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  1. #1

    Default Summer '12... NY to LA. One month...

    Hey there guys and gals!

    My name is Lars, and I just began planning my first road trip ever. As a 22 year old Dutchman, I will graduate from university in a few months, and to celebrate that joyfull event me and my younger brother came up with the idea of cruising through the US of freaking A for about a month. (next summer) We plan to visit the "standard" sites: New York, Washington, Grand Canyon, that kind of stuff.

    Do you guys have any tips that can help us plan this trip? Our budget will be around €2000 per person... (around $3000...)
    This plan is in it's very earliest stage... I just ordered a large (2meter by 1.5meter) poster of the USA, to help me plan. It will go on my wall, where I will highlight interesting places to visit using different color stickers... (ADD... x) ) The NY-LA route is not the only possibility. If it is cheaper, we can also use NY as a start and finish line... :P

    Last edited by Vakonov; 08-12-2011 at 07:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default You've made a good start.

    Hi Lars, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    I'm tempted to respond in ABN, but it probably wouldn't be a good idea for others who come to this thread. lol

    You've made a good start with a decent size map. It is the best way to lay out your route, which will, in the end, be decided which places of interest you have marked on it. There is no such thing as a best route, because your best route is the route which takes you to the places and attractions which you wish to see. Use the map wizard on the green bar above to zoom in on any details.

    That said, it may be a good idea to start doing some research on car rental places and costs. From Europe there are several ways you can go about it, but what we hear from others who have come to this forum, it seems your best bet could well be to go through one of the European booking agencies. Still, as a matter of comparison, why not check out the reservations tab above, and do some research on prices.

    A loop trip would be a good move. And with a month, you would have the time to do this. It is one way of reducing your rental costs, as a one way rental may incur a hefty one way drop fee. Also make sure you check different locations, as I believe it is quite a bit cheaper to rent in, for instance, Newark than it is in NY. Then again, a car can be more of a handicap than an assett in places where parking is expensive, and public transport good, like NYC and DC.

    Enjoy the planning.


  3. #3


    Hi Lifey. Thanks for your quick response! ABN would be so convenient... :P But no, English will have to do. It isn't my native language, so I hope everything I write is understandable... x) If it is not, kick me in tha nuts... :P

    So far, I have found out that the flight to the USA and the actual rental of the car will be the most expensive part of this trip. Gasprices will actually be a relief! 1 liter of fuel costs €1.78 here in the Netherlands at the moment...

    The "loop" is a good idea... Think I will stick with that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Young driver fees.

    As Lifey mentioned, a good start and plenty of time for the planning. You will find a lot of planning resources here at RTA, both by searching the forums and using the links above. Other than possible one way drop off fees on your car rental, you will most likely be looking at a 'Young drivers fee' which is industry standard and will apply to both of you individually if your brother is driving as well. That could add up to a tidy sum, so you will need to research and see if there are any deals about that will help you. With that in mind, if your budget is to include flight costs and car rental you could be up against it, otherwise Approx $100 per day for gas and living expenses and 'treats' would put you in pretty good shape.

    Those 'standard' sites can be quite amazing, but it's often the little things in between that make a road trip a unique experience and there are thousands of them.

    Enjoy the planning and as questions come up, just ask !

  5. #5


    Hi Dave,

    No, my brother won't be driving. He is 19, but doesn't have a drivers licence. $3000 is just a rough guess. It is not a solid budget. It can go up, and it can go down. (especially for my brother...)

    I have no doubt the sites I called "standard" are pretty awesome for 2 young guys from the polder... :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default ????

    Quote Originally Posted by Vakonov View Post
    ... are pretty awesome for 2 young guys from the polder... :)
    Welke polder??

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Welke polder??
    De Lopikerwaard :)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Translation, please. ;-)

    A month long trip crossing the continent is definitely doable, with carefully planned stops. NY to LA is about 5-6 days of heavy driving, and LA to NY the same, even with different routes. With your "standard fare", it looks like you might be crossing the country using I-80 and/or I-70 in one direction, go south via I-5, I-15 or I-25, and then return via I-40, I-81 to I-80 again. We just did a version of that in July. West-Coast-to-East-Coast-July-2011

    Your budget is $6000 American? You'll have to watch your overnight hotel budget and food carefully, but that's also doable. (We spent less than that, but we also stayed with family most nights.)

    Last edited by DonnaR57; 08-12-2011 at 05:04 PM. Reason: fixed link

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Why would ye?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    With your "standard fare", it looks like you might be crossing the country using I-80 and/or I-70 in one direction, go south via I-5, I-15 or I-25, and then return via I-40, I-81 to I-80 again.
    When visiting a foreign country, to see some of its sights, meet the people and really get to know something of what makes that country tick, the last thing you will want to do is drive on the interstates. There you will meet people at rest areas and hotels/motels, none of which are the locals and many of them are also foreign travellers.

    To really get to know the people, how they think, what they feel and do, and get that grass roots feeling of the place, one drives on the minor highways, through towns and villages, stop at local stores and talk to the folk shopping and working there. And seek out the local entertainment in each of these places. With a month, you have more than enough time to do that and get to know the US in a way the guide books don't tell you about.

    No knowing what gems you may stumble upon... what lifetime friendships may be forged.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    The Netherlands


    With a one way trip in a month you already will have your hands full with all the sights on your way. You definitely won't need a car in places like NY and DC. It you do, Newark often will be cheaper than NY. Please check for cheap (well, more or less) carrental. Drop off charges with National are $ 250,-- plus tax between NY and LA (or other places in the West)

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