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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Currently: Dublin, Ireland - Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2

    Default Apprentice roadtripper - needs direction!

    Hey guys!

    My name's Jess, 23 years old and originally from Melbourne, Aus. Have been travelling for the past 2 years around Europe, lived for a while in London and currently living in Dublin, Ireland. Heading back home to Aus early next year, and then the next big trip I'm hoping to do will be USA.

    I have no idea where to start in terms of planning a road trip really - and was wondering if there was any beginner's advice anyone could throw my way! I've read a few of the posts on here so far (only discovered the website today!) but I think most of them are even too advanced for the stage I'm at... I wouldnt even really know the best place to start the trip!

    Was thinking of a time frame of 1-3 months on the road (too extreme perhaps?) and would want to get the most out of the trip, as it would probably be a once in a lifetime type of thing!

    Perhaps a campervan/RV? Perhaps just a normal car and staying in hotels along the way? Who knows!

    I'm open and grateful to all suggestions anyone is willing to throw at me! As I said, apprentice roadtripper here... so lets start on the basis that I know not much at all!! :)

    Thanks guys

    Jess
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 12-10-2008 at 08:24 AM. Reason: removed color

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default A place to learn

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If there is a guide to getting started, the best point might simply to read The Art of the Roadtrip. This approach actually starts more with getting into the right frame of mind into the specifics of how, but its still a great way to get going. That is one of the many articles in the planning section of this site that has tons of information to get you going.

    The forum is also a great place to continue browsing, just don't take the approach that you have to duplicate what others are doing. Take what you read, and use it to build a base of knowledge for what might apply to a trip you are doing or what you might like to do.

    Otherwise, its generally best just to start with the basics, like how long you have, how much money you'll have, where you want to go, and how you'd like to get there. From there, you can start putting things together and see what works for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default So many options.

    It's hard to know where to start. Hi Jess welcome to the R.T.A. forums.

    Wow that's a wide open question, but you obviously have experience of travelling and in most ways that part will be no different in the U.S.A to Europe.
    Of course it's a massive place and with 1-3 months you will have time to scratch the surface by travelling around the country or you could visit a certain area in more detail.

    There are a lot of questions to be answered, such as your budget, interests and how you plan to get around. Renting a car and camping is a popular choice, maybe the odd night in a motel or Hostel and you will find that R.V'S are very expensive to get around in. Your budget and the amount of time you intend on staying are closely linked so thats a good place to start.
    I would have a good look around the forums and road trip planning pages for some ideas and let us know your thoughts otherwise it's pretty impossible to know where to start in helping you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Currently: Dublin, Ireland - Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2

    Default A good place to start

    Obviously I know I have alot of researching to do on the topic - will definately get on to that. I figured the forums would be a pretty good indicator of the various question I would have - like I said, I only just discovered the website today, so will be giving it a more in depth look over time for sure!

    Ill try and familiarise myself with more things, and if I have any other questions I'll ask! :)

    Thanks for the reply so quick guys!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Some places to start

    Hi Jess,

    Here's a couple of threads that will get you on your way;
    Tips for overseas visitors
    Taking a long solo road trip;
    Another solo traveller link
    And a massive list of places to visit State by State

    Ill try and familiarise myself with more things, and if I have any other questions I'll ask! :)
    Please do, we are here to help.

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

    Default

    Hi Jess,

    From Melbourne as well.... Essendon, to be precise.

    One thing which has irked me each time I visit the States, is the inability to PURCHASE a motor vehicle. Renting is just too expensive when one plans to travel for 3 - 5 months doing potentially 20K - 25K miles.

    A great alternative to explore is 'driveaway'. This has both its ups and downs.

    The downs are that you are restricted to distance and time for each car you deliver - though they are generous, and you will not necessarily get a car to go WHERE you want to go WHEN you want to.

    The ups are many, including - if you are adventurous enough - to accept delivering a vehicle to a place you would never have thought to go to.... and then discovering that you are in the most fascinating place.

    On my first two visits to the US, I delivered around two dozen driveaway cars. The first one was an absolute disaster, but I learned a lot from the experience. In the end the staff in the various offices got to know me, and would recommend me to other offices, and help 'reserve' cars for me.

    My accommodation is usually hostels. In 2001 my accommodation averaged at $17.34 per night, and by 2007 this had risen to around $25.80. If there is not a hostel around, then a cheap motel usually is. Using the coupons out of the travel brochures picked up at fuel stops helps as well.

    Travelling this way in 2001, I got to cover well over $20000 miles in 15 weeks, see many unbelievable sights in out of the way places, off the interstates. Visited most of the large National Parks and many of the minor ones (The annual pass is well worth it).

    And my total expenditure was in the vicinity of US$5000 when the exchange rate was 48 cents.

    Lifey who travels on a shoestring budget

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