Hi all, I wrote at the beginning of the year wondering how much we could see in 3 months. We only have 3 months as that is all the standard VISA allows. I know it isn't exactly a "road trip" question, but we would love to spend 4-5 months driving in the US so am hoping we can get as much out of our VISA as possible!

I just had a couple of questions regarding Visas that I cant get answers from the American Consulate in Canberra, Australia nor any other US Consulate. They have a funny way of answering you without answering any of your queries! I am not sure if you will know the answers, but it is worth a shot!

1. I want to know how long in advance you can apply for a Visa. i.e. if I apply for a Visa in say April this year, when do I have to use it by? They say to apply a minimum of 3 months before you leave, but also to not make any firm plans until you have the Visa but nothing to say once you have your Visa you have to use it by this date.

2. With the B1/B2 6 month Visa, I can see no reason why we cant apply for this even though we don't have family in the US. As far as I can tell by their mumbo jumbo we have to have an interview at the consulate and have proof that we have reasons to return, jobs, school enrolments, family etc Is this right?

3. They didn't answer when your days start counting down. I loved the idea Lifey suggested of flying to Vancouver and starting our Alaskan Cruise from there, but have no idea if the Visa begins once we dock in the first Alaskan Port or disembark the cruise in Seattle.

As I said, I know that these questions are not directly related to driving, but any answers will help us out to plan our road trip!