I am planning a roadtrip for mid-december to mid-january of 2011/2012, just about 30 days. The plan is to start in the bay area of California and head up to Vancouver. Then across the northern states to Toronto and down the east coast stopping at New York, New Haven, Boston, D.C. and back across the southern states hitting Florida,Fort Stewart Georgia, New Orleans Louisiana, Rowlett Texas, Arizona(Grand Canyon), and finally L.A. then back home to the bay area. I have to stop in those areas to check out graduate schools and visit relatives.
I'm not sure exactly what car I'll be driving yet but assume it may be a S.U.V. I may end up renting a car for that month. I was thinking of saving up 4800 or 5000, but I'm worried that may not be enough if I end up renting a car and paying for gas.
What is your advice on how much gas money I'll need to put aside? How much will it be to rent a car if I end up doing that? What kind of car should I rent? Am I being too ambitious for my first trip? Any general safety tips for a young woman driving on her own? Any routes I should avoid? Suggestions for sidetrips?
Thanks for the help in advance! Any advice is greatly appreciated.