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  1. Default East-West Coast Trip in September

    Hello everybody:)
    I'm planning a trip through US with two friends.
    It isn't 100% sure, every day we gather information. We are 3 friends in the age of 23:) We want to rent a car, and slip rather in tent or cheap motels. We're rather resistant guys, both friends are endurance sport amateurs, and i'm former triathlete.
    So we want to start from Washington DC. Our plan looks like this:
    Washington DC -> Chicago -> Denver -> Yellowstone -> Yosemitie -> San Francisco.
    Start: 8 Sept. End: 27 Sept.
    Do you think it is possible to do this trip in 20 days? And how much money do we need? We think about 1000$ by person, so total it's 3000$. We're going to fly back to Washington on 27 Sept.
    I appreciate your words, thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Welcome!

    Yes, it's very possible in 20 days. However, you need to look carefully for car rental deals. There will be a substantial one way dropoff charge, and also underage driver charges. Those right there may make $3000 not even close to enough.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Budget ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You should be able to drive the route comfortably in a week, so you do have time to take a look around at places on the way. If your budget has to pay for the car rental which will face "one way drop off" and "young driver" fees, plus your flights back then you need to increase your budget significantly in my opinion. If it is "spending money" you will be OK with 3 of you sharing the gas and camping costs. If you are planning on visiting more than 4 National parks it would be worthwhile to purchase an annual pass for $80, which allows entrance to all NP's for a year, for a car and all occupants, and will save you money after those first 4.

    You can get an idea of costs using the Air/Car/Hotel link in the tool bar above and by using the fuel cost calculator, plus you will find lots of budgeting tips using the search function.

  4. Default

    thx guys for reply!
    Now things changed, and we are only two, not three.
    We come from Poland, and we have only polish driver license. So do we need to get US driver license?
    We want to shorten our trip to 2 weeks: Washington - Rocky Mountains NP - Yellowstone - Yosemite - San Francisco.
    Is it possible to do this with spending at least two days in each National Park and SF? What is the minimum money that we need? (not counting flight back to Washington).
    OR do you have any other idea for us?:)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default no

    You do not have to get a US drivers license - in fact you won't be able to as a short term traveler.

    However, if your license is in Polish, it would make sense to get an International Drivers License, which will provide a translation into English.

    For your budget, you're really going to have to figure out your car rental first, as that will be a huge part of your cost.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Only just.

    We want to shorten our trip to 2 weeks: Washington - Rocky Mountains NP - Yellowstone - Yosemite - San Francisco.
    Is it possible to do this with spending at least two days in each National Park and SF?
    It will take 6 full days of driving [10 hour days] to hit those spots, so if your 2 weeks doesn't include time in Washington [or arrival day] then it is just about possible.

    You could shorten your miles by heading through Colorado and picking up some of Utah's National parks, such as Arches, Bryce canyon and Zion or head through Monument valley to the Grand canyon, but this would be at the expense of Yellowstone.

  7. Default National Parks on West

    Hey everyone!
    I come from Poland, and this year I'm on the students exchange in US. So great country:)
    And in september I'm going with two friends to the West. We have a flight from Washington DC to San Francisco on 09/12 and back on 09/28, so we got 16 days. Our main purpose is to see nature, we study tourism and just love mountains and wild forests.
    We want to rent a car in SF and make a roundtrip through Yellowstone, mayby Rocky Mountains NP and for sure Yosemitie. Do you think is it possible in 16 days? We want to sleep in tent, some cheap hostels or in car:) We have polish driving license accepted in all Europe countries , but I'm not sure if we want to rent a car do we have to get international driving license?
    And how much money should we have at least? Thanks for every answer!
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 08-30-2010 at 10:27 AM. Reason: Merged - Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Welcome!

    Your Polish license is valid here, but if it's not in English you should get an international permit. However, you can't get one here - you have to get it in your home country.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Camping and bits.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You are within reach of some incredible and beautiful National parks that can be found here. The National parks are also great places to camp, and as you have a tent you may as well use it, you will not be able to get a good nights sleep in a car. You need to know that you cannot just stop anywhere to set up a tent or sleep in the car, you need to be in designated areas or you run the risk of a rude awakening in the middle of the night, as you could be trespassing or breaking the law.

    Remember, the US is huge and you need to research a little and work out how much time you want to spend driving and how much exploring the places you will visit. There are some great National parks in Utah such as Zion, Bryce canyon, Arches and Canyonlands, not to mention the Grand canyon in Arizona. These are grouped together quite nicely, and in this area you will be able to visit more while covering less miles.

    One more thing, if you are under the age of 25 you will be faced with "young drivers fee's," that's for everyone who wants to drive aged under 25, which can add up to quite a lot of dollars, so check things out carefully.

    Once you have taken care of your rental costs etc [you can click the Air/Car/Hotel link above to get an idea of cost] you can camp quite cheaply in State or National parks, allow $20 a night. If you plan on visiting a number of National parks you can buy an annual pass for $80 which allows entrance to everyone travelling in the car, at all the parks. Allow $3.50 per gallon of fuel and then it will depend on your rental choice [mpg] and how many miles you cover. If you plan on cooking your own meals it's not going to cost that much, perhaps $50 a day for 3 of you? [out of touch with this so don't take my word for it]

    Look around the site, you will find lots of useful info. Enjoy the planning !

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