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  1. #1

    Default Trip across the United States.

    Hey, I'm trying to think up a trip I can do across the United States for after I graduate High School. It would be me and my best friend and hopefully someone else since its safer to travel with a bigger group. We would be starting in California (Where we live) and make our way through the far west and rocky mountains and the southwest. It would be very low budget, so I was thinking hostels and camping out or if we need too, just sleeping in the car. But I wanted to include hiking trails, National parks, waterfalls, landmarks and all that good stuff, but being so new to it all, I don't really know how to go about the planning for such a trip because I realize there is gas costs, money, where to go, where to sleep and all that! It's a lot to plan and a lot to get done and it's kind of overwhelming, but it's something I want to get done before I head off to college. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Also tips for if at most, it's just two girls. I know that's not the safest thing to do, but anything would help to stay safe and any warnings would be great.

    Thank you!- kimmy

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

    Default safety, cash, and more

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'll start by saying that the number of people you have on the trip will not be a big factor in your safety. One person making smart decisions is a whole lot more safe than a group of people thinking they are safe just because they are in a group. You can, and we have plenty of people here who do, travel solo and be perfectly safe. Now there are some advantages to adding a 2nd person, but adding more doesn't really add any extra layers. If anything, adding more people, especially those who aren't fully invested in the trip, simply adds a complication.

    I will say that I would strongly recommend you not try a major trip unless you are all 18 or above, as there are some significant issues that can come up when traveling with minors, from practical - as in most motels and hostels will not allow an unrelated minor to stay with an 18 year old to serious, like a minor can not authorize their own medical care in case of an accident.

    I'd also encourage you to take a couple small trips to get your feet wet, and see what you like, don't like, need, and don't need while on the road.

    Beyond that, I'd work on figuring out what is a realistic budget for you and your friend (and you want the numbers to be similar for both of you) and that will help you determine how far you can realistically go. When you say "very low budget," it can be problematic, because it can be very easy to underestimate how much things costs, especially if you are not used to paying for things like groceries on your own. I'd also say that you can try to go too cheap, ie sleeping in a car with 2 people is likely going to be uncomfortable for both of you, and you can't have fun when you aren't getting rest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Remember that hostels charge per person, whereas hotels charge per room. With 3 people, a hotel room will frequently be cheaper than a hostel.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Don't overlook the benefits of hostels.

    It is quite correct that hostels can be more expensive for two poeple than a hotel. On the other hand, for young folk like yourself, you will often feel much safer and more secure than in a hotel. On top of that, and probably more importantly, you will meet young people like yourselves, who are making similar trips. There is nothing like sharing with others, and listening to their experiences. Some of the best ideas I ever got, were from other travellers at hostels.

    You will find that the better hostels (not necessarily the more expensive) have 'community' meals and/or specials on trips and sightseeing. All these can be significant money savers. You could well find that with a mixture of hostels and cheap motels you would have a great experience. Remember, it always pays to check out a place before you decided to stay. If the bathrooms and kitchens are clean, you can be pretty sure the place is well looked after. Never stay at a hostel which does not provide lockers which you lock with your own padlock (carry a good medium sized one), and don't stay at hostels where sleeping bags are permitted. These are potential problem areas.

    Hostels like hotels/motels have a minimum age of 18 for 'unaccompanied' minors.

    I would have to agree that a cross country trip would be best left till you have more roadtripping experience.


  5. Default

    Hi careless spirit. a friend and i come from Italy, and we will be in Los Angeles on mid august. we always had the thing we wanted to get a trip around the USA."awesime". not just stay in LA. we would be interested in join you guys as we hv 20 days to spend..we could eventually meet up and talk abt it in LA :) we are 20 and 19.
    hope to hear from you soon otherwise best wishes :)

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