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  1. #1

    Default Advices for a one-way travel in the USA

    Hello all,

    First of all, congratulations for this forum. I have read a lot and found a lot if ideas to my next travel.

    I an a 23 year-old guy from Brazil, and will travel to USA on February 2011 for a 20 day travel (maybe I can make it a 25 day if needed).

    I love to drive, see wilderness, avoiding crowded places. However, some places, even crowded, are a must see.

    First of all, I have at this moment two travel proposals:

    1) Starting from New York, going by car to Los Angeles.

    2) Starting from San Francisco, going by car to Miami.



    What do you think is the best one?

    Also, regarding that choice, what should I see on the way? I am going to make a complete guide about what to do on each city, so some advices to start with will be very helpfull!

    Another question: since it is an one-way travel, do you know a car rental company which does not charge an abusive "One Way Fee"?


    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome!

    since it is an one-way travel, do you know a car rental company which does not charge an abusive "One Way Fee"?
    No, there will always be a substantial one-way fee to take a rental car completely across country. Being under 25, you will also be paying a substantial "young driver" surcharge. Sorry, but that's the way it is!

    Your best bet is to do a "loop" trip, starting and ending in the same city. This should also reduce your airfare cost. If you do this, you would be pretty rushed trying to go completely cross country and back, you would be best off picking a region to explore.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default No "best" and so many options.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The wonderful thing about the road trip is the freedom to decide where you want to go, and as such, there is nos such thing as a generic"best route". You have also given two options that in themselves have many other options of how to get from A to B. The same applies to "what should I see" questions, what are your interests ? what do you want to see?

    I am sorry that it is not of much help at the moment but with the RTA site and a good map you should be able to choose places that appeal to you and then as you put the dots on the map we can help you to join them up and help you get the best from your trip.

    One way drop off fee's are pretty standard in the car rental game, whether they are a "hidden charge" or there in black and white. Hopefully you are also aware that a "young drivers fee" is also a standard charge and applies to anyone under the age of 25 on a daily basis.

    You can drive across the country in 5 to 7 day's so with 20-25 day's you have time to explore, your other option would be to a complete loop taking in some of the Northerly routes and Southerly while not getting hit with the one way fee.

    Look around and when you have made a start let us know.

  4. #4

    Default I have come to a route to begin with!

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for the help you've given me so far. If you live somewhere I will pass by, let me know so I can give you a gift from Brazil in exchange for all the advices! Seriously ;)

    All right, so I won't pay $1000 to the rental company to return my car for me. I will return it myself, travel a lot more and see a lot more stuff :)

    So I choose to go from LA to Miami and all the way back to LA using another route.

    This is the first route I've planned and I need your opinion about it:

    Los Angeles --> Las Vegas via Death Valley (432 mi)

    Las Vegas --> Albuquerque (571 mi)

    Albuquerque --> Santa Fe (63mi)

    Santa Fe --> Roswell (194mi)

    Roswell --> Amarillo (214mi)

    Amarillo --> Houston (608mi)

    Houston --> New Orleans (352mi)

    New Orleans --> Tampa (656mi)

    Tampa --> Miami (280mi)

    Miami --> Palm Bay (171 mi)

    Palm Bay --> Jacksonville (180mi)

    Jacksonville --> Atlanta (317mi)

    Atlanta --> Springfield (668mi)

    Springfield --> Colorado Springs (739mi)

    Colorado Springs --> Salt Lake City (601mi)

    Salt Lake City --> San Francisco (736mi)

    San Francisco --> San Luis Obispo (232mi)

    San Luis Obispo --> Los Angeles (188mi)

    From my calculations, I would make this in 20 days. So I would book my leaving for the 25th day, this way I won't need to worry, go too fast, don't enjoy the place, etc. Of course I won't go to all the places on each town. I would go to one or two places I think I would enjoy more on each one of them. If you know any (or all) of these cities, can you reccomend where should I go on them?

    What do you think about these destinations? Should I trade any one of them for another city/place?

    Here is google map link to "illustrate" the adventure:

    http://bit.ly/9rP2Ii

    By the way: The car! I plan to rent a Pontiac G6 or maybe a Ford Fusion. Are they going to hold it? Or do you reccomend other one?

    Still talking about the car, should I buy another tire (travel with two replacement tires)? What do you think?

    Talking about Hotels/Hostels/Inn: Will I find somewhere to sleep (cheap) on all these towns without booking in advance?

    Thank you for ALL that you can help me on this one. As I said, tell me if you live in one of these towns so I can thank you personally! :)
    Last edited by gustavobrust; 08-10-2010 at 08:13 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Doable, but is it what you want ?

