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  1. Default Driving from LA, through the south to New Orleans, then to NYC

    Hi all,

    A friend and I are hoping (please let it happen...) to fly to LA in a couple of weeks, obtain some kind of vehicle, and drive the above route. We have about a month, so can take it slow and steady and weave around a little. And I am on the beg for any ideas or advice you can give! I stumbled across this forum while researching and it looks like a really helpful and useful place.

    My main questions at the mo are:

    1. Do one of those "drive our car to the other coast" holiday deal things, or just try to buy a cheap car/van? Any ideas?

    2. It's going to be between 10,000 and 15,000 miles, depending on how much we weave around. Anyone got any idea what that might cost us in fuel? I know it will depend on the vehicle, but any ball-park figure would be really appreciated. I haven't a clue.

    3. Safety. We're two young (ish!) women, happy to sleep in the car/van, or pitch a tent, but wondered if anyone had any ideas about areas to be particularly careful, or any other advice.

    We'll be doing this on a very tight budget, so any advice on that would be really useful too. Any cheap places to stay, that kind of thing.

    Thanks for reading, and kindest,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Hard (and Not So Hard) Facts

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First some hard limits: If you are not American citizens, buying any kind of vehicle will be logistically impossible. If you are under 25 years of age, renting any kind of vehicle will be economically impractical and impossible on any kind of 'tight' budget, let alone one that is 'very tight'. The type of arrangement you refer to as "'drive our car to the other coast' holiday deal things" is known as Drive Away and is totally impractical for your purposes, as they would require you to deliver the car in New York about a week (at most) after taking delivery in Los Angeles.

    Now, if that hasn't been enough to totally discourage you yet, here are some softer limits. Assuming around 20 mpg and $4/gal gas, the trip you describe will require about $2500 in gas. You may be able to do a bit better on mileage and fuel price, but that's what you should budget for "10,000 to 15,000 miles". A round ball park figure on a rental would be about $1000-1200 depending on the type of car and the size of the one way drop-off fee. If either of you are under 25, add $25/day/person. Purchasing a car, getting title, tags and insurance, and selling at the other end will cost far more than that, and consume days if not longer. You cannot simply pull into rest areas, parking lots, or the side of the road and sleep for the night. First of all, no car that you will be able to rent on a limited budget will comfortably sleep one, let alone two. Secondly, such activity would be illegal almost everywhere. Campsites are available, of course, with the cheapest being in national forests and state parks, but even those will cost about $20/night on average meaning a minimum of about $600 in 'lodging' plus the cost of all the equipment plus 'extras' like showers, laundry and the like. Then, there are meals. I'd say a very bare bones subsistence diet would run the two of you about $1500 for a month.

    So those are the facts. If you still want to do this and the above costs fit within your budget, then grab a good atlas of the US, trace out your rough route, and start noticing what's close by. Then start using the search function here and look for people who have had those sights suggested to them and see what else was on their lists. Daydream. Once you've got a basic plan that you can live with, we can offer further assistance to spruce it up a bit.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Brrrrr !

    Camping this time of year is also going to need investment in good quality cold weather gear, you can see temps well below freezing without looking to hard !

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