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  1. Default Montreal or New York to Costa Rica


    I am a twenty year old swedish student planning a road trip with a friend. We thought about driving from Montreal to Costa Rica from mid-september to mid-december or beginning of January. As we have European driving licenses and pass, and will both have at least twenty one years old by the time of the trip, we were wondering if we would be allowed to drive in Canada, U.S.A, and eventually if someone knows, in Central America.

    We would be very grateful if you could give us tips about which road to take, in order to visit New York, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Houston, San Antonio, and then down to Mexico and towards Costa Rica... As we have approximately three month to do this trip, and we want to discover Central America as well, we do not know which places are worth visiting, or where we should stay a little bit longer...

    Thanks in advance!


  2. Default

    p.s: If someone can give us tips about Central America as well, they are welcome!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default not going to work

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    Sorry to tell you, I don't see of any way for you to possibly make this trip - because i don't know of any way that you could possibly get a car for this trip.

    Renting a car is out of the question. US/Canadian rental cars are not allowed into Mexico, much less elsewhere in Central America. There's also the fact that even doing this trip just in the US/Canada will be extremely expensive, as you're looking at a $20-30 per day underage driver fee, for each driver under age 25. That's a pretty huge amount of money for a 3 months trip.

    Buying a car as a non-resident of the US is also virtually impossible. And even if you were able to get around the red tape and find a way to get the license/registration/insurance figured out, it still wouldn't help you with the Central American portion of the trip. As you can not buy a car in one country and sell it in another. You couldn't even "abandon" the car in Central America, as several countries there mark on your passport that you brought a car into the country, and you will not be allowed to leave unless you are taking the car with you.

    I wish I had better news for you, but I just don't know of any way where you could actually make this trip work - unless you look at other methods of transportation.

  4. Default

    ok, thanks for the quick answer!

    Nevertheless, I have heard of european students driving across the US, although they did not drive through any boarder. While checking on internet, I saw that it was possible to get an International driving license, which allows us to drive in most countries. Off course we still have the problem of finding a car.

    If this trip is not possible, I thought about doing a coast-to-coast trip from NY to LA. Do you have tips regarding places to visit and/or a road to take for such a trip? I was thinking going from NYC to LA, in order to avoid the North-East in november/december (we're from Sweden, enough with the cold :) ).

    Finally, I forgot to say that as we are students, we will have a limited budget (which we have not decide yet), so rent a car is not what we are looking for. In case of a trip only in the U.S, would you consider hich-hyking to be a good idea?

    Appreciate the help!


  5. Default

    p.s: Would you consider greyhound busses as a good alternative? It feels like it would be nicer to have our own car, in order to be able to go everywhere... Do you have an idea of how much money we would save by chosing that transport?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default safety

    A few things. First, I'd say Greyhound (or possibly Amtrak) would be pretty clearly your cheapest option. Now as far as how much you'll save, you'll have to actually shop around, but I would think it would be pretty dramatic. Of course, the downside is that Greyhound doesn't go everywhere, and there are many places (particularly national parks, etc) where there simply is no bus service.

    Hitchhiking is illegal in many states, unwise in every state, and with 2 people, it would be extremely difficult to even find a ride if you ignored that advice.

    BTW, an International Drivers License only provides a translation of your current license - its not a legal requirement, nor does it grant you any legal rights that you wouldn't already have. Its a good idea to have on if you are traveling to a country where your license is not printed in that county's language.

    As far as what to see, you need to get out a map and do some research to get a feel for what is out there. There are just too many thing to include starting from a blank slate. Its a very big country, and there's something here for everyone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by Flugg View Post
    p.s: Would you consider greyhound busses as a good alternative? It feels like it would be nicer to have our own car, in order to be able to go everywhere... Do you have an idea of how much money we would save by chosing that transport?
    I would recommend Amtrak over Greyhound. I have never found Greyhound a very pleasant way to travel.

    Buying an Amtrak pass before you leave Sweden, should be considerably cheaper than waiting till you get to North America. You could take a cross country route with Amtrak, and at the many stops where you disembark, rent a car to see the local area, including National Parks. If you want to camp, you will find the luggage allowance on Amtrak much more generous than Greyhound.


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