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  1. Default 3 week road trip for international students

    Hi everyone,

    I'm an international student studying in the US and next year I will have some friends from overseas visiting for 3 weeks (~ 20 to 25 days). Since most of them have never been in the US before and I haven't had to much of a chance yet to see the sights, we came up with the idea of a road trip.

    There will be 6 of us, and we want to see as much as possible on our $7000 budget (about $1150 each, depending on the exchange rate). I'm studying in Baltimore, so we're planning on starting somewhere around there and I'm wondering what is the best way to go about this trip and how much can we expect to see in 3 weeks?

    I have a car but it obviously won't fit the 6 of us, so here are some questions we had:

    - Should we rent a second car and do a camping trip or rent an RV for 4 and take turns sleeping on the floor? Or even split it up and do 2 weeks of RV (going west) and one week of renting a car (up and down on the east coast)?

    - Should we go for a one-way trip or a round trip?

    - Could we make it Las Vegas and back?

    - What are some things we absolutely should see?


    I've been doing some research, but I've found that it is really hard to get an accurate estimate of what we can expect with our budget. We're absolutely prepared to rough it and we want the most bang for our buck, so I'm hoping that I can get some opinions from experienced road trippers to get a realistic estimate of what we can achieve in 3 weeks within our budget.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default assuming

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you might be in a rare case where an RV could be a cost effective method for you to travel, since it would keep you from having to "double up" on cars, and motel rooms. However, you really need to get one that is designed for 6 people. There just isn't room in an RV for anyone to sleep on the floor, and you'll still need places for people to sit while you are driving.

    You will have to price things out though and see how much of a chunk that will take out of your budget. You're not starting with a ton of money to begin with. With 3 weeks, you'd be able to drive to coast to coast and back, if you really wanted too, although it would probably be more relaxing to do it as a one way trip. You'll have to figure out how that will work in your budget though - comparing the cost of extra fuel with the cost of one way drop fees and plane tickets back. You'll also potentially be dealing with issues with your age as students trying to rent an RV and extra fees for being under age 25.

    Once you've got that major factor figured out, you can start planning your budget better, but the RV rental is such a big variable, I think that needs to be your first step. Some of your other costs will be more fixed, as camping fees will be about $25 per night, and I think you'll need about $75-100 per day to feed your entire group - assuming you only occationally eat at restaurants.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the Feedback. I figured the RV would be the most important thing to take care off, luckily I will be turning 25 just before we do the road trip, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    One concern we had with the RV was the availability of parking to go see the big cities along the way, what are our options as far as that is concerned?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default remember...

    While it is great that you will be turning 25, you'll still be looking at an extra fee if any of the other drivers are under that age. You'll have to decide if you want to do all of the driving, or if you want to pay more (and don't even think about letting someone drive without telling the rental company!)

    Parking inside cities could be a little tricky, but it will depend upon the specific city. In most cases, you'll be best off trying to park a little ways outside of the city and then find public transportation, but you should research the options for each particular city.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    Hi,

    - Should we rent a second car and do a camping trip or rent an RV for 4 and take turns sleeping on the floor? Or even split it up and do 2 weeks of RV (going west) and one week of renting a car (up and down on the east coast)?

    - Should we go for a one-way trip or a round trip?

    - Could we make it Las Vegas and back?

    - What are some things we absolutely should see?
    Only you can answer these initial questions depending on budget, how much time you want to spend on the move and what your interests are and once you have found solutions to your questions I am sure we can help you piece it all together. A couple of thoughts you might want to consider are; You want to head for Vegas, would it be better to meet your mates there so the they could fly in direct and you could do some sort of a loop in the West ? it's pretty spectacular !
    If you don't mind "roughing it" would a mini van and tents be cheaper than 2 cars or an RV and if you are visiting a few city's, more practical ?

    I would do some research of costs and contact your mates and make sure you are all on the "same page" as to what it is you want to do and how you want to do it and then you can move to the next stage of planning.

    A 28-30 ft class 'C' RV would be most suitable for the 6 of you and it will be worth checking out any special deals they may have. Sometime you can save up to 60% when they have to much stock on one side of the country and need them shifting around the country to balance that problem or to deliver them to depots for a refurb. There seems to be more headed West [as it's so popular] that need to go back East, so one option would be to fly out and do a one way trip home.
    We don't really do a lot of city's in the RV but as Michael suggested, find where the public transport is and park, or find an RV site close by to camp at. It is possible to find parking at Malls and places like Walmart but it is courteous to park in a quiet spot where you are taking up a couple or more spaces for shoppers.

  6. Default

    Very interesting. If you want to go down the east coast here is what I have planned for a road trip to Key West Florida:
    http://www.bing.com/maps/default.asp...!121&encType=1

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