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  1. Default Coast to coast in August 2009

    Hi everybody!

    We are a party of five from Finland and are planning a summer roadtrip in August 2009.

    Our route is something as follows: San Francisco - Yosemite - Las Vegas - Grand Canyon - Albuquerque - Dallas - Houston - New Orleans - Memphis - Charlotte - Washington DC - Buffalo - Toronto - New York City.

    We have rented a minivan for a month and are planning to complete our journey in that time. In the end, in NYC, we have about 4 or 5 days in reserve and are spending the rest of our time in there (if we don´t run into any holdbacks..).

    All five of us will drive and we will be lodging in hotels or motels we run into...

    Any thoughts? Suggestions? Anything we should be aware of?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default (Almost) Blank Slates

    Tervetuloa! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It's really tough to know where to begin when you haven't really told us anything about yourself or your trip other than the barest outline of your route and the time available. We don't know what your interests are, whether you're a family of a group of friends, how old you are, or even whether your men, women or a mix. You're talking about crossing a continent with enough time to explore some scenic, historic, vibrant, and artistic sites, but not enough time to see everything. So before we can be of any help we need to know what you're looking for. The only thing I can tell you, although if you've already booked your van it may be too late, is to make sure that you will be permitted to take the rental into Canada and back, and that you have the proper paper work for the border crossings


  3. Default Yes, it was quite a short post...

    Hi again!

    And thanks for the quick reply, AZBuck.

    Here are some more details.

    So, we are five friends, two male and three females, ages between 29 and 36. The main intrests are scenic and historic attractions and some shopping for the ladies.. But shopping can be done mainly in NYC at the end of our trip. And the main thing is just to drive across your huge country and enjoy the life on the road... =)
    Yosemite, Death Valley, Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls are places that we will at least be visiting as well as Roswell for the UFO:s.

    Our budget is something around 4000 US$ per person. That should cover everything except the flights to San Francisco and car rental.

    The paperwork for Canada is OK. My car rental agent (Avis) in Finland told me that it can be done in San Francisco, where we will be picking up our vehicle.

    Also, one other thing has crossed my mind...

    We are planning to purchase local sim cards to our phones so we can keep in touch with each others in cities or if we get lost from each other. What is the most reasonable thing to do? Our phones are 3G, so they should be able to support local sim cards and networks.

    I hope this gave more light into our trip.

    Many thanks in advance...


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default get it in writing

    If going to Canada is a priority, then I absolutely would *not* wait until you arrive in San Francisco to get it in writing that you can take the car over the border. Its not exactly common for cars rented in San Francisco to be taken out of the country, and it sounds a bit to me like your agent is passing the buck. Of course, your rental documents that you will sign and recieve when you pick up the car should include language indicating the Canadian travel is approved, but I would make sure that you have it in writing as part of your reservation that trans-border traffic will be allowed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default For Natural Scenery and History

    Let me first direct you to some places I suggested earlier today for a very similar trip, but heading east to west across the southern U.S. Almost all of those recommendations would apply in your case as well. In the same vein, I've written a number of posts suggesting scenic and historic stops when driving along the east coast including this one concentrating mostly on natural scenery and this one which lists several historic sites. Have a look at those and see what appeals and what doesn't. They should at least give you a general idea of what's available to you. Once you've picked out a few stops that you and your friends feel will best suit you, we can try to fill in the intervening drives with similar venues.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    There are only two GSM carriers in the US that use sim cards - AT&T and T-Mobile. AT&T has a much wider coverage area. However, I do not know if a non-resident can just "drop in" and buy/rent a sim. You may be better off buying cheap "pay as you go" phones, you can buy airtime cards for those just about anywhere. I have seen AT&T "Go Phones" at Walmart for $20. However, I'm not sure about the non-resident policy on those either.

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