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  1. Default Planning my trip from Italy

    Hi all,
    i'm Manuele from the northern Italy. I'm 25 years old and more or less in june i wanna do my graduation journey to USA. I have 30 days and i would like to see cities and places all across the country!

    The flight-> that's not a problem...i think the best solution, in terms of costs and confort, is AirFrance from Bologna (50kms from Modena where i live..anybody knows?) to the east coast through Paris!

    Now i need a lot of advices and insights..i wanna visit some places here like:
    - Niagara falls (canadian side should be nice right?)
    - NY
    - Washington
    - Orlando
    - Miami

    *Boston,Philadelphia...suggestions about places not to miss?

    then from Miami i wanna take an internal flight to get to the west coast! A dear friend of mine lives in San Diego so for sure i wanna go to:

    - SF
    - LA
    - San diego (and Tijuna)
    - Yosemite national park

    * Las vegas? suggestions ;)

    my interest:
    - american culture, food and history
    - famouse buliding, places, bridge, skyscrapers, ...
    - parks (natural of course but also Kennedy space center, the studios, disneyland ecc)
    - last but not the least..meet people !

    some of my thoughts:
    a) for sure in 1 month i can't pretend to visit all the places i planned to see, i've been in Interrail a couple of years ago and i learnt that i can't spend in a place less than 3 days, and in Usa all the distances are enormous compared to Europe!!!
    b) i am alone, during the first half at least! i can't rent a car so i can buy a discovery pass from greyhound that costs 399$ i think..
    c)i have to move city by city and every time i leave a lodging i should look for the next to book! for this and many more reasons i need a data plan connectivity. i have an HTC Desire Z that it the european version of the G2. Anybody can suggest me a flat data plan for GSM network? as u can see, i have no reason to sign for a 24 months contract. :(

    i have so many questions but stop for now! Thanks for the help!

    All suggestions are welcome

    Manuele Ferrari

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default putting it together

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Why can't you rent a car? Being alone certainly isn't a factor in that, and since you're 25 you won't be dealing with underage surcharges.

    Greyhound is an option, but it is going to make for very slow-going travel, and puts some pretty severe limitations on where you can go - for example, they do not have service to Yosemite or pretty much any other national park. Having a car isn't really needed in the Northeast, but as you try to go beyond there, you'll have more difficultly getting around trying to rely only on bus service.

    I will note that Tijuana is a very very dangerous place right now. The police are basically at war with the drug gangs, and foreign travelers have been caught in the crossfire. I would not recommend going at all at this time, and if you do, you need to use extreme caution.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    If you have an Italian driver's license and an International Driver's Permit you can rent a car no problem.

    It's not that easy here for a non-resident to get a short-term cellular data plan compatible with your European phone. However, if you bring a laptop or netbook computer, you will have no problem finding free wifi. Most hotels have it these days, as do places such as McDonalds and Starbucks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Believe me, travelling on Greyhound is a mode of transport of last resort. In the US, bus travel is not what you and I are used to. Renting a vehicle is definitely the way to go..... and you won't have to worry about driving on the 'wrong' side of the road.

    Quote Originally Posted by manuele.f View Post
    c)I have to move city by city and every time I leave a lodging I should look for the next to book!
    You might find this site useful. Click on the map, and go from there. Other than the larger urban areas, such as NYC and SF, there is usually no need to book ahead. But beware of holiday weekends and popular attractions, they can be busy.

    Quote Originally Posted by manuele.f View Post
    for this and many more reasons I need a data plan connectivity.
    As already mentioned, if you bring a laptop computer, you really do not need a phone for data or calls. If you download Skype, it will serve as your telephone with minimal costs. Free Wifi is almost everywhere, at other places it is very cheap.

    Lifey

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Why can't you rent a car? Being alone certainly isn't a factor in that, and since you're 25 you won't be dealing with underage surcharges.

    Greyhound is an option, but it is going to make for very slow-going travel, and puts some pretty severe limitations on where you can go - for example, they do not have service to Yosemite or pretty much any other national park. Having a car isn't really needed in the Northeast, but as you try to go beyond there, you'll have more difficultly getting around trying to rely only on bus service.

