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  1. Default Time needed for Road Trips

    Hello all!

    I have just discovered this forum & seems it is just what I need.
    I'm new here, so apologies in advance for any errors, please go easy on me!

    I am currently planning quite an extensive road trip around the USA and Canada. ( I am from the UK)

    My plans so far are:
    Fly into Eastern Canada - road trip Toronto-Quebec (or vice versa)
    Internal flight to Western Candada
    Road trip Calgary - Vancouver
    Bus from Vancouver to Seattle
    West Coast USA from Seattle to San Diego
    Internal flight to Florida
    Spend time in Florida, theme park visits etc!
    Flight up to East Coast (Washington DC or NY)
    East Coast USA up to Boston

    Basically, the advice I am looking for is timeframes for each stage of this trip.
    I have never visited the USA/Canada for leisure before and have no idea how long I will need for each bit.

    I've been reading guide books to get an idea of what I want to do/see in each bit, but any advice from people who have actually "been there, done that" would be much appreciated!

    For example - would a 2 week road trip round Eastern Canada be a reasonable amount of time? Or is that impossible / far too long....

    Thanks for any advice or tips you can offer !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default what you have

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    Well, you're kind of asknig an impossible question. It really depends upon how much you want to see in any of those places.

    Some guidelines you can follow include, you should keep your longest driving days under 1000 km, but that is a full day on the road with very little time to sightsee. From there, it depends upon how much you want to see and how "in depth" you want to explore each place.

    If you want to shave off some of your time in airplanes and more importantly, save some money, you might look at including your Northeast Canada and Northeast US trips into one larger segment.

    If I was to take a rough guess, I'd think you'd probably want 6-8 weeks for this trip, but that really depends upon the kind of pace you like and how much you want to do.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default

    I agree with Micheal on his points, but I'm also foolish enough to take a stab at some rough guestimates for some of your segments. I especially like his suggestion you combine Eastern Canada with East Coast USA/Boston.

    See my suggested timings in bold inserted in your itinerary below:

    Quote Originally Posted by cherryJ View Post
    Fly into Eastern Canada - road trip Toronto-Quebec (or vice versa) - 1-2 weeks
    Internal flight to Western Candada
    Road trip Calgary - Vancouver - 1-2 weeks
    Bus from Vancouver to Seattle
    West Coast USA from Seattle to San Diego - 2-3 weeks
    Internal flight to Florida
    Spend time in Florida, theme park visits etc! - 1-2 weeks
    Flight up to East Coast (Washington DC or NY)
    East Coast USA up to Boston - 1-2 weeks
    Which totals out to 6-11 weeks... seems MM and I are on the same page!

  4. Default

    Thanks for the advice!

    I should have mentioned - I am planning on being away for around 3 months in total.... so what I was looking for was timeframes for each stage, so thanks for that Cal!

    The only prob with combining the East coast USA and Canada is

    1) - weatherwise - we thought the best time to see NYC would be later on, towards the end of the trip, as all the Christmassy stuff would be around.
    But for Canada, thought it would be better to go earlier, before it gets too cold.

    2) - car hire - I've not looked into it in depth, but there may be problems and/or extra charges involved with hiring a car in one country and driving it into another?

  5. #5

    Default

    Last year I flew into Montreal, picked up a car and drove through Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI for a couple of weeks, dropped the car in downtown Montreal and took a train to Toronto. There I picked up another car for a few days to look around that area then took The Canadian right across to Vancouver where I drove a big loop through the Rockies. An amazing trip through a fantastic country. I took five weeks approximately.

    I was looking to head south on the train (said to be much nicer than the bus) but no-one could tell me whether I would be able to enroll on the Visa Waiver Program if I crossed that way so ended up flying Vancouver - Seattle. You might want to do a little more research into that and see if you can get an answer. Being turned away at the border wasn't something that excited me!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    There is generally no problem driving a rental car across the border, but renting in one country and dropping it off in another is usually not possible.

  7. Default 2 weeks accommodation in Canada

    I know this is a bit vague, but can anyone give me a rough estimate of how much it would cost for accommodation over a 2 week period for a round trip Toronto-Quebec-Toronto
    I'd be looking at budget accommodation, cheap as possible. Camping is sort of an option, but I'd be taking an internal flight afterwards so wouldn't be able to take much stuff with me.
    Thanks for any help you can offer
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 08-09-2009 at 09:14 AM. Reason: merged - Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default roughly

    As a very general rule of thumb, it will cost about $50 a night for a budget motel. However, that generally applies to staying in small and mid-sized cities, or on the outskirts of town. If you are hoping to stay in the heart of a major city, like Toronto or Quebec, it is quite likely that you'll end up paying significantly more.

    weatherwise - we thought the best time to see NYC would be later on, towards the end of the trip, as all the Christmassy stuff would be around.
    But for Canada, thought it would be better to go earlier, before it gets too cold.
    Toronto/Quebec is not that far from NYC, so you're not going to see a dramatic difference in climate. Yes, it will be cold if you wait until December to visit Eastern Canada, but its going to likely be pretty cold around NYC too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Combining several of the above thoughts....

    Since your entry and exit points are relatively close, have you considered flying into and out of the same location? Esp. when looking at a 3 month trip, an extra day or two at the end should be easy to schedule in.

    Resolves the car drop-off issue. All you'd need to ensure is that:

    1) You get unlimited mileage
    2) There are no geographic restrictions, including BUT NOT LIMITED to cross-border.

    I raise the latter because I found some fine print in a reservation I was contemplating that restricted the car to the East Coast. Not a problem for this rental, but the first time I've seen this type of limitation.

  10. Default East Coast advice

    Thanks for the help I've received so far on these forums - invaluable!

    For the final leg of my trip, I'm planning to go along the East Coast USA.

    My thoughts re my route so far are

    Washington DC (fly in from Florida)
    Baltimore
    Harrisburg (for Hersheyworld!)
    Philadelphia
    New York City
    Boston

    I then fly back from Toronto. I really want to go to the Ben & Jerry factory in Vermont, but looks like it's a huge detour. I'm sort of considering flying from Boston to Vermont, then Toronto but don't know if it's worth such a detour...

    The advice I need is regarding transportation. From what I can gather from my research so far, driving is a big no-no in places like DC, NYC and Boston.
    I was going to hire a car in DC and drop off in Boston.

    But would it be possible to do this road trip using public transport only?

    Any advice gratefully received! Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 08-26-2009 at 03:35 AM. Reason: Merged Again - Stop creating new threads about this trip or you may lose your ability to post

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