Iím part of a group of 5 French students planning to cross the USA next spring. We are exchange students in Ottawa, Canada and we would like to be on the road from May 1st 2009 to June 5th 2009.
Iím going to expose first what we are up to, what is the best for us, and then ask you a few questions.
Our project : From Ottawa to San Francisco via NYC (spend 3 days there), Washington DC (1 day), Atlanta, New Orleans (1 day), Texas (cross+visit), Colorado (visit), Las Vegas (1 day), Los Angeles (2 days), California and National Parks, San Francisco (1 day). We will buy a used Dodge Caravan, a tent and a roof box. We planned to drive up to 5 hours a day, sleep in campgrounds (hostels in the cities and motels when itís raining !) 3 in the tent and 2 in the car, eat one hot meal a day at least and visit as much as we can. We will split the fuel bill in 5 !!!
Our budget : 3.000 $ maximum each, 15.000 $ total. Approximately 6.000 $ for the car, 2.000 $ for the fuel, 1.000 $ for accommodations, 3.000 $ for the food, 2.000 $ for leisure + 1.000 $ for unforeseen expenses !!!
Questions and remarks : This is just a plan, we have no experience in road trip, only in camper van holidays across Europe with our parents (for me at least) !!! We can change our mind if you think this is not achievable. Iíd like to know some things :
- What might be the best car for us : mileage, price, fuel efficiency, comfort, toughness, etc. ? I think a Dodge Caravan can be large enough for 5 adults, cheap enough (5.000 to 6.000 $, used, with 120.000 km), but I recently looked for a GMC Savanna, GMC Safari or other vans too.
- The best for us would be to buy the car in Ottawa and try to sell it in SF (even at half price or less !). Do you think itís possible ? Is it better to come back to Ottawa by car (thinking about the airplane ticket too !!) ?
- What would the most plausible budget to expect ? Is 15.000 $ ok ? How can we cut costs without cutting too much comfort or too many visits ?
- And finally, what to visit first and to do only if we have time (thing we probably wonít have!!!) ? Can you give us some advices about some bad touristic places we should not even think to go to ?
- Last question : In France, if you are lucky you might find some companies eager to pay a little bit for your trip as soon as you do things for them (so as putting huge sticks on your car, using their products, etc.). Does it exist in the USA or Canada or should we give up the search as soon as possible ??
I hope somebody will read this and most of allÖ. somebody will answer !!!! A road trip across the States is a dream for all of us. Weíve started our research and preparations since August and we really want to fulfill this dream !
Thank you all and sorry for the length of my post ! Hope nobody was scared and stop reading right in the middle of it !!!!