    Driving this route over 20 day's will be equivalent to driving for close to 7 hours a day, every day. With the extra 5 day's you have a little time to see the places you stop at, but I still think you are going at a pace that might wear you down towards the end of your trip. And it's towards the end of your trip where things are getting a little unrealistic, it is a minimum of a 5 day drive from Atlanta to Salt Lake City and that is without time for sight seeing. With a multi day road trip you shouldn't be looking to cover more than 550-600 miles an any 1 day.

    Your rental choice will be fine, they are all nearly new cars and no, you won't need an extra spare tyre. Just make sure the one you have is in good shape and at the right air pressure. If you have a puncture and need to change the wheel get the other one repaired as soon as possible.

    You should get by without making reservations and you will find the cheapest lodgings close to Interstate, Downtown will be more costly. If you visit a City try and find lodgings out the other side in the direction you are travelling which could help avoid morning traffic congestion.

    The thing that confuses me the most is that in your first post you say " I love to drive, see wilderness, avoiding crowded places," and yet to cover your miles you have chosen Interstate and every destination a City ?

    Whereas you can do this trip with a bit of adjustment, I tend to agree with glc and would consider exploring a region in more detail than seeing a larger chunk of the country through the windscreen of the car.

  6. #6

    Default

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the answer!

    I know I will have a lot of miles to cover, so I've extended the trip for 30 days and cut off two or three places from the map.

    Here is the actual new route:

    Los Angeles --> Las Vegas via Death Valley (432 mi)
    Arrive on day 1, spend the night on LA.
    Leave for Las Vegas on Day 2 in the morning


    Las Vegas --> Albuquerque (571 mi)
    Arrive on Las Vegas on day 2 by the evening.
    Spend day 3 in Las Vegas
    Leave Las Vegas on day 4 by the morning


    Albuquerque --> Santa Fe (63mi)
    Arrive in Albuquerque on day 4 by the evening (spend the night in Albuquerque)
    Spend the day 5 in Albuquerque.
    Leave Albuquerque in the morning of day 6 to Santa Fe

    Santa Fe --> Roswell (194mi)
    Arrive in Santa Fe in the morning of day 6 (spend the night in Santa Fe)
    Leave Santa Fe in the morning of day 7


    Roswell --> Amarillo (214mi)
    Arrive in Roswell on noon of day 7. Spend the night in Roswell.
    Leave Roswell in the noon of day 8


    Amarillo --> Austion (495mi)
    Arrive Amarillo on the evening od day 8
    Spend day 9 in Amarillo
    Leave Amarillo on the morning of day 10

    Austin --> New Orleans (508mi)
    Arrive Austin on the evening of day 10 (Spend the night in Austin)
    Spend day 11 in Austin.
    Leave Austin on the morning day 12

    New Orleans --> Tampa (656mi)
    Arrive New Orleans on the evening of day 12 (Spend The night)
    Spend Day 13 in New Orleans
    Leave New Orleans on day 14 in the morning

    Tampa --> Miami (280mi)
    Arrive Tampa on day 14 in the evening
    Spend day 15 on Tampa
    Leave Tampa on day 16 in the morning

    Miami --> Atlanta (679mi)
    Arrive Miami on day 16 in the evening
    Spend day 17 in Miami
    Leave Miami on day 18 in the morning

    Atlanta --> Springfield (668mi)
    Arrive Atlanta on day 18 in the evening
    Spend day 19 in Atlanta
    Leave Atlanta on day 20 in the morning

    Springfield --> Colorado Springs (739mi)
    Arrive on Springfield on day 20 in the evening
    Spend day 21 in Springfield
    Leave Springfield on day 22 in the morning

    Colorado Springs --> Salt Lake City (601mi)
    Arrive on Colorado Springs on day 22 in the evening
    Spend day 23 in Colorado Springs
    Leave Colorado Springs on day 24 in the morning

    Salt Lake City --> San Francisco (736mi)
    Arrive on Salt Lake City on day 24 in the evening
    Spend day 25 in Salt Lake City
    Leave Salt Lake City on day 26 in the morning

    San Francisco --> Los Angeles (381 mi)
    Arrive on San Francisco on day 26 in the evening
    Spend day 27 in Los Angeles
    Spend day 28 in Los Angeles
    Plane to Brazil


    I know at this point I will have two issues on this plan:
    - That's a lot of milleage on two or three points on the way back. I will have to deal with it, stay focused to make that happen :)

    - The main one: my route is basically all highways. That's due to the fact that I used Google maps to generate the routes and I really want to make alternate paths, Like I am doing at the first one going trough Death Valley from LA to LV.

