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  1. Default Planning a roadtrip from Boston to California. Help needed!

    Hi! I'm Irish and I want to see as much of America as possible within 3 months. I'll be traveling with another person. We plan to start in Boston and head south towards Texas, then from there go towards Vegas and then California. Also we want 2 spend time in other cities along the way. What are the best places to visit and which cities have the best nightlife?

    Our budget is $8000 each. Is this a realistic amount to have with us?

    We really don't care where we stay, as long as it's somewhat clean. We're open to camping or sleeping in a car. What is the best/cheapest accommodation?

    What is the best/cheapest way of transport? We were thinking of buying a cheap car when we get there. Will it be easy for us to find a cheap car and get insurance?

    We'll happily take any advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default subjective

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    Things like "best" are really hard to quantify, and so subjective that any answer is almost useless.

    That is especially true when talking about places to visit, because there are thousands upon thousands of places in the US worth visiting, and with 3 months available to you, you can go to so many places, its hard for us to start narrowing things down for you.

    For nightlife, you'll have your major cities, like New York, Chicago, Miami, Vegas, and LA for your obvious answers, but most metro areas will have several places to enjoy yourself. And I'd also be looking into College towns, that have their own fun atmosphere, yet that's quite different from a major city.

    Sleeping in a car is usually not too practical for 2 people, and certainly not over the length of time you'll be traveling. Camping can be a good choice, but that can be a bit of a challenge when it sounds like you want to spend a lot of your time exploring urban areas. I'd plan for a mix of motels and camping, and be expecting to average about $30-40 a night total factoring in camping fees, basic motels, plus higher fees for nights you are in a city.

    Buying a car is extremely difficult to do as a non-resident. You need to have a fixed address of some sort, and be able to prove that you've lived there, which is not going to be easy to do in your case. 3 months is close to the break even point for buying vs renting, but you would really have to find a way around the legal hurrdles first.

  3. Default

    Hi Michael! Thanks for the advice! I think we're going to travel by greyhound buses and I've found a few places to stay that are pretty cheap. I'm just worried about the budget. Do you know how much we would spend a day? Would $8000 be enough for everything?

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

    Default workable

    A very rough rule of thumb is $100 per day, and your budget would be less than that. However, your transportation costs may be less that typical, if you are going by bus. You really should sketch out a rough budget and see what it would take to make everything fit into the money you have available. I imagine you can make things work with that amount of money, but you'll have to see how much wiggle room that will really give you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Transport

    May I suggest you check out these. Although I have not used them, I have heard from some who have, and were most satisfied.

    Another option which you may look into, and which I did for around 6 months, over two visits, is driveaway. I had posted a long post on this site somewhere about my experiences, but not sure where. It is a great fun way to get around, with certain restriction s and condition, but it allowed me to see so many corners of the US which were totally unknown to me, and allowed me to meet so many people, many of whom I am still in contact with today.

    I never filled in their forms before hand, I just went into their office, asked what cars they had available and where were they going, and then chose a vehicle which was going to a place far away. After the delivery of the car, often the owner would see me to my accommodation, or I would take public transport, and then, if I wanted to see a few things around there, I would hire a car for a couple of days. Then go back to the local compnay office and check if there was a car going somewhere, and take that to another area of the US.

    All this does not work if you have a list of must sees, but if you are willing to roam, and see those out of the way places, it is just a great way to travel. And three months is ideal. I did it for three months... twice.

    Lifey suggests you check it out
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 09-18-2009 at 11:08 AM. Reason: typo

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Budget

    With two of you, it will be much cheaper than alone. It costs as much for two as for one to stay in a motel. And fuel for two is the same as one. In hostels you pay per person. All over the US, and on the internet, you can find coupon booklets which have special prices, and many of them are from $25 - $35 (for one or two). These are invariable run by Indian Americans, and vary from grotty to fantastic. It is always a good idea to ask to see the room before committing yourself. Recently I stayed in PA for $27 (all taxes included) and another I stayed three nights for $114. Both those places were clean, had a microwave and fridge, TV and wifi, though in each case there was only one double bed.

    You may also like to note, that if you are looking at Greyhound prices on the internet, that they do not accept cards which are not US issued, so it is not possible for a tourist to partake of their internet specials.

    Amtrak is always cheaper if booked in your home country.

    To my way of thinking, without being stingy or extravagant, $8000 each will leave you with change to buy gifts on the way home.

    Lifey who travels on a tight budget

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