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  1. #1

    Default First time road trip

    Hi all

    I was looking for some help and advise, I'm starting to plan my first coast to coast road trip due for next April.

    Me and a fiend are looking to fly into San Francisco and end up in new York for wrestlemania and fly home after.
    We have a short list of locations we must go to:

    Start in San fran
    Houston ( to return to a bar I have my picture on the wall of lol)
    New Orleans
    Miami ( maybe as it seems a little out of the way)
    End in manhattan

    We are looking to do this in under 20 days, 14 or 15 perhaps, is this going to be enough time?
    Is our list of locations feasible?

    I have a set budget I'd ideally like to spend, we have about £6500 between us to cover car rental, fuel, accommodation etc... Would this be enough for a coast to coast expedition given rough exchange rates?

    To be honest that's kinda all I've got, I've been to the USA several times, Houston once and new York many times, but never have in driven whilst in the us. Both me and my friend hold a full uk driving licence and have valid credit cards, so I think this enough to be able to rent a car, now I was after something fun such as a mustang or camero but don't think it would be practical so does anyone have and suggestions on cars? Something fun but ecological.

    Also along my route I'm looking on taking are there any things I should/shouldn't see/do?

    Any ideas or help would be much appreciated.

    Cheers for reading.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    Re: renting a car. You didn't mention your age -- as long as you're 25 or older, and have a valid driver's license, you can rent a car. If you're between 21 and 25, they'll "get" you for a young driver's fee of $25/day or more, OVER AND ABOVE the normal rental fee, insurance, etc. As far as what kind of car is concerned, you'll want something that will be able to hold you, your friend, your luggage, and anything else you want to carry. So something with trunk space (I think you call it "boot space") will be appreciated.

    Route wise, you should be able to plan something memorable for 14-20 days. Bear in mind that it takes 5-6 days just to cross the country, so you'll have to choose wisely and judiciously.

    If counting on going to a certain bar, I would do your best to consult with Mr. Google and see if it still exists!

    Right now, fuel is running just under $4/gallon. You can get hotels for 2 for $50-$75/night. Food is what you make it -- roughly $30/person a day on up, depending on how much you eat out, snack, and where you eat.

    As far as what you should and should not do ... well, it's your trip, what do YOU want to see? That's what you should see. What are you looking to get out of the trip? That's what you should concentrate on.


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

    Default 'Nature'. [?]

    You will find many ideas by searching around the forums and road trip planning resources in the tool bars above, you will literally have tens of thousands of options to choose from based on your interests.

    It seems your interests are biased towards the City life, but as you have the opportunity I would take a bit of your time and enjoy some of the best scenery anywhere in the world. A lot of this can be found in and around the NP's. For example from San Fran to Vegas you could spend a couple of nights and go through Yosemite NP and cross the Sierra Nevada on Tioga Pass [CA120] down the 395 and across Death Valley into Vegas. There is of course the Grand canyon and Monument valley to the east of Vegas, not to mention a little loop up into Southern Utah where you will find Zion and Bryce Canyon NP's.

    That's just the start of your trip so as you can see, you need to spend a little time researching with a good map to hand and when you have a few more dots on the map and a rough idea how much time you intend to spend where, we can then help to fill in the blanks.

    As for the car, rental agencies tend to put their vehicles into a 'class' group. In other words it is normally the class of car that you rent and are not guaranteed a particular make or model.

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


    It seems like your trip could very easily become very rushed.

    By the shortest possible route, you've got a trip that's going to be pushing 5,000 miles - which is 9 full days of driving all by itself. Throw in a single day in each of the cities you've listed and you've already used up the 14-15 days you're thinking for this trip.

    It is noting that your thought that Miami is out of the way is certainly true. It adds about 1000 miles/2 full days of driving compared to heading north after NOLA.

    Adding onto the Rental Car advice from Dave and Donna, you'll typically get the best value by looking at mid-sized to full sized sedans. Any smaller and you sacrifice comfort and typically get a very barebones car, go larger like into an SUV, and prices start to soar with very little benefit in return.

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