more than one year ago I already posted some questions and got very useful tips. My sister and I decided to rent a car and not buy one to avoid dealing with all the stuff you need to take care of when buying.
Also I looked at the many links I found here for low cost accommodation along the way, besides Hospitality Club, sleeping in the car and cheap motels we'll definitely take camping equipment with us. So I guess I'm set with the "hard facts". Now I would like to invite anyone who has any suggestion regarding sights or other useful things we should bear in mind to give me some advice.
As we are from Germany we don't know the USA as most of you do, so maybe you have some "must sees" or "must dos" for two German girls (one 26, one 23 years old). I should say that we would like to spend as little as possible, but we won't skimp when necessary. Also, as we both live in big cities (Berlin and Hamburg) and long for some time outside that hecticness, we would like to be as much in touch with nature as possible besides the big cites that we're visiting. We also would like to avoid interstates and drive two lane highways wherever it doesn't mean too much of a detour.
So our rough plan for August and September 2009 is:
- flying in to New York late July, stay around 5 days
- maybe have a quick trip to Washington area, visit Annapolis and Baltimore, but this is still open
- travel up New England, where we definitely have to eat some lobster in Maine :-)
- cross the Canadian border, visit Montréal and Toronto (will we have any problems as non-US and non-Canadian citizens to travel from country to country?)
- come back to the USA, see the Niagara falls
- Cleveland, Chicago (stay around 3 days)
- drive to South Dakota, stay in Beresford (near Sioux Falls) for one week, as my sister's host family from her time as an exchange student lives there
- drive back to Minneapolis and drive from there down south alongside the Mississippi
- from St. Louis we have a loooong drive to L.A. (we estimated 5 days, will that suffice if we want to have some time of the day for getting out of the car and visit sights?)
- Sept. 11th we have to pick up another friend who will land in L.A., so from now on we are three girls
- travel up the westcoast (L.A., Santa Barbara, San Francisco, stay some days in Arcata with another friend of my sister's)
- then drive to Portland and Seattle, where we give back the car
- finally travel to Vancouver by bus and fly back home from here Oct. 5th.
I know that is a lot. We are not totally determined to take this way and can have some meanderings. The only things that are fixed are: starting in NY, staying in Beresford for one week, picking up our friend in L.A. 9/11 and ending our trip in Vancouver (we already have our flights).
Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated, especially if you know anything about discounts for students (we all have the international student ID).
Thank you veeeery much in advance!