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  1. Default New York - San Francisco

    Hi everyone
    this is my first post so i'll introduce myself. I'm a 25 y old student from Belgium and i'm planning a spring road trip across the Usa with my girlfriend and i wanted to share some of the basic preparations of the road trip that were in my mind. Also i would keep this thread, if possible, as some sort of journal.

    Time Frame : April - till 15th of May
    Car : Mustang convertible (if possible)

    Trip:
    1. We would stay in NY for about 3 days, then go pick up our rental car which is the first arising problem.

    2.I've been searching for a rental car in the vicinity of NYC (NJ, Philly and DC) because rentals in NYC are really expensive.
    So i was thinking about renting a car outside NY, going there by plane or train and start from there and i would really like to rent a convertible.
    Problem is, i can't find any. They are either sold out or don't have any or don't let me book the car because it's too early to do so.

    3.If i can get my hands on a rental i would book the airplane tickets.

    4.Road trip starts. Some major points and states i'd drive through :

    NY -> following the Appalache Mtns through Pennsylvania, Maryland, West-Virginia, Virginia towards Knoxville, TN -> going north through Kentucky towards Olney, IL (a small town where i was a one year exchange student).
    Going south again through Missouri and Mississippi and then west through Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
    From here we go north towards the rocky mnts. through New Mexico,Colorado, Wyoming (Yellowstone park) and Montana then go south through Idaho, Arizona (Grand canyon) and Utah (Bryce canyon) towards Las Vegas, Nevada.
    After this we'd go to Death Valley national park and Yosemite national park to finally arrive in Frisco for about 3 days before taking the plane back to Europe.

    Aprox Total Miles: +- 5.385 miles
    Google maps link : http://maps.google.be/maps/ms?ie=UTF...,79.013672&z=4

    5. Accomodation
    We'll sleep in our car, rent a room in a motel and i will check out Couchsurfing.com as well, should be interesting. :)

    Still have to figure out how much time we would need to do all this because i'm not going to plan every little detail. The trip description would be a red line throughout the journey , more as a guideline than as a must-follow path.
    But of course i need to plan ahead for the airplane tickets back home...

    Thank you all in advance for reading, replying, contemplating my ideas.

    Cheers, Brannelies
    Last edited by Brannelies; 11-22-2009 at 09:06 AM. Reason: etc

  2. Default

    You state that your road trip would be April to May 15 what day in April are you starting your trip? If its 1st April you would have enough time to stop & see the sights along the way. Get out your maps and map out your general route and then we will be able to suggest must see & things to do along your route.

    billy bob

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by billy bob View Post
    You state that your road trip would be April to May 15 what day in April are you starting your trip? If its 1st April you would have enough time to stop & see the sights along the way. Get out your maps and map out your general route and then we will be able to suggest must see & things to do along your route.

    billy bob
    Yes we would be leaving on the first of April.
    I've just edited my post and added a google maps link so you guys would see what i have in mind.

    Thanks for the response!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default The car.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You have plenty to look forward too !

    With regards to the car, all the major car companies specify "Or similar" when you are renting, so it will be quite tough to find one that will guarantee a Mustang convertible, [I think the usual is a Sebring conv.] and finding a specialist car company that will let you drop one of there cars off on the other side of the country is going to be a tall order, and I would imagine very expensive. At this point it's worth mentioning that it's hard to get a good nights sleep in any car, but a Convertible ?

    We usually recommend that you don't travel any further than 5-600 miles a day so you are looking at 10 days of solid driving, but that's not for sight seeing just stopping for food, gas and bathroom breaks. A month would give you a nice amount of time to do your trip and explore the areas you are to visit, more is good.

    Have a good look around the forums and other pages on RTA, there is a wealth of info to be found and as you have questions come up just ask.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 11-22-2009 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Grand daughter sitting !

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

    Default An Alternative?

