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  1. Default Summer road trip with friends

    When talking to a few friends, we decided that we would like to do a road trip around the US for about 3 months next year as we will be finishing school and it'll probably be the last time we're all together.
    We would like to know what are the best places to see and the most interesting routes to take to make this trip memorable. Also, we were wondering about whether it is worth buying a car instead of renting to save money?
    Another thing is that if there were certain restrictions that we have to take into account and how much money we would need to save to make it a good trip and so we dont have to worry about running out.
    Any other advice is welcome as we arejust begining to plan and are open to any suggestions.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default "Best" ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    It's probably a little to early for us to be making any recommendations as the beauty of the open road is having the choice to go where you wish. Route and attraction options would run into the tens of thousands, basically too many to start listing. "Best" is what appeals to you the most as individuals, one man's medicine is another man's poison.

    You don't say if you reside in the USA or not, if you do then buying a road trip vehicle could be an option, especially if one of you might need one at the end of the trip and you can arrange a deal between you. If you are non residents then buying a vehicle is close to impossible, with Lot's of paper work and expense to sort out if you casn find a loophole.

    If you are under 21 years of age it will be difficult to rent and under 25 years old and you will face 'Young driver fees' on top of the rental cost. You say "A few friends", but you will need a vehicle large enough for the number of people and their luggage. In reality, between the day dreaming stage and the trip 'proper', it is likely that some will drop out as plans get further along. [Usually when deposits are required]

    First you need to sit down as a group and work out your budget, you really are only as 'good' as the person with the lowest budget, or else money can cause divisions in a group when some can and others can't. You need to get on the same page as to what you want from the trip and start discussing things that interest you as a group. You can then pull out a map and start researching places of interest, using the RTA planning resources to help. You can search the forums and road trip planning pages in the tool bars above. Use RTA reservation pages [top right of page] to search for car rentals and lodgings to get a feel of what your costs might be. Have you considered camping ? You could do a one way trip or do a complete loop of the country.

    You might find the RTA Compatability test a fun way to open discussions.

    All these things you need to work on and when you have a better idea of start and finish points, interests, and some dots on the map, we can help fill in the blanks. Don't hesitate to ask as new questions crop up !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Time is on your side

    I would have to agree with the advice Southwest Dave has given you. It is really the first things you need to attend to.

    Then you might like to spend the time from now till then, reading through the forum threads, playing around with the map centre and note the roadside attractions which interest you. Read travel magazines, books about places which interest you (and not only guide books) all the time noting down anything which sparks your interest. As well as that, note down anything you hear, when listening to the radio, watching television, or even things you hear your friends at school talk about in conversation. Note down everything about all places, even if you think you will not make it there.

    If each of you do this, by summer next year you should have rather a long list of places to see, things to do, and roads to travel. Mark all these on a wall sized map of the US, and not only will you have your route appear before you, but you will all be much more knowledgable about this great country. You have time on your side. Use it productively.

    Enjoy the planning.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I get the impression based on your question that this is an "end of high school" trip?

    In addition to the things that Dave mentioned, such as car rental being impossible at that age, I'd also suggest that you might not actually want to be on the road for 3 months or even do a trip that covers then entire US.

    First, finishing school really isn't a last chance, its a first chance. If you decide you like roadtripping, there will always be opportunities in the future if you make them. Also keep in mind that if anyone in the group is under 17, there are some very sigificant issues that will be roadblocks - some practical, like most motels will not allow an unrelated minor in the room of someone under 21, and others a bit more complex, like medical care - where a minor can not authorize their own care if you got into an accident.

    But more importantly, as much fun as a roadtrip is, its a lot of work, and there can be quite a lot of stress involved. Trying to do a 3 month trip as your first experience on the road is a bit like jumping off the high dive before learning how to swim!

    I'd highly recommend that you start by taking a few small trips, at least a weekend, or even a bit longer, to get a feel for what you like, what you'll need, how you like to travel, etc. Its quite possible that you'll have some people in your group who discover they don't like being on the road for long hours, or for days at a time, and you'll also get a feel for what its like to live crammed together in a tin can for long periods of time. I assure you, no matter how good of friends you are, these kinds of trips can break friendships if they're not done the right way, because roadtripping together can actually be harder than living together! Getting out on the road for some small trips is an important step to help prevent some of those issues.

  5. Default

    Thanks for this thread and the comments. My best friend and I recently graduated college and have always wanted to take a road trip together. (I think it's the whole, we've know each other most of our lives and even went to the same college and now that the real world has come we live six hours from each other and are trying to find ways to do things throughout the year since we don't see each other as much, anymore.) Anyways, our ultimate goal is to backpack around the world (outside the US) but figured we would conquer the US first. We are looking at taking a trip next summer and always said we wanted to do like Olivia and travel the whole United States. With that said for a first trip I don't know how feasible that would be( it's not but we can still dream, right?). My best friend has never taken a road trip. I was a Girl Scout so I have taken a few but in all honestly the only planning we did as girls is we picked like 5 states and then we each picked a place we wanted to see. Our leaders did ALL the rest. I say all this to say thanks cause this gave me some great things to think about and report to my friend on when we start planning.

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