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  1. Default Six 18-Year Olds Do Cross Country


    In the summer after our senior year of high school (summer 2014) five of my friends and I would like to take a road trip across all of America. Our original plan was to rent an RV and take the whole summer (approx 2 months) to drive from the New York City area to California and back again. We would camp for most of it. The kinds of places we'd want to see are national parks, small town novelties, odd museums, abandoned/haunted places, little-known historical sites or manor houses, stuff like that. More quirky and off-the-beaten-path than touristy.
    However, after reading some of the other threads on this website, I see that it would be really hard to get an RV, so how else should we do it? I don't know what kind of cars we'll have access to then and I'm not 100% sure how the Junior License/ Full License system works in New York so any info on that would be wonderful. Four of us will be 18 by that summer.
    We don't have much more than that so any advice at all would be helpful!

    Thanks so much!!!!

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

    Default logistics

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'll be honest, the odds of a huge trip with so many young people actually getting off the ground are not good. What usually derails such plans are the logistics of such a major undertaking, so I'd suggest you start there.

    Your ages are the first huge problem. Specifically, you mention that 4 people of your 6 will be 18, implying that the other 2 will underage, and that alone makes this trip practically a non-starter. There are huge problems that come with traveling as a minor without a guardian, some of them very practical - most hotels, and even many campgrounds will not allow unrelated minors to stay with an 18 year old who rents a room. Other problems involve things you probably wouldn't think of - like a minor being unable to authorize their own medical care if you get into some sort of accident.

    On top of that is transportation. Renting an RV or a car will not be an option, so what will you have available? Will someone in the group own a car, and will it be big enough for a group of 6 including luggage? You mentioned drivers license questions - and since every state is different, we can't say exactly what the situation might be in NY, but that's something you should know yourself if you have a license.

    Finances are the next big issue. 2 months of traveling is incredibly expensive, even if you do a budget trip. If you're still in high school, its easy to forget about just how expensive things are when you have to pay for everything yourself. Being HS students, its not going to be easy to save the kind of money you need, and just as importantly, making sure everyone on the trip is equally committed to working to save the money.

    There are other issues. 2 months is a really long trip, and bluntly, you might not even like being on the road that long - if all of you can really get away for that amount of time. Your "ideal" cross country trip is a whole lot of work too, and it is a bit like diving off the high dive, before you even try swimming in the shallow end. At the very least, I'd recommend taking some smaller weekend trips to get your feet wet traveling together before starting such a huge endeavor.

    That's not by any means off of the things you'll have to think about, but they are very much the building blocks that you'll have to get established if you really want to start working on building an amazing roadtrip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    New York is the only state where an 18 year old can rent a car, it will be expensive, and it cannot be taken out of the state. You would have to be 21 to have out of state privileges. The only way you are going to pull this off is BUY a vehicle and get powers of attorney for the minors from their parents (highly unlikely). You will still be turned away at hotels if you are truthful, so this would have to be a camping trip.

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