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  1. #1

    Default From Florida to NYC, need tips!


    My girlfriend and I are planning a road trip starting from Miami on the 22nd of august to NYC (flying back on 15th of september). We have booked a flight and are going to rent a car but have not planned any further than that. As we are from Holland and have been in the USA yet, we were hoping you might help us with some usefull tips and maybe awnser some questions.
    In Folrida we want to visit the everglades national park, the keys and my girlfriend is making me go to dinsey :). the next thing we have planned is to visit Washington D.C. However, we have no clue on what the 'must-see' things are on the road between florida and Washington D.C., so if you have any tips on what to see and do along the east coast we are very interested!

    We were planning to sleep in hostel/cheap hotels along the road, and were wandering how easy these are to find? and if anyone could give us an idea of how much per night we are likely to pay?

    Thanks for any advice you can give us!
    With friendly greetings,

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'd probably wait to pick up the car until you're ready to leave DC, as both NYC and Washington are places with good public transit and limited parking. There's also frequent train service between the two.

    A budget motel room will typically run about $50 per night, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less, but that's a good ballpark figure unless you are in a major city where things tend to cost a bit more.

    As far as the rest of your trip, we don't really do "must sees" here, as it is so specific to individual tastes - ie Disney is a must see for some people, and others don't want to go near it - but here's an old thread with some great links and information to help you develop a list of what will be must see for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Three Things

    Welkom! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First, since you are budget conscious, I feel that I must point out that your plan to rent a car in Miami and drop it off in New York could get fairly expensive. First there is the one-way drop-off fee for leaving the car over a thousand miles (1600 km) from its home. That might add a few hundred dollars to your costs. If you and your girlfriend are under 25, then underage driver fees would also apply, typically about $25/driver/day - as much as another $1200 if you both plan to drive and are under 25. We have found that often our European visitors can get these fees waived or significantly reduced by booking their car rental through a European consolidator such as carhire3000 or others.

    Next, the Everglades and Keys are certainly reachable from a base in the southwest suburbs of Miami. Say Homestead, Kendall, or Westchester. Motels in these towns will also be considerably cheaper than in downtown Miami or on the beach. The 'Keys', however, stretch for quite a ways and are served by a single two-lane highway (US-1) that spends most of its time on bridges and causeways, and most of its time on land threading its way through beach and resort towns. In other words, it is slow going. So you shouldn't plan to get all the way to Key West and back in a single day. Besides Disneyworld, I think you should look into visiting the Kennedy Space Center while you are in central Florida.

    As for things to see and do on the drive up to Washington, you have plenty of time and no shortage of options. To help get you started on figuring out a basic route and itinerary, I will point you to this previous discussion of a couple of possibilities. Cheap motels abound in and around even modest sized cities in the US, and along the major highways (Interstates). Some of the low priced chains include Red Roof, Motel 6, Super 8, Econo Lodge, Travelodge, and others. You can expect to pay around $40-45/night for such accommodations. Hostels are not as prevalent in the US as they are in Europe, and since they charge by the person, often end up being as expensive for a couple as a motel room.


  4. #4


    Thanks for the quick replies with great tips! those old discussions also really help!

    Edit: I'm 25 by the way, my girlfriend is 24 does this mean it would safe a lot of money if I would be the only driver?
    Last edited by Nickdj; 06-03-2012 at 10:07 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Hostels in NYC and DC

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdj View Post
    We were planning to sleep in hostel/cheap hotels along the road, and were wandering how easy these are to find? and if anyone could give us an idea of how much per night we are likely to pay?
    As already mentioned, often a cheap hotel for two can be cheaper than a hostel. On the other hand, if you are wishing to cook all your meals, you may be better off in a hostel. I am not aware of the prevelance of hostels along the east coast, but here is probably the most comprehensive site for hostels world wide.

    When it comes to NYC, and possibly also DC, I would highly recommend the HI hostels. In NYC, although the hostel is more expensive than most hostels, it is still, even for two, considerably cheaper than a good hotel and much more secure than a cheap hotel.

    The HI in NYC, on Amsterdam Ave is conveniently located, a block from the subway, and walking distance to Central Park. It is strict which makes it very secure. Hence it books out all the time, despite having hundreds of beds. I would recommend booking in as soon as you know your dates in NYC. And make sure you do not arrive late, or if you do, keep ringing to tell them you will definitely be there. They have a policy, like so many organisations, of overbooking. I don't know of any other hostel in NYC where I would want to stay. (I have heard many horror stories from guests who came to the HI from other hostels.)

    The HI in DC is also a block from their train station, and for the fit, walking distance to many attractions. Both of those are definitely worth considering, if you are on a budget. Particularly in NYC (Manhattan) hotel rooms can be very costly, and the cheap ones are not always secure.

    When on the road, look out at rest areas, welcome centres and truck stops for hotel / motel discount booklets.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    If you are 25 and your girlfriend is 24, it is better for her NOT to drive. (We just rented a car in MO in late March/early April. Our daughter was 24, and we would have had to pay $25/day over and above the rental fees for her.)


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Plus, Plus

    Not only will you save by being the sole driver since your girlfriend is underage, you will also save (additionally) because the two of you are not directly related and so there would be an additional driver fee even if she were 25.


  8. #8



    I did the trip you are planning last year but in the opposite direction (NY to Miami).

    As has been stated above you may want to consider utilising the train for some of your journey...we did and to be fair it really was worth while.

    You can do Miami in 2 days, then drive to lies a problem as there is so much to do, you could spend a whole two weeks here.

    You could drive up through Florida stopping at Daytona beack, Jacksonville etc, then up through Georgia into Charleston SC (great town). Catch an Amtrak train (visit website) to Washington DC, Philladelphia and onto New York.

    Hope this helps.

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