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  1. Default In Need of Some Advice!

    Hey all!

    Me and my 3 roommates are taking a road trip in the middle of August. We will be driving east coast to west coast. We have the stops planned out according to who/what we want to visit and what we are having trouble figuring out is how to get back to the east coast and I wanted to see if anyone had any advice. Our last stop is L.A and I don't know if it will be cheaper or the same price or more expensive to have the car shipped home and to fly. It'll take us about a week to get to L.A with all our stops and I don't know if we have the money/time/resources to take another week to get back. We would also be open to renting the car East>west and then flying home but I figured thatd be more expensive because none of us are over 25 and I heard companies charge more for that. Any advice or tips would be helpful!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default reality is a harsh mistress

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm afraid I see some pretty significant issues that will make your plans very difficult to achieve.

    First of all, I suspect you are significantly underestimating the amount of time you need. It takes nearly a week of driving just to cover the miles on a coast to coast trip. You didn't say exactly where you plan to start or where you hope to stop, but with only a week, you really won't have time to make hardly any stops. You really have to ask yourself if sitting in a car for 10 hours a day, for 6 days in a row is really the kind of experience you are really looking for, since that's what doing a coast to coast in a week trip really means.

    Second, there is no way around it, doing this as a one way trip will be prohibitively expensive. I'd expect shipping your car back will cost you at least $1000, plus you'd have airfare on top of that. If you rent a car, you should expect to be dealing with at least $25 per day fees for being under 25 (but at least 21) and several hundred dollars for a one way drop fee. In either case, I'd expect you'll be spending at least $2000 total for your group just for the expense of doing this as a one way trip. That doesn't include all the other expenses of food, fuel, lodging, etc that you'll need for the actual roadtrip.

    I wish I had better news for you, but in reality, I suspect you'd get far more out of your trip and spend much less money if you abandoned the idea of going coast to coast, and focused instead on having a good time on a more limited roadtrip that fits better with the resources you have available.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default All Is Not Lost

    I have to totally agree with Michael that there is simply no way that you can make a coast-to-coast (and back again) trip within your apparent temporal and financial constraints. That doesn't mean that you and your friends can't have a great RoadTrip, just that you have to pick a destination quite a bit closer to home. For practical reasons, that means pretty much one that is within a two days' drive of your home base so that you have time to see things along the way, have some time at your destination, and continue home by an alternate route still seeing new and interesting places. Compare that with a mad dash across the country where as Michael points out - all you'd be doing is sitting in the car burning expensive gas day after day.

    Now, you don't say where, exactly, on the East Coast you're starting from, but it almost doesn't matter. I'll assume Washington DC - sort of in the middle. With two days you could get to any of the following: Florida, the Gulf Coast, the Appalachians, the Great Lakes, the music and nightclub scenes of Memphis and/or Nashville and/or New Orleans, New England, French Canada and/or Atlantic Canada (assuming everyone has a valid and current passport), the Outer Banks, The Ozarks, etc., etc. That's not a bad shopping list and should in no way be seen as a consolation prize.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-08-2012 at 01:35 PM.

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