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  1. Default Senior Road Trip Advice

    Hi guys, I'm 17 years old and trying to plan a road trip with a group of my friends. We will all be 18 by Summer, except one of us, and I was looking for places to visit before we all head off to college. I'm currently in LA, and dream of driving to NY, but I understand that would cost a lot of gas, especially if I took my current car (2008 Lexus ES350 19/27 mpg). I have a few questions, first of all, where do you think I should go? All that really matters to me is the drive, I spent most of my youth driving with my father, so I love the feeling of driving past sights and have always dreamed of driving through all fifty states, however I was also considering a road trip to Canada. Second, would it be worth the mileage on my car or should I get a rental? Thank you for your help, and sorry for the wall of words!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default First, Some Harsh Facts

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Much as we love to encourage people to take RoadTrips, there are a few things standing in the way of what you've got planned so far. First, you will not, at age 18, be able to rent a car for a multi-state RoadTrip. Second, if one of your group is under 18, you will not be able to cross the border with an unrelated minor, nor rent a motel room, nor can anyone - even himself - authorize any medical care should it become necessary. Finally, there is the simple fact that the majority of plans such as yours that we see here eventually fall apart as potential participants fall by the wayside due to either parental concerns, lack of funds, constraints of school or work, etc.

    If you do end up making the trip with friends in your own car, then we would strongly recommend that you first have a serious discussion about the goals, expectations, and responsibilities of each of the participants, especially as to how you will be reimbursed for the wear and tear on your car and what everyone's insurance plan will cover if they drive your car.

    If, as you say, the drive is more important than the destination, then you should also severely rein in your overly ambitious plan to crisscross the country and do something far more reasonable, from which you can easily extricate yourself, as a first effort. As I said, we like to encourage RoadTripping, but part of that is seeing that early experiences are positive.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 01-27-2013 at 04:48 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default The plural you

    I have a few questions, first of all, where do you think I should go? All that really matters to me is the drive, I spent most of my youth driving with my father, so I love the feeling of driving past sights and have always dreamed of driving through all fifty states, however I was also considering a road trip to Canada.
    We certainly can't tell you where to go, but even where you want to go yourself is actually a pretty minor part of the overall equation. The only thing that really matters is where everyone in your group wants to go. It's great that you want to go cross country and could be perfectly happy only seeing things out the window, but how likely is it that everyone in your group is going to feel the same way. Even more, even if it sounds good on paper, are they really going to enjoy a trip after a week, if all you've done is drive by things? If not everyone is on exactly the same page, not only are you going to have problems with your trip, it could do long term damage to friendships too.

    As Buck mentioned, with someone under age 18, crossing into Canada will not be an option, and even if everyone is over 18, you'd have to make sure everyone has a passport.

    The link Buck provided is absolutely essential to start your planning. It is easy to think big, and have a grand idea of a cross country trip with all your friend, but the reality is that the longer you plan to be on the road, and the more people who are in your group, the more likely it is that people will drop out and your plan will fall apart. Much like you woudn't jump off the high-dive before learning how to swim in the shallow end, there is very much something to be said about starting small - even a weekend trip a couple hundred miles away - before planning out a huge cross country adventure.

  4. Default

    Thanks a ton for your responses, I knew I was shooting for the moon but I decided to give it a try... Well then, off topic from this website but I'm graduating and won't see a lot of my close friends for years to come, so is there anything else we can do as a group? Of course, I forgot to previously mention that I live with my mother and two siblings and she loves taking us on vacations, last year we went to Palm Springs with my friends and all of us, including mother had a blast, so any other ideas? I try to brain storm, but I can't come up with anything good, thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Laying the foundation.

    How long are you planning to be on the road for ? What are your interests other than the drive ? How large is your group going to be ? What sort of budget are you looking at ?

    These are the types of question you need to sit down with your group and try and get a few answers on which to base your trip. When you mention starting out in LA and visiting either NY or Canada as 2 possible options, you are putting the route and attraction possibilities into thousands of possibilities, and with hardly any info to work with it's impossible to make meaningful suggestions.

    How many in your group will impact on your choice of transport, even with 4 people and all their luggage for an extended trip a Lexus can become small, especially if camping to help the budget is an option. The group is only as strong as the weakest link, ie the group member[s] who is likely to have the least time or money available. The budget will affect how far you can go and/or for how long. You need to find a common theme with the other members of the group for the trip, something you can share and agree upon.

    One area that I would find inviting 'just for the drive' is the Four corners region where you will find beautiful drives, a lot of diversity, [Alpine, Red Rock and desert scenery, Indian reservations etc]small towns, and National and State parks which could make for some great camping, if that's an option.

    Sit down and chat with your mates [with reference to the earlier link] and once you have laid down the foundations of the trip we can start to help with suggestions and fine tuning.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by burninhate33 View Post
    Thanks a ton for your responses, I knew I was shooting for the moon but I decided to give it a try... Well then, off topic from this website but I'm graduating and won't see a lot of my close friends for years to come, so is there anything else we can do as a group?
    It really seems like you completely missed the point of the previous posts.

    First, we didn't say you shouldn't try to take a roadtrip, we simply said that your first trip, especially in this situation, probably should not be a huge cross country adventure, and certainly not one where all you plan to do is drive. What we did suggest is that you think a little smaller, and come up with a more manageable plan that everyone in your group is likely to enjoy.

    The second, but equally important point, is that in looking for ideas on things to do, you shouldn't be asking an internet forum - you should be asking your friends! What we think, and even what you alone think, isn't nearly as important as finding something that your entire group can agree on. Get together some night with everyone and just brainstorm together - coming up with a huge list of anything you'd even consider doing, and start working from there. If you try to do this alone, you're not going to have as much to work with, and no one else will be nearly as invested in making the trip a reality.

    Once you've established a basic idea, then we can start being of much more help in assisting you in putting a plan together.

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