    So I really need your help here: what alternate routes / paths do you know for me to pleasure myself with "almost desert" roads and some places to exchange with cities on this route?

    ANY suggestions would be really helpfull.

    Thank you for all the help!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    You are planning too many miles a day. On Interstate highways, you should not drive more than 550 miles a day. If you are using Google Maps, always add 20% to the predicted drive times.

    You should take 2 full days to go from SF to LA, go down the coast road (CA-1). There's really nothing to see driving on I-5!

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

    Default as has been stated

    I'm sorry, but many portions of your trip - including basically your entire trip back from Florida to California - includes drives that simply aren't reasonable.

    Its been said a couple times that its not real wise to plan to drive much more than 500-600 miles a day - and on those days you really won't have time to see much because you'll need to be on the road all day. Its one thing to push thing up a day or two, but every single day of your trip from Miami to San Francisco is in beyond 600 miles, and many of them are well beyond 700 miles. If that's your plan, I think you'd be better off paying the one way fee, because you're just going to wear yourself out, and not have any time to really see anything anyway.

    I'll also say that the only thing you've planned to do is cities, which is ok, but with all the natural wonders in the US, you aren't planning (and in many cases won't have time) to visit any of them. As Dave already pointed out, that just seems very much in contradiction with your stated goals. Just a few examples of the things you'll be driving past, but won't have time to stop to visit include the Grand Canyon, the Everglades, about a dozen more National Parks in Colorado and Utah, and the Pacific Coast Highway. That's just a small sample, and you certainly could find many more by spending a little time looking at the national parks website - or even just a good map since they will also be marked right there.

    You're making progress, but I right now I don't think you've got a trip that you will enjoy, and you'll want to spend some time reworking things. A month is a nice amount of time to do a full loop, but doing a one way trip might work better for you, especially when your trip from Miami to SF seems more likely an afterthought. While you will be looking at a one way drop off fee, remember than you're very easily going to spend about $600 just in extra fuel costs to make a return trip across country so the extra rental cost might not be as expensive as you'd think.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    You are planning too many miles a day. On Interstate highways, you should not drive more than 550 miles a day. If you are using Google Maps, always add 20% to the predicted drive times.

    You should take 2 full days to go from SF to LA, go down the coast road (CA-1). There's really nothing to see driving on I-5!
    Thank you glc!

    With this advice you have made 2 days of my life totally happier, I am really glad and have changed this on my planning!

    If you have any more ideas like this one, I am here to listen :)

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    I'm sorry, but many portions of your trip - including basically your entire trip back from Florida to California - includes drives that simply aren't reasonable.

    Its been said a couple times that its not real wise to plan to drive much more than 500-600 miles a day - and on those days you really won't have time to see much because you'll need to be on the road all day. Its one thing to push thing up a day or two, but every single day of your trip from Miami to San Francisco is in beyond 600 miles, and many of them are well beyond 700 miles. If that's your plan, I think you'd be better off paying the one way fee, because you're just going to wear yourself out, and not have any time to really see anything anyway.

    I'll also say that the only thing you've planned to do is cities, which is ok, but with all the natural wonders in the US, you aren't planning (and in many cases won't have time) to visit any of them. As Dave already pointed out, that just seems very much in contradiction with your stated goals. Just a few examples of the things you'll be driving past, but won't have time to stop to visit include the Grand Canyon, the Everglades, about a dozen more National Parks in Colorado and Utah, and the Pacific Coast Highway. That's just a small sample, and you certainly could find many more by spending a little time looking at the national parks website - or even just a good map since they will also be marked right there.

    You're making progress, but I right now I don't think you've got a trip that you will enjoy, and you'll want to spend some time reworking things. A month is a nice amount of time to do a full loop, but doing a one way trip might work better for you, especially when your trip from Miami to SF seems more likely an afterthought. While you will be looking at a one way drop off fee, remember than you're very easily going to spend about $600 just in extra fuel costs to make a return trip across country so the extra rental cost might not be as expensive as you'd think.
    You guys are totally right with the mileage issue.

    I am going to work on that for sure. Please let me know what do you think of this idea:

    Turn back after leaving New Orleans. I don't have to go to Florida if that could make my trip a rush.

    So, as you can see on the "new map" below, considering I would get a "8 day free ticket card" leaving Florida for the next trip, where do you suggest me to go on the way back?

    I am lookin at national parks and all those natural wonders, but I know you experts can give me a great advice to make this happen!

    THANKS guys!


    Just to remember, the actual map is:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...,53.569336&z=5



    The new map would be:
    http://goo.gl/maps/ioNB

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