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  1. Default Chicago - Los Angeles - San Fransisco

    Me and my brother are planning to do a roadtrip this summer starting in June. We want to start in Chicago and then travel to Los Angeles, somewhere along the old route 66. From Los Angeles we want to travel upwards to San Fransisco which will be our final destination.

    We have 7-8 weeks to spare and a lot of money saved up for this trip. Do you have any general tips for what to visit and what to skip? Even tough we have money we want to do it as cheap as possible, but we are ready to put in some extra money if it's worth it!

    I imagine that it can be quite a tough trip to do during the summer but me and my brother feel that we are up for the test and we can't really do it any other time. We are 20 and 21 year old guys from Sweden and this is our first time to America.

    I would very much appreciate if you could answer!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,987

    Default a couple challenges

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The first big problem you'll have is with transportation. Because of your ages and the length of your trip it will be very expensive. First, you're going to have an underage driver surcharge of about $25 per day, and only the 21 year old will be able to drive. Rental car companies basically do no allow anyone under 21 to operate their cars. Having the 20 year old do so would invalidate your rental contract, meaning that essentially you'd be driving a stolen car and any insurance you might have would also be void. You'll also have a one way drop fee which will also add several hundred dollars to your trip cost.

    The other thing you really need to remember is that Route 66 doesn't actually exist any more. There are pieces of the old road that still remain, but the highway itself was decommissioned more than 25 years ago as Interstate highways replaced it. Following whats left of it does require a bit of work.

    However, personally, if this was my first time in the US and I had 6-7 weeks, the last thing I'd be doing is just following one random highway. I'd be spending my time looking at all the fantastic things there are to see and do between Chicago and California, and build a trip based on the things that look most interesting. You're going to need to spend a little time researching - get out a good map to start, along with other research like this site and some of the many books about travel in the US - but I think that's going to make for a much more rewarding and fun experience.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,217

    Default

    EDIT:

    Michael covered what I was going to say!

  4. Default

    Is it possible to buy a car? If so, how and who should you buy it from? Might be a stupid question, I don't know but I thank you anyhow for the information!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,987

    Default

    It's certainly not a stupid question, but the answer is basically: no.

    Without being a resident of the US, it really is not possible to purchase a car, and pay the taxes/license/registration, and get insurance, all of which are required to legally drive the car. The subject has come up many times on this forum, and no one has ever been able to provide the answers for how to overcome the red tape.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,922

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Erikj1991 View Post
    Is it possible to buy a car? If so, how and who should you buy it from? Might be a stupid question, I don't know but I thank you anyhow for the information!
    Not a stupid question at all. And if you find out how it is done, let us know. Actually, it is not the buying which is the difficulty.... there are lots of folk willing to take your money. It is the registering and insuring that I have found nigh on impossible. You may be used - as am I - to the company from whom you purchase a vehicle, looking after all the on road paper work, etc. In the US it becomes your responsibility. Neither do they have special backpacking registration and insurance, as is provided here and in so many other places.

    I have been looking into this for more than a decade, and have not yet found a way.... but I am still determined to do so for my next trip. You might like to check out Adventures on Wheels. They appear to have better rates for the under 25s. The one pro for renting is that if the vehicle breaks down you are usually covered by the company. When you buy, they are your expenses.

    You will find there are other issues you will not be expecting..... such as the many companies which do not accept non-USA issued credit/debit cards, to name just one.
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 02-14-2011 at 01:22 PM. Reason: after thought

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