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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
    Posts
    4

    Default Road trip 2012 - NY/Miami/Chicago to SF/LA

    Hi everyone,

    I've just joined the forums and been reading a lot (go easy on me!). I'm going back on the road again and this time it's gonna be USA. I've never been to the US and I'm very excited to be there next year, July to be specific.

    So here's the plan (or the lack of it) - to fly in and out of NY. I'm planning to do a road trip from East Coast to West Coast or maybe if that doesn't work out then West Coast to East Coast. Well, I also know that car rentals for a one way trip are very expensive. How many days? Well it's going to be almost a month - 3 and half weeks, perhaps? I plan to see the South while heading to the West Coast. Alternatively will see the Northern states while coming back to NY.

    This sounds confusing?

    Places I definitely want to see across US: Philly, Austin, LA, San Francisco, Chicago, Route 66 and NY. I would love to go to the Gathering of the Juggaloos convention - only because I've heard a lot about it and nothing else :) But that being said, nothing is set in stone. I would love to stop by small towns, see unexplored places, meet new people and just take in the great Americana feel. I'm currently reading/researching a lot on that topic.

    Here's the worst part- I don't know how to drive. Sucks, right? That's why I'm looking for travel partners who I can travel with. We can share fuel costs and great stories. If it's even for a short leg of journey, that's fine. In fact, the more the merrier :) Will split all costs equally. Technically, I know how to drive but I don't want to take any chances with that in a foreign country.

    Any advice/comments/feedback will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks
    Vaibhav

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,944

    Default horse then the cart

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Realistically, until you get the transportation issue figured out, you really can't do a whole lot in the way of detailed planning. Anytime you plan a trip with someone else, you need to take their desires into account, and that's probably even moreso if you are expecting them to do all the driving. I have moved your thread to the "share the gas" section so hopefully you'll have some luck finding another traveler here.

    If you can't find someone else, then you'll have to start looking at other options such as bus/train. You can make such a trip work, but your possible destinations will be more limited and the style of travel will be significantly different. As such, the planning for that kind of trip will be much different than planning for a regular/drive yourself roadtrip.

    The one other thing you really can do at this point is continue to research and look for things that look interesting, so that when you do have the transportation issue figured out, you'll have lots and lots of options to pick from as you then start building a trip plan.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    4,418

    Default Nah!! doesn't suck at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by vaibhav View Post
    Here's the worst part- I don't know how to drive. Sucks, right? That's why I'm looking for travel partners who I can travel with. We can share fuel costs and great stories. If it's even for a short leg of journey, that's fine. In fact, the more the merrier :) .....

    Any advice/comments/feedback will be greatly appreciated!
    Much of my travelling has seen me use hostels for accommodation - in Europe, North America as well as at home. In these establishments I have met travellers from all continents who travel without an itenary, and just a rough plan of where they may go. It is not as rare as you may think.

    None of these folk had any 'transportation issue figured out' before they left home. But they did have a plan! A plan to pick up a ride wherever they could, and visit those places where the ride would take them. The ultimate adventure.... never knowing where your next stop is, so long as you keep going in the general direction of your final destination. You may not get to see all the places on your list.... but chances are you will see many which you have not even considered.

    At most good (and busy) hostels there will be a notice board with lists of folk looking for travel companions. Sometimes reception keeps these lists. Often this is one of the main topics of discussion in the 'common areas' - folk talking about their needs and wants. All of the passengers I have carried have been hostellers wanting a ride to....... somewhere!

    The basics to make such a trip a success are to be sure you have sufficient funds to resort to public transportation when the need arises. And choose hostels which offer pickups from train and bus terminals.

    Just one warning..... do not be tempted to hitch hike!

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks Michael for moving the thread to an appropriate forum. :)

    Lifey, yes I have a general direction about where to go. But since I've stayed in hostels in Europe, I haven't seen the 'meet potential travel mates' list at the reception. Maybe, such is not the case i the USA. That being said, right now I'm looking for potential travel partners and anyone who can be good company during any leg of the trip. Research, research and research is all I have :)

    Planning on getting the book 'Road Trip USA: Cross Country Adventures on America's Two-Lane Highways' by Jamie Jensen. Is it any good?

    Cheers
    Vaibhav

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,944

    Default it's useful

    Roadtrip USA is a good book, if you use it properly. As in, if you're looking for ideas and suggestions about places you could go, its a good guide. My only problem is when people start using it as step-by-step manual and act as if the 10 routes suggested are the only - or even the best - route options for a roadtrip. Also note that the route names she uses are not generally common terms. For example, every once and a while we'll get someone who posts saying they want to follow "the southern pacific route" or the "great northern," which ends up being a dead giveaway that they are using that book as their planning guide.

    BTW, you can purchase the book right through RTA's website by clicking here. Also if you look up at the "Shop" tab on the green title bar at the top of the page, you'll find lots more hand selected books and gear for roadtripping.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks for the tip about the book, Michael. Meanwhile I'm still looking for someone to respond to this - who can share the gas.

    Lifey, why shouldn't I be hitch hiking? I've HH'd before but in the US is it any different/risky?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    4,418

    Default It is often illegal.

    Quote Originally Posted by vaibhav View Post
    Lifey, why shouldn't I be hitch hiking? I've HH'd before but in the US is it any different/risky?
    In many, if not most States it is illegal, and it is always risky.

    I too have spent much of my time hitch-hiking, here at home. In the 50s and 60s it was the only form of transport I knew.

    And in some ways, meeting a travel partner over the internet can be just as risky. There is nothing like meeting a person face to face, and getting the vibes. It is that feeling you get on meeting someone which will give you most of what you need to know before you decide. This is not possible over the internet.

    If you have never 'seen' a list at a hostel, have you ever asked? Have you ever put up a notice? I have seen many notices/lists at hostels of people wanting rides, or wanting travelling companions. If you are a hosteller, then those whom you meet at hostels are likely to be more compatible with your style of travelling.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,502

    Default Like Everything else, it's a learned skill

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    This is not possible over the internet.
    Generalizations are problematic, about 99% of the day-in, day-out of managing this Web business is done via the Internet -- and I have no doubt that any judgments I've formed as a result of "meeting" someone online would be similar if not exactly the same as if I had met them IRL.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Anyone else planning the trip around the same time?

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