    I will note that Tijuana is a very very dangerous place right now. The police are basically at war with the drug gangs, and foreign travelers have been caught in the crossfire. I would not recommend going at all at this time, and if you do, you need to use extreme caution.
    i thought it was much more expensive, too much for my pocket compared to the 399$ of the discovery pass! for sure i check the fares on the east coast. i suppose it's convenient for me rent a car once i have arrived in usa and not from here and probably make a reservation for 15 days from the Northeast to Florida instead of multiple rents! what should i expect? 1000$ + gasoline?

    as i said i have a friend that lives in San Diego since 2009 and so i should have a good guide!

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    If you have an Italian driver's license and an International Driver's Permit you can rent a car no problem.

    It's not that easy here for a non-resident to get a short-term cellular data plan compatible with your European phone. However, if you bring a laptop or netbook computer, you will have no problem finding free wifi. Most hotels have it these days, as do places such as McDonalds and Starbucks.
    of course i have the italian driving license, should i have the international as well?

    i can use free wifi with my smartphone as well that's not a problem! a cellular data plan would be the best solution for any case i think! i read about Prepaid Web Daypass by t-mobile but is no longer available

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Believe me, travelling on Greyhound is a mode of transport of last resort. In the US, bus travel is not what you and I are used to. Renting a vehicle is definitely the way to go..... and you won't have to worry about driving on the 'wrong' side of the road.



    You might find this site useful. Click on the map, and go from there. Other than the larger urban areas, such as NYC and SF, there is usually no need to book ahead. But beware of holiday weekends and popular attractions, they can be busy.



    As already mentioned, if you bring a laptop computer, you really do not need a phone for data or calls. If you download Skype, it will serve as your telephone with minimal costs. Free Wifi is almost everywhere, at other places it is very cheap.

    Lifey
    i already use skype for android! i am from Italy we drive on the right side ;) i was only worried about the price to pay, i'll ask for a quote for 15 days ! ;)

    thank you all!

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by manuele.f View Post
    of course i have the italian driving license, should i have the international as well?
    I believe the idea of the international driving licence is to translate your Italian licence into English. If it's already in English, you don't necessarily need it (although I have heard of a guy getting pulled over by a cop in the middle of nowhere who refused to recognise their UK licence as 'official' and made them sit in his office for a few hours while he checked it). If your license is in Italian, you should get an international licence to go with it just to make things easier for the local constabulary.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    I believe the idea of the international driving licence is to translate your Italian licence into English. If it's already in English, you don't necessarily need it (although I have heard of a guy getting pulled over by a cop in the middle of nowhere who refused to recognise their UK licence as 'official' and made them sit in his office for a few hours while he checked it). If your license is in Italian, you should get an international licence to go with it just to make things easier for the local constabulary.
    i think that the international driving license is basically a translation of the italian one...i just have to pay in order to obtain it

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default not exactly

    i thought it was much more expensive, too much for my pocket compared to the 399$ of the discovery pass! for sure i check the fares on the east coast. i suppose it's convenient for me rent a car once i have arrived in usa and not from here and probably make a reservation for 15 days from the Northeast to Florida instead of multiple rents! what should i expect? 1000$ + gasoline?
    As I mentioned, in the northeast a car isn't essential, and in many ways it will actually be more of a problem than it's worth. In NY and DC you can get around just fine with public transit. Even for your trip out to Niagara Falls, if you only plan to visit the falls, then you'd have a few options, like Greyhound, Amtrak, Megabus, for example to get out there without a car.

    It's after that where a car becomes more important. If you want to see anything between DC and Florida, then you'd probably be best off driving, although you would be looking at a one way drop fee in addition to your rental cost. Another option would be to bus or train down to Florida, but then rent a car for Florida - as both Orlando and Miami would be a little tough the get around without a car - and loop around the state.

    When you get to California, are car will be even more important, so if you won't be getting a ride with your friend the whole time, you'll certainly want one there.

    Greyhound may be the right choice, at least for the eastern leg of your trip, but it is also quite possible you'd do better by going with Amtrak (they also have a pass program) or even just buying each segment of your trip, rather than the pass. You'll just have to price it out once you figure out what options you think will work best for you.

  9. Default

    everything would be easier if i choose more or less what i wanna see or visit and where and how long i wanna stop in a place! i'll do it!so i can compare all the options available, buy a pass or not, rent a car or not and so on!
    can you confirm that rent of a car in the northeast for 15 days costs around 650€(1000$)?
    i have to put some ideas down, what i can't miss and what i can do in this time(15/20days) in east coast! i bet that i can't stay less than 4/5 days in NY, at least 3/4 days in Wanshigton DC and Orlando that's soooooooo far :(
    thanks again :D

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