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  1. Default Roadtrip through all of the states in america

    Hello guys me and some friends have been thinking pretty serious about a roadtrip through America, but I have some questions.

    First of all how long would it take? I have heard from a friend in the states that it can take pretty much all in the world depending on what you want to see and do, or 2 days non-stop driving from coast to coast.

    What we first wanted to do was to fly to Boston (I am living in Sweden at the moment) and then rent a car and drive to NYC and stay there for a couple of days, the rest of my friends have never been to new york so they wanted to stay there for a while.
    After New york we were planing to drive to Los Angeles. When I started looking at the map I soon realized there is so much I want to see! What better way to see America than going to every single state right?

    Anyhow how long would this trip be aprox. ?
    For a trip like this a rental car doesnt really feel that good of a choice, or am I wrong?
    What would be the smartest route? From side to side?
    Is this possible over a summer?Say 10 weeks or so.
    The cost.. Rental cars are expensive but still I prefer to travel by car instead of train/bus, Is it smarter to just buy a used car?
    Bah this post is getting long so ill end it here but I am looking forward to see the responses, this looks like an awesome forum!

    Note: Ive never been on a real roadtrip before so maybe this is alittle "big" to start with..

    Ps. Sorry for any miss spelled words or bad grammar but I left the states at 7 so my english isnt that good anymore!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default

    Hi and Welcome,

    Note: Ive never been on a real roadtrip before so maybe this is alittle "big" to start with..
    That says it all!

    Your friend is quite right, it could take forever, and still not see it all. There are members here who have covered hundreds of thousands of miles, and not seen it all.

    Why not pick out one small area where there are destinations which really interest you and your friends, and start from that. However, you need to take into account that if you are under 21, you will not be able to rent a car in the US, and up to the age of 25 there is a significant fee on top of the rental costs. It is virtually impossible for a non US resident to purchase, register and insure a vehicle in the US.

    Maybe, when you have discussed this again, come back with your questions. Someone here will be able to help you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default Tall Order

    Välkomnande! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Trying to see all 48 contiguous states (Let's ignore Alaska and Hawai'i for now.) is a very ambitious goal. Far too ambitious for such a first survey RoadTrip, and perhaps counterproductive. Any major tour of the United States should concentrate on the areas and locations you want to see rather than just checking off items on a list of arbitrary geographic entities, That said, here a few very general rules-of-thumb for you to consider in determining if such a trip is within your means.

    You would need at least a month, roughly, to tour the country. That's roughly a week to ten days for each crossing of the continent and a week, more or less, for north/south excursions to see places of interest. It is flat out impossible to cross the country in two days. Even if you unwisely, foolishly, stupidly... tried to do it without ever stopping. Flat out impossible. Whoever told you that clearly does not know what they're talking about and should be dismissed as a further source of reliable information. More time is always better, but there does come a point where you will tire of even a 'grand adventure' like this.

    Similarly, buying a used car is simply not a realistic option. Just to break even financially, you would have to own the car for three months or more before the cost of ownership (depreciation, title, registration, insurance, maintenance, etc.) is less than the cost of rental. Then there's the fact that it is not easy - and getting harder all the time - for a foreign national to own a car in the United States. You will have to contact the state where you plan to buy the car and see what hoops they will make you jump through, but typically the legal hang-up will be (among others) that you need a permanent physical address to register the car.

    But even a rental is not necessarily the answer. If you and/or any of your friends are under 25 years old you can expect to be hit with a $25/day fee for each and every such 'underage' driver and that charge will apply for every day of the rental contract. One more guesstimate to consider is about $75/day for each member of your trip - in addition to airfare, car rental, and gas - to cover food and lodging.

    What you're planning is not cheap!

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 05-06-2011 at 06:19 PM.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the information! But please keep in mind that I am an American citizen.

    Yeah I saw that the prices for people under 25 are alot more, and the insurance aswell :/

    I know how bad this will sound but.. why really is this too ambitious? Quite recently I have been living by the motto " Live everyday as if it were your last"
    What would make it easier after a few roadtrips?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    6,936

    Default Great motto

    Quote Originally Posted by Emulen View Post
    .... "Live everyday as if it were your last"
    But be fair, you don't want it to be your last.

    Yeah I saw that the prices for people under 25 are alot more, and the insurance aswell :/
    The simple fact is, rental and insurance companies have the statistics of drivers under 25 - hence the charges.

    What would make it easier after a few roadtrips?
    Recent research has found that the human brain is not completely mature till around 25 years of age. If at 20, you have dreamed and achieved as much as your posts indicate, then just imagine how much more you are capable of when the brain fully matures. No telling what the next half century has in store for you. Just don't try cramming it all into the first two decades.

    Lifey - grandmother of eight

  6. #6
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    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Default Experience is a Harsh Teacher

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There's no particular physical reason why RoadTripping becomes easier after a few (dozen) experiences. It's just that to be done right, it is an entire way of life - different from everything you've learned so far. I started RoadTripping as a Navigator in my teens, graduated to serous solo and group trips in my early twenties, and solo cross-country trips very shortly thereafter. I am still learning some subtleties of the art and how best to adapt the many variables of the form to my own tastes. I am now quite comfortable doing 7,000 mile trips solo in 2 weeks, but I certainly wouldn't recommend something like that to someone with no experience. It takes some learning and, more importantly, it very well might not be the right style for them. If you read through these forums enough you will see again and again that every experienced RoadTripper will say that there is no "best" route, no single list of "must see" attractions along any path or in any area. no "one-size-fits-all" style of RoadTripping. Similarly with relatively inexperienced travelers, the best advice is for them to take it easy and not bite off more than they can chew. Youthful enthusiasm can go a ways toward making first adventures bearable, but it can also give one a false sense of ability and invincibility. We simply don't want a first RoadTrip where you have condemned yourself to mile after mile, day after day, week after week, to sour you on the whole idea of exploring this country (and others) by car.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
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    Mar 2005
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    Western/Central Massachusetts
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    Default Learn from others, and yourselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Emulen View Post
    I know how bad this will sound but.. why really is this too ambitious? Quite recently I have been living by the motto " Live everyday as if it were your last"
    What would make it easier after a few roadtrips?
    An analogy could be that of a business person starting a career as CEO instead of working up to that position, or of a sports person playing their first game as starting quarterback in the Super Bowl. This is quite a bit to start off with as a first trip.

    Longer trips require a certain mindset, which can be honed during shorter trips. There is a romance associated with road trips - especially portrayed in movies - that glosses over the mundane details. If I think back to any of several trips, I remember the good parts; if I look through my trip journals, it is clear there are always some bad parts. When I was younger, the expectation was that road trips would be nothing but blue skies, open roads, and great food. The reality has certainly included those, but also unpredictable weather, miles of single-lane Interstate due to construction, and tasteless, overpriced meals that would come back to haunt me hours later.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2008
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    Default

    But please keep in mind that I am an American citizen.
    That helps, but do you have a US address and a US driver's license?

  9. Default

    Thank you guys for bringing me back to earth (Don't know if that saying is used in english, but it basicly means making me realize the reality instead of just dreaming away) haha, I do realize this trip is abit much.

    Ill try to come up with some other type of roadtrip, is lets say.. Boston -> Los angeles via Mt. Rushmore also to big of a first roadtrip?

    Yes I have a swedish and an american driver's license. My father lives in the states so I guess I can use that address?

  10. #10
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    Default

    If you have a US driver's license and it's at your father's address, you should not have a problem buying and registering a car - but by the time you get done with fees, inspections, repairs, insurance, and loss of resale value it may be more costly than renting one.

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