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  1. Default Australians coming to America - NY to LA

    I have always wanted to travel in America, and feel a road trip is the only way to do it because there is so much I want to see.

    So yesterday, rather than study for exams, I decided I would go on googlemaps and find out a rough route of where I would like to go.
    the route so far

    Being from Australia, and not knowing much about anything American, I had some questions hopefully you can help with!
    • Travelling in a rented RV appears to be the way to go, are you able to park these and sleep in them in lots of places?
    • Is there a big rental surcharge for being under 25? I am 21, but would plan to go when I am 23-24.
    • Would 2 months be plenty of time for this trip? (want to take my time and see the sites, not just do the trip as quick as possible)
    • For daily costs, I have accounted Food, petrol, car rental and spending money. Have I missed anything?
    • What do you think of the trip, does it look feasible and fun?

    Thanks for your help, I'll probably be updating this thread with plenty more questions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default just one

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you've done a nice job of laying out a good basic idea of a plan.

    There is just one thing I think you've left off your planning list/budget: camping fees.

    If you get an RV, you can "boondock" where you simply park and sleep. However, when you do that you really are limited on what you can do with an RV's features - as you don't have power or water hookups, and using things like generators and slide-outs can be frowned upon. You also really don't have any place to move around at the end of your day.

    I guess the other thing to consider is if an RV is the best option for your trip. An RV is generally a fair bit more expensive than traveling with cars/motels - and if you are traveling solo, there is no one to help absorb those costs. Underage fees are normal for a 23-24 year old, and you'll typically be looking at a fee of about $25 per day, although at times you can find deals especially if you look at booking through 3rd party companies based in Australia or Europe.

  3. Default

    There will be at least 2 of us, possibly 3 or 4. I had a quick look on a website and saw RV rental for $40 a day, which seems cheaper than cars and hotels could possible be... But I say that with absolutely no experience obviously!
    In australia you look at minimum $25 a day for a bomb and hotels around $60-100 for a run down room.

    How much would camping fees be?
    How far out of the major towns do you have to go to find camping grounds generally? (Pretty much all the places listed we would want to stay for at least 2 nights, so a camping ground would be ideal)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default "Alarm bells".

    Typically an RV from a reputable company with the extra's added on [not including "one way fee's" or "young driver charges"] would be over $120 a day. Tread very carefully on a website that is quoting you $40 a day. I am not trying to discourage you, I love to travel by RV, but it should be a lifestyle choice and not one based on budget. All said and done, if you can get a group of 4 you are getting to the "break even" point in comparison to a car and Motels cost.

    Campground fees can vary from $15 to $60 or more depending on location and facilities. You will get a gas return of around 9mpg which is another major expense to consider and the RV is much more "at home" in the heart of nature than it is in City's where they are not the easiest of things to get around in.

  5. Default

    wow ok!
    have to rethink the strategy if that's the case.

    What would be a good sort of car to rent then, how much would it cost?
    Also, how much are hotels? Is a cheapo motel (like from TV where everyone turns up dead) less than $50 for the room a night?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    You would need to do a web search to see what deals are around, staying in cheaper chain Motels can get you a decent double room for $50-$60 near Interstate, maybe a little more in the City, and higher again inside [or close to] popular places such as National parks. A mid size sedan car normally has all you would need, but the rental Co websites will give you all the info, including number of people and luggage.

  7. Default

    What are some reliable, accurate websites to check for hotel and car rental prices?
    Its so hard to find the good ones from the bad!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Almost any place you'd book an airline ticket will also book cars/hotels, so if you have a favorite in that area, that could be a good place to start. You can also look right on RTA by clicking the travel link on the menu bar at the top of the page.

    Otherwise, Kayak, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz are some of the biggest names out there. I usually work with those to start, and then also look directly at the websites of the car rental and hotel chains.

  9. Default

    Thanks for those sites, kayak looks to be a pretty useful one!

    i had a quick look at Car rental prices: (for 3 months, Jan 18-April 18)
    SUV looks to be 6-7k (jeep laredo)
    Van 8k (dodge caravan)
    Big sedan - 5 (chevy impala, dodge charger)

    but RV rental is 5.5-8
    That doesn't include mileage though, which is about $2800+ state tax, however much that is. (from RoadBear on Fetch RV Rental)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Be careful on mileage estimates, because it is very easy to go far over what you might thing you'll do. Even if you are looking at a route that is say 5,000 miles total point to point, you could easily be looking at at trip that's 8,000 miles or more total when you factor in all of the driving you'll do within towns and parks, getting to campsites, etc. If you're paying by the mile, that can get very expensive very quickly.

    I will say no matter what you decide to go with, you'll nearly always save money (often a substantial amount) by doing a round trip and with 3 months available, you would have time to do a loop around the entire country.

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