    Whenever I see planned one-way routes that wander all over the map such as yours, combined with concerns regarding money I have to wonder if the planner has considered the alternative of a loop trip. The money savings can be immediate and substantial since you would buy a simple round-trip plane ticket rather than the usually more expensive open-jaw trip where you fly into one city but return from another. Similarly you would save several hundred dollars by returning your rental car to the same location you rent it from. So you might want to look at a route that went more like this: Down the Appalachians to the Great Smoky Mountains; west through Tennessee, Oklahoma, etc. to the Grand Canyon; north around the Canyon to Bryce, Zion and Las Vegas; through Death Valley, across Tioga Pass to Yosemite and on to San Francisco. Then return to New York by going northeast by Lake Tahoe and southern Idaho to Yellowstone; southeast through Wyoming to Rocky Mountain National Park and then east on the old Oregon Trail to St. Louis; on to Olney and finally taking I-70/I-76/I-78 to NYC. Now , that does work out to be a fair bit longer than your current route (6,900 miles vs. 5,400) but for the reasons given should at least be considered.

    AZBuck

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post

    With regards to the car, all the major car companies specify "Or similar" when you are renting, so it will be quite tough to find one that will guarantee a Mustang convertible, [I think the usual is a Sebring conv.] and finding a specialist car company that will let you drop one of there cars off on the other side of the country is going to be a tall order, and I would imagine very expensive. At this point it's worth mentioning that it's hard to get a good nights sleep in any car, but a Convertible ?
    Thank you very much for the warm welcome. What you say about the car is true but i'm still hoping for it :)
    And yes, sleeping in the car would be a tad too enthiousiastic :D
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 11-23-2009 at 08:16 AM. Reason: reduced quote to relavant section

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Whenever I see planned one-way routes that wander all over the map such as yours, combined with concerns regarding money I have to wonder if the planner has considered the alternative of a loop trip. The money savings can be immediate and substantial since you would buy a simple round-trip plane ticket rather than the usually more expensive open-jaw trip where you fly into one city but return from another. Similarly you would save several hundred dollars by returning your rental car to the same location you rent it from. So you might want to look at a route that went more like this: Down the Appalachians to the Great Smoky Mountains; west through Tennessee, Oklahoma, etc. to the Grand Canyon; north around the Canyon to Bryce, Zion and Las Vegas; through Death Valley, across Tioga Pass to Yosemite and on to San Francisco. Then return to New York by going northeast by Lake Tahoe and southern Idaho to Yellowstone; southeast through Wyoming to Rocky Mountain National Park and then east on the old Oregon Trail to St. Louis; on to Olney and finally taking I-70/I-76/I-78 to NYC. Now , that does work out to be a fair bit longer than your current route (6,900 miles vs. 5,400) but for the reasons given should at least be considered.

    AZBuck
    Hi AZBuck :)

    Thank you for responding, I do like the suggestion of your alternative route although the extra miles (almost 3000 :o ) + the expenses for gas and accommodation would not, i think, save me a lot of money.
    i appreciate your suggestion for the route immensely, thank you for your valuable input. :)

  8. Default Renting a car

    Hi everyone
    I've started up a thread in spring road trips but i wanted to ask some specific questions here about car rental.

    1. What companies do you recommend renting a car from ? (hertz, avis, national,...)
    2. I would start my trip in NYC but would it be advised to rent a car in the close vicinity of NYC or should i go to a neighbouring state (Maryland, Penn or NJ) for cheaper prices.
    3. As i stated in my main topic i would prefer renting a convertible.
    3a. Are there as many convertible's available on the east coast as on the west coast?
    3b. I have already looked up a lot of car rental sites online and all the convertibles are sold out for april 2010 ? is this normal ? Some companies only let you rent a car 6 weeks in advance.
    4. The main reason for picking a convertible is so that, when we visit or drive through parks and just in general on the road, we would see a lot more then with an obstructing roof over the head. What would be a viable alternative?


    Thank you so much for any help :)

    Brannelies

    Moderator Note: We prefer that people keep all their questions about one trip together, especially when the discussion of this topic (rental car) has already been a large part of your original thread
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 11-23-2009 at 07:27 AM. Reason: Merged Threads

  9. #9

    Default

    Car rental prices in New York are higher than most other states because New York has a law requiring car rental companies to take more insurance (and these costs are built into rates). If you can rent out of New York state, it would probably make economic sense.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 11-23-2009 at 07:59 AM. Reason: removed quote of entire previous post

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by scosm View Post
    Car rental prices in New York are higher than most other states because New York has a law requiring car rental companies to take more insurance (and these costs are built into rates). If you can rent out of New York state, it would probably make economic sense.
    aha didn't know that, cheers :)

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