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  1. Default Novice planning trip to see 2 sisters, 1 in Vancouver, another in Memphis

    Hi all, Im completely new to this site, but also to road trips! I live in Ireland, and have only been to America once before. That was to visit my sister living in Memphis.
    This time my girlfriend and i were thinking of going to visit both my Sisters, and have a little road trip in between. I know it may only seem like a small road trip in comparison to other Threads ive been reading on this site, but for me, coming from a country merely 5 hours in a car long, its a big enough trip!!
    All im wondering about is. . . well, everything really!
    We are planning a 2 week vacation, 2-3 days in Vancouver, same in Memphis, and the rest can be anywhere in between.

    any suggestions for:

    the route i should take?

    where or what car i should get?

    Possible sights that could be included in the route? I hear San Fransisco is lovely?

    Places I should stay?

    Im not looking for exact answers by the way, just any info at all that you think might come in handy.

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated

    Thank You
    Eamonn

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

    Default time

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think your biggest problem will be time, you've got enough to make the trip, but not as much as you might think.

    Since you've got 2 weeks for this trip, but you are planning to spend roughly a half week in both Vancouver and Memphis, that only leaves you about a week to make the drive. The trip is a little over 2500 miles on a direct route, which is about a 5 day drive by itself. That only leaves a couple days to sightsee and explore, going to San Francisco adds another 500 miles, or a pretty full day of driving to that drive time.

    I'd look around and pick one or two things you really want to see along the way, you could do something like San Francisco and the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore, or maybe a couple National Parks in Utah and Colorado. Really, you've got the entire American West to pick from. After you pick your highlight or two, you can build your route and start filling some smaller stops and other things to break up your time on the road.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,269

    Default

    If you are talking about Vancouver, BC, Canada, your best bet is to take public transportation to Seattle and rent a car with dropoff in Memphis. It's difficult to rent in one country and drop off in another.

    Point to point from Seattle to Memphis is 2400 miles, that's a 36 hour drive straight through with no stops. This would be close to 5 full days on the road with minimal sightseeing, plan your time in Vancouver and Memphis accordingly and don't load up your itinerary too heavily.

    Finding places to stay is easy. The US has a vast Interstate highway network, and they all have reasonably priced chain hotels all along them. It's considerably more economical than staying in large cities.

  4. Default Thanks

    Cheers! Thats really helpful info and good advice. Its longer than i thought, may have to extend the vacation a bit because i may never do this again, so i want to make the most of it. Because of that i think a drive down the coast is a must for me!!


    Thanks again for the advice, all noted!!

    Thanks
    Eamonn

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Slow going

    The Coast is an amazing route to take and I do recommend it, however, you should know that it is a very slow going route. Plan to spend at least 3-4 days from Seattle to San Francisco, and another 2 days if you continue onto LA. That doesn't include the additional time you'll need to continue onto Memphis from California (about 4 days).

    I'm not sure how much time you are thinking that you will add to your trip, but I think you'll need at least 3 weeks if you want to really drive the length of the coast.

  6. Default

    Right, well 3 weeks it might have to be then. Glc was saying i should go to Seattle to pick up a car, so i can return it in memphis. Is it complicated to cross the border there? i will be flying into vancouver from ireland, which is straight forward enough.
    Also i will probably be looking for something comfortable to drive, maybe a 4x4, but if i was looking for something more sporty to make it more memorable! Are there any companys renting the more sporty models of cars?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,269

    Default

    Border crossings are easy as long as you have the right documentation. US Customs and Immigration officials are very efficient and there is virtually no graft or corruption. This is a bus company that specializes in Vancouver-Seattle shuttle service. You may want to contact them in advance about US Customs procedures because the FAQ on their site only addresses US and Canadian citizens. If they are unable to transport an Irish citizen for whatever reason, the best bet would be to book a flight.

    The major rental chains all have different classes of cars. If you are researching them, they cannot guarantee a specific make or model, but each class will be defined with a "such as". Example - if you want a convertible,you may be able to get a Ford Mustang, but then again, you might wind up with a Chrysler Sebring.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default There are speciality rental firms in the major cities

    Quote Originally Posted by Eamonn View Post
    Are there any companys renting the more sporty models of cars?
    In places like Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Miami, New York City, etc. it's quite easy to find "unusual" sports cars for rent -- but it can be very expensive -- In Las Vegas one can rent Ferraris and Lamborghinis... If you really want that experience you can search by the type of car you want -- for instance -- you can rent a Ferrari 360 Spider from a shop in New York but it's gonna run you about $950 per day.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,269

    Default

    I don't think any of those "specialty" rental companies will have cars that can be dropped off in another city. I'd probably go for a convertible being that this is a summer trip. If it gets too hot or too cold or if it rains, put the top up and use the A/C, they will all have that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Actually they do -- but the drop-off rates are....

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    I don't think any of those "specialty" rental companies will have cars that can be dropped off in another city.
    Actually, in that rarefied market -- it's all about the $$$ -- With sufficient credit line, anything is possible.

    Mark

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