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  1. Default Trip from San Francisco to New York


    We're planning to do our first ever road trip (for the most of us, also the 1st trip to the US) in June 2012 and we'd appreciate a few tips from you guys.

    First of all, we've been wondering if 4 weeks is enough for a trip from San Francisco => LA => NYC, if we wanted to stay in some locations for about 2-3(-4) days. In other words, how many days of driving should we plan, if one day includes about 10-12 hours driving? I know that the trip is possible to finish in much less time than 4 weeks, but we'd like to do a bit more than just driving!

    The other question is about our budget. We've planned a budget of 2200-2500 dollars/person, excluding car rental and flights to the states. Luxury is not we're looking for but it'd be nice if we didn't always have to take the cheapest motel, eat only fast food and so on...


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default You're Fine on Both Counts

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Basically, you've got sufficient time and funds to have a great adventure, so I wouldn't spend a lot of further time worrying on either score. The driving portion of your trip from SF->LA->NY will take about a week of 10-12 hour days. But even those days include gas, bathroom, and meal breaks as well as a couple of hour or so breaks from the car to just get out and get some fresh air and exercise. And of course you can sprinkle that amount of driving over your 4 weeks as you see fit.

    As far as your money goes, that too should be quite sufficient. I use a rule-of-thumb figure of $150/day for two people to cover food, lodging and incidentals, but not - as you note - airfare of car rentals. The lodging allowance assumes two to a room in a quite comfortable $60-80 per night mid-scale motel. And while most motels will allow 4 to a room, I wouldn't recommend a steady diet of it. You all are going to be spending quite enough time 'together' already, so taking two rooms a night is a luxury you should indulge in. This will both assure that there is plenty of hot water and time for showers, but will also allow you to switch up who's sharing a room with whom on any given night as the inevitable interpersonal tensions arise.

    For food, I'd avoid fast food and chain restaurants altogether. You can do much better both in terms of nutrition and value by adopting two rather simple strategies. The first is to invest in a cheap cooler at the start of the trip and keep it stocked with fresh food bought in grocery stores and super markets and eat from that in parks and other scenic venues. The second is to 'inquire locally' about good places to eat, You'll need to get away from the exit ramp diners and just go into any medium-sized town and either find the local information center (usually well marked) or ask a few random people on the street, but folks are generally quite willing to share their knowledge of where the local good eats are and frankly, picking any restaurant that relies on repeat customers (such as in a small town) is a far better bet than eating at a site that pretty much knows it will never see a given patron again.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Looking good.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You can comfortably do the drive across country in 4 weeks and have time to do quite a bit of sight seeing, but you will have to pick and choose from thousands of options, the ones that appeal to you as a group. The journey could be completed in 6 days of driving using main highways, take away any time you want to spend on the west coast and in New York and see what you are left with for the journey in between.

    Your budget seems reasonable and if there were 3 or 4 of you [rather than two] and are prepared to share a room, things can be even easier. Lodgings in City centres and in, or close to attractions like National parks will be dearer than those a little way off and near Interstate. You could pay anywhere between $45 and $150 and upwards per room for two. You can get an idea of costs by browsing the deals to the top right of this page.

    Have a look around the forums and planning resources in the tool bars above with a good map to hand for ideas. Once you have some dots on the map we can help fill in the blanks.

    Travelling as a group it is important to plan together and make sure you are all on the same page. As a fun way to discuss interests and dislikes you could try the Compatability test.

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