I'm a journo from the UK (unsurprisingly, I write about cars) and I've agreed to undertake a somewhat foolhardy US road trip.
Basically, the feature I intend to construct is thus: nobody's feeling flush at the moment, but that shouldn't stop you from fulfilling your inner road trip junky's deepest desire - a trans-USA epic.
The skeleton of the story is that two colleagues and I buy a junker for $1000 and drive it from Columbus (OH) to San Francisco (CA) spending as little cash as possible, and probably sleeping in the car a lot. We're expected to finish the trip in two weeks and I really want to take in the following stuff.
- crazy desert
- forgotten highways (abandoned petrol stations/cars/communities etc)
- loads of very American eateries (diners etc)
- plenty of bars (us Brits like a drink, y'see)
- bonkers must-see communities
- vibrant local nightspots
What we really want to do is experience the sort of real, slightly bonkers but ultimately brilliant side of America that appeals to everyone in Blighty. So we want to catch as many little music festivals, car-based events, nightclubs, parties, characters and local scenes as possible. All we have (relatively) sorted is the car and flights to Columbus and from San Francisco.
So, any tips?
I suppose the real questions are:
- where are the most beautiful places to visit along that route?
- and what kind of scenery can I expect?
- what should I take with me?
- is there anywhere I should avoid?
- can I sleep in the (classic) car in relative safety?
I have a few dull questions, too:
- what's the deal with tax? I have the car taxed and licensed in OH. Do I need it taxed for all states?
- is there an insurance company who can cover me for two weeks only (in a modified car)?
- how much does petrol cost?
- is there a national breakdown coverage system in the US I can join?
- what stops should I avoid making (bad restaurants/rest areas etc)?
- is there anywhere I won't be welcome as an outsider?
- what sort of weather can I expect?
Please consider that I'm not a road trip novice (I drove a Trabant 601 Kombi from The Gambia back to England via Senegal, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, Spain, France, Germany and Belgium, amongst several other European trips) but I've never been to the US.
We're planning to fly out in late August.
Thanks for your help in advance and sorry for the long post,