10K loop trip - timing and cost feasibility?
hello all :)
My better half and I are looking to get married next year and thought it'd be nice to escape for a long trip after on an extended honey moon.
Just need to figure our how feasible this pipe dream is! We'd like to get a realistic idea of costs and whether we can actually afford to do such a trip.
As a start here's a rough route we're considering, although I will be investigating routes in more detail later if we decide that we might actually be able to pull this off.
I suppose my main concern is car rental - I've never rented a car in my life let alone for so long or so many miles! Roughly how much will I need to shell out? I'm not fussed about luxury and there's only two of us. More concerned about reliability and economy - will I be able to hire anything that'll give me more than 40MPG? Ideally we're looking to spread the trip over 10 weeks although I'm guessing this number may need to come down as the cost of hiring a car that long may be rediculously high no?
Thank you for your time and please excuse my ignorance!
things to consider
Welcome to the RTA Forum!
Certainly a trip the time and money are the big hurdles in overcoming a trip like this, however there are a couple corrections you need to make to your line of thinking. First of all, even though your point to point distance is about 10,000 miles, you'll almost certainly drive at least 12,000-13,000 miles when you factor in driving within cities, towns, parks, etc. It also is basically impossible to find any car that gets 40 mpg in the US, unless you are buying a small hybrid. A Typical Mid-sized car is going to get 25-30 mpg.
You should also know that while your car rental costs will be a significant part of your costs, the longer your trip is the longer all of your other costs will also go up, including food, lodging, etc.
Just taking a quick look sites for a 10 week rental, it looks like you'd be paying around $2000 for a base rate for a compact car. However, you really have to shop around with the specifics you'll need for your trip. The dates of a rental can really change the cost, as can the location where you actually rent. And of course if you are under 25 or need to purchase additional insurance, then your costs will also go up significantly.
Thanks for your reply!
Which sites did you look at to get a price of $2000 for a 10 week hire on a compact?
It's a shame about the MPG! Over here everything gives 40-60..
Fuel cost as you can imagine will be a major issue!
I take your point regarding the actual milleage being closer to 12-13k mile and additional costs for food/accom. Whilst we're not looking for luxury I doubt we'll be camping so the cost of a motel times 70 nights will certain add up.
Let's see, just some ballpark figures. $9,000 for food and lodging. $2,000-$2,500 for basic car rental + $1,800 for each driver that is under 25 + any insurance coverage you'll need to buy, $1,000 for gas, and $500 for admissions.So you're looking at around $15,000 to be on the road for two and a half months. Your costs may vary, but that should give you an idea of the basics. By the way, I assumed 25 mpg for gas mileage on the rental car. They tend to be standard sedans, and while you may be able to find a high mileage car on the lot when you rent, it really won't make that big a difference in your overall costs. A good selection of car rental costs can be found by using the Yahoo!® Travel search at the top left of this page.
I just did a real quick look at Budget and Enterprise websites. However, I would encourage you to simply take a look at lots of different companies and reservation sites to find a good deal. Shopping around really is the best best for a good car rental quote.
Originally Posted by KuniD
Michael, things must have really changed since 2004. In that year I wanted a car for 6 weeks, and not one company, Budget and Enterprise included, would rent for more than 28 days.
Originally Posted by Midwest Michael
In the end I went with budget and ended up having to drive from Seattle, through Alaska and the Canadian Rockies in 28 days.
Great trip!! Great memories!
no presonal experience
Well, I don't have any personal experience renting a car for that long, but I know others have reported on here that they've been able to rent long term. Although, some have said they had to "check in" at the end of every month period.
I will also say that in addition to quoting a price for 70 days, enterprise's website also mentioned a special program for long term rentals, but you had to contact them for more information. I have no idea if this is a good or cheaper idea, but it certainly is an indication that renting for more than a month is possible.
Thanks for the link, very helpful :)
Originally Posted by AZBuck
I've started to put together a rough budget which I'll post later.
Originally Posted by Midwest Michael
I've been playing with the Enterprise quote engine to see the difference in price if I change the start point. I've only tried NYC, Boston, Miami and Chicago so far, with the last coming up the cheapest.
For a 'Standard' vehicle (i.e. a Ford Fusion) the monthly rate would be just under $630. Once you add taxes this comes to just under $2300 for the three months.
The quote didn't mention anything about insurance, so I clicked through put some fake details in and clicked on the 'optional extras'.
I focused on 'Damage Waiver' (CDW) and 'Supplemental Liability Protection' (SLP), ignoring 'Personal Accident Insurance' for as I'm guessing this'll be covered until my travel insurance (although I will double check this of course).
The site does not give an accurate estimate for these additional products, instead just giving price ranges or branch prices.
CDW is between $10.50 and $13.50 per day, whilst SLP is $14.99 per day.
If I times these by 30 to give a monthly figure, it'd be $315-405 for CDW and $450 for SLP.
Now this sounds pretty sureal to me so I'm hoping someone steps in to correct me here, but the total monthly costs before tax for hiring the vehicle goes from $626.99 to somewhere between $1390 and $1480 per month?!
Even if I go for a cheaper model (say a 'Compact' over the 'Standard' I've quoted above the monthly quote only falls $47.50.
Does the total monthly price I've come to including insurance before tax seem about right to you guys?
I will be shopping around other sites, I just want to use this as a benchmark.
Last edited by KuniD; 02-19-2009 at 06:23 AM.
Well, checking out your route, I have to question your choice from Denver to Salt Lake City.
I-25 to I-80 isn't the most scenic of routes. I've driven through Wyoming many times, and although I think it has a sense of charm to it, it's nowhere near the imagery of driving through the Colorado Rockies.
You could drive through the Rocky Mountain National Park and go out that way. Unless you want to break-north to Yellowstone from Wyoming, it's probably better to stay get back down on I-70, go through Glenwood Canyon over the San Rafael Swell, and out onto I-15 that way (plus, you can detour south to either see Arches Nat'l Park, or Canyonlands. Then I-15 south through the canyon in AZ (can never remember the name), and into Las Vegas.
(added...) Also, if you're going to Miami, you should drive down to Key West. Beautiful drive, but will add 250mi of slower driving to your trip. But, I've done it, and can honestly say it is well worth it.