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  1. Default Atlanta to New York - Help Needed!

    Hi there,

    My boyfriend and I will be flying over to the States from the UK in October for a 2 week road trip. We will be flying in to Atlanta on Octover 17th, and fly out from New York on the 31st. We want to visit New Orleans (slight detour) and DC, but we're not sure where else to visit on the way to New York.

    Can anyone recommend a suitable route? We'll have a car for the duration.

    Also how much do you think the trip will cost, in terms of gas, food, places to stay? Any advice on how to safe cash?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Follow the Appalachians

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    From either Atlanta or New Orleans to New York, your most scenic and interesting route would be to generally follow the Appalachian Mountains. The highlights of such a trip are listed here. In addition, if you're starting north from New Orleans, the Natchez Trace Parkway would be a great way to get to Nashville.

    In very general terms, I would think that about $150-200 per day would allow for a very comfortable trip by two people, allowing for a some moderately nice accommodations and better than fast food meals. You can adjust that up or down a bit according to your tastes. Americans tend to travel with far less cash than is the case in Europe, preferring to charge everything to their credit cards. If you have a credit card, plan to use it but first make sure that it will be honored in the U.S. and that your company knows that you will be traveling abroad - just give them a call.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Thanks, that's really helpful!

    So I have another question now - we've slightly changed our route (there are specific things we want to see along the way) and our plan is now to go:

    Atlanta>New Orleans>Memphis>Chicago>Niagra Falls>DC>New York

    Would you say this is doable in 2 weeks? We're prepared to do some fairly long drives so that we can spend more than 1 day in some of these place.

    Also, as we've never done this before, what should be pack? As we're coming over from the UK we'd need to fit everything into one suitcase each!

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Check credit card charges as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Americans tend to travel with far less cash than is the case in Europe, preferring to charge everything to their credit cards. If you have a credit card, plan to use it but first make sure that it will be honored in the U.S. and that your company knows that you will be traveling abroad - just give them a call.

    AZBuck
    Another question to ask of your credit card company, before you make your credit card your main source of finance... how much do they charge per transaction and/or for currency conversion. I found that Visa charges a considerable percentage for currency conversion and international transactions.

    On my previous three trips I used credit cards almost exclusively. This time 95% of my transactions have been cash, saving me a handy sum. Check with your bank how much they charge per international withdrawal from your savings account, and ask for a decent maximum to withdraw. Then withdraw cash on your arrival in the US, and whenever you need more funds. I work on carrying one or two weeks worth of money... not all in my wallet. Seek out ATMs which are fee free - they can be found everywhere.

    Lifey suggests you compare the costs

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Shouldn't Be a Problem

    Your two longest legs on your new itinerary, between Memphis and Chicago and then from Chicago to Niagara Falls, are both around 550 miles or so which can be driven in a relatively comfortable but steady day of driving with time available for relaxing meals and an occasional mental health break. so you would still have at least a day in each of your destination cities as well as a day or two to spread around.

    As far as your wardrobe goes, you'll need to be prepared for everything from hot and humid to cool, windy and rain. When I lived in New England, which could be subject to all of those in a single day, the trick was to dress in layers. A set of light, cool casual clothes, a light to medium weight sweater, and a windbreaker could be mixed and matched, donned and shed as the weather required. A good wide-brimmed hat and an umbrella would also be in order. It might get brisk, but not bone chillingly cold, in Chicago or New York, and you have just about zero possibility of seeing snow.

    AZBuck

  6. Default

    Thanks very much for your advice!

    On review, it's going to cost us an absolute fortune renting a car, because we'll need to add one-way drop and young person fees onto the cost to hire!

    Instead, we're considering taking the train or Greyhound. Which would you recommend would be best for this journey? Do you know which would be faster, and whether the extra cost for the train would be worth it? Is the Greyhound safe?

    Are there any available packages in which you can purchase a pass which allows you to ride the bus or train whenever you like?

    Thanks,

    Robyn

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default train

    Personally, I'd take the train.

    The greyhound isn't unsafe, but their stations often aren't in the best parts of town either. Its also a very slow system that will take a long time to get between points.

    Amtrak isn't perfect either. Since freight trains get priority, there can be significant delays, but it should be faster. They do offer a variety of passes that could keep your costs down, and that's the way I'd probably go if I were in your shoes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Buy your ticket at home

    May I suggest you visit travel agents at home. Check to see what options you have, as it is invariably cheaper to buy a pass outside of the US. From my experience not all travel agents are fully up with the latest, as far as Amtrak goes, so get a couple of suggestions before you buy. It is impossible to buy the Amtrak pass which is available in Europe and Australia, in the US - it must be purchased before you leave home.

    I have to agree with Michael, that Amtrak is far preferable to Greyhound, for all the reasons mentioned. The beauty is that most also have a lounge car where anyone can make themselves comfortable, or spend time playing cards, boardgames, etc. You can also purchase meals and snacks on board... and best of all, you can walk around and stretch your legs... all of which cannot be done on a bus.

    Lifey who has travelled on both

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