. If you spend more than a day or two at any one spot, your extra time could start getting eaten up rather quickly.

    As far as your fuel bill goes, its kind of hard to guess based on how wildly the price of gas and oil has been swinging. The price of gas right now is about half of what is was just 2 months ago.

    If I was planning, I'd say you'd be looking at a fuel budget of at least $3500. While your point to point distances are only 6600 miles, you'll probably actually drive closer to 9-10,000 miles once you drive within towns and to destinations. Your mpg will depend upon the model, but 10mpg would probably be a safe number. I wouldn't estimate less than $4/gallon, and while prices could stay lower, they were closer to $4.25 in many places this summer. Using those numbers, you'd actually be spending about $4,000 on fuel.

  3. Default

    Thanks for that Michael - appreciate the reply.

    Having the same volatility with fuel prices over here - only recently have they started coming down from about $1.60/litre in the best part of the winter to about $1.25/litre right now!!

    As such, in reviewing what you have said and looking at possible costs etc, it might be more efficient to hire a normal car (something economical - about 8-10lt/100km) and stay in motels/hotels/cabins etc as we go along. In reading other posts, can I be safe in assuming about $70/night for accommodation??

    That, and it's going to be much easier to drive something more like what I'm used to here!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Cheap Comfort

    If I can be much more comfortable for not much more (or even less!) money, then that's invariably the way I'll go. While I understand the allure of RVing for some people, it never made much sense to me as a temporary way to travel. It just takes me so far out of my comfort zone dealing with navigating the rig and taking care of its needs (gas, waste water, electrical hookups, etc.) that it actually detracts from my purpose of being on the road. Since you can get a good motel room for $70 (and often less), and you sound like you'd prefer driving a sedan similar to what you're used to, why not go that way? By my calculations 9L/100km works out to about 26 mpg which you should be able to get out of a mid-size or intermediate car, at least on the highway.

    AZBuck

  5. Default Thanks heaps guys

    Just want to say thanks for the advice so far!!!

    Have raised all issues with my partner, and it looks like we're set to go. Now all to hope for is that the Australian dollar can start to rise against the greenback again, the bottom falls out of petrol prices in the next six months and the money tree that I planted yesterday can grow and harvest in time. Planning to fly from Melbourne to LAX on Sunday May 31st (time differences mean that we leave Melbourne, for instance, at 11:00am on Sunday 31st and arrive in Los Angeles at 12:00pm on Sunday 31st - could be the longest day of my life), and hope that my jar of Vegemite to cover breakfasts on the road isn't swiped by Customs!!!

    If there's any must-see sights that cover the intended route, then please feel free to let me know!!

    Also, planning to travel along I-40 through the southern states on the way back. What I'd like to know is, are I-40 and Route 66 the same thing from Oklahoma through to LA??

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Route 66 went from Chicago to LA. The modern routing roughly follows I-55 to St. Louis, I-44 to OKC, then I-40, I-15, and I-10 to LA.

    If you are taking that way back, stop at the Big Texan in Amarillo for a steak dinner, the Grand Canyon, and Las Vegas.

  7. Default Two months on....

    Hi all,

    Two months on, things are set in stone for our June road trip!!!!

    Fly into LAX on May 31st at 7:25am, then the trip is, at the moment, as follows...

    - Heading to San Diego for two nights - Sea World and the Zoo are the priorities
    - Off to Vegas for a night - June 2nd - probably staying at Circus Circus and going to try and avoid the allure of the tables (want to try and do this trip on the cheap if possible)
    - From Vegas, head to Boston to catch the Red Sox play the Rangers on Sunday 7th June. Looking at possible overnights in Denver, Des Moines and Cleveland before arriving in Boston on Saturday 6/6
    - After Boston, spending a couple of days sightseeing in New York City
    - Then to Philly, to answer the age-old question - Pat's or Geno's, and are there better??
    - After Philly (which is looking like June 10th), down to check out Washington DC for a day.
    - Next stop after that is Mickey's Playground in Orlando - Walt Disney World, which I'm hoping to be there on June 14th - our anniversary.
    - From there, the plan is to head to Memphis, then drive I-40, stopping off at the Grand Canyon before being back in LA to fly back to Melbourne on June 25th.

    Fuel costs have taken a dive since my last post - I filled up this morning for 98.5 cents per litre and in looking at comparable prices in the US, it seems that prices are holding on average at $1.70/$1.80 per gallon (which works out cheaper than here).

    Aussie dollar has recovered a bit - was up around 0.72 US dollars last week, but has since fallen again.

    Have booked a car - Pontiac G6 Base or similar, and have found an on-line company based in the UK that will offer rental insurance for around $177US for the month - LDW, CDW and SLI all included. Got a GPS for Christmas as well.

    Suffice to say that I'm really looking forward to this trip!! I'm also thinking of writing a blog on the way - I fancy myself as a bit of a writer (I do some sports media work, writing for and commentating Australian football games here in Melbourne) so hopefully it will be entertaining. Will try and list things like fuel stops, prices and efficiency, lodging prices and quality etc on the way so that it's somewhat educational as well!!!

    If there's any suggestions on areas I haven't covered or must-see sights along my intended routes, I'd love to hear them!!!

  8. Default

    This is going to sound absolutely crazy and insane, but any way you'd be looking for another travel partner...at least from L.A. to Boston? I've actually been thinking of a road trip from the west coast (L.A. is fine) to Boston (where I live). My schedule is flexible enough that I could fly to L.A. the same day you get there.

    I realize it's last minute and that it seems like a bit of a crazy idea. But, having met plenty of Aussies (and even played a little footy myself)... I can't imagine this seems like a completely crazy idea. psteeler hot mail dot com

    email removed

    cheers,

    dave
    Last edited by psteeler; 05-12-2009 at 10:36 AM. Reason: removed email and quote of entire previous post

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Down_Under View Post
    Hi all,
    Fuel costs have taken a dive since my last post - I filled up this morning for 98.5 cents per litre and in looking at comparable prices in the US, it seems that prices are holding on average at $1.70/$1.80 per gallon (which works out cheaper than here).

    Aussie dollar has recovered a bit - was up around 0.72 US dollars last week, but has since fallen again.
    Wow, petrol prices have really fallen. Ye can tell that it is the off season down-under. Only three weeks ago I filled up at $1.299 in Essendon... and the dollar then was well below 70c. I thought it had picked up.... maybe it is dropping again. :(

    Here, in Boston, where I am at present, the price for unleaded is around $2.30... or should I say, it was two days ago. Not looked today, so maybe it has gone up again, as everyone keeps saying.

    Have a great trip. Enjoy Boston - I am.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Down_Under View Post
    Hi all,

    ...

    Fuel costs have taken a dive since my last post - I filled up this morning for 98.5 cents per litre and in looking at comparable prices in the US, it seems that prices are holding on average at $1.70/$1.80 per gallon (which works out cheaper than here).

    ...

    If there's any suggestions on areas I haven't covered or must-see sights along my intended routes, I'd love to hear them!!!
    I'm between LAX and John Wayne airports and gas locally is running $2.30/gallon or so right now. It will be cheaper in other states, because we have smog-fighting issues here. It will be higher in Baker, CA, when you gas up to finish the trip to Las Vegas and a little cheaper but still over $2.10/gallon in Las Vegas.

    Sue

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