I'm 22 and from the UK, planning on doing a six-week roadtrip this summer (beginning of June – mid July) around the central states. I'm intending on planning the route as if I were to do it alone, then having some friends and family come out and join for 2 week stints or so, with the aim to only do 1-2 weeks by myself. This will be my first road trip...
My route is more or less like this: NYC → DC → Chicago → Omaha → St Louis → Cincinnati → Dallas, → New Orleans → Atlanta. I'm planning on spending a few nights in each major city and then seeing what else I have time to do. Here is a more detailed route with a few more stops: https://roadtrippers.com/map?a2=t%21...ource=copy&z=5
I have a few (many...) questions as regards the route and my budget:
Firstly, is the route feasible? I'm thinking that even if I spend 10-12 days not driving (whole days in big cities), 30 days to do 4600 miles should be pretty comfortable and leave me the freedom to go to other places that are recommended to me.
Secondly, is there anywhere important I'm missing out (even other states, assuming I have the miles to spare)? The goal is really to see some non-touristy areas of the US (smaller towns and such) and do something less typical than a coast to coast trip. Ideally I'd like to do a fair bit of the drive off of the interstate; are there any particularly scenic or interesting roads to drive or any other must-dos along the way?
One other thing I really would like to do is see Salt Lake City, but it's really out of my way so I was planning on taking an internal flight there. Knowing very little about US domestic flights, is there anywhere that is particularly good on my route that I should fly from?
As regards budget, I have about $7500 set aside for the trip (after flights); will this be enough?
The biggest problem I'm having with my current budget is that, given that I'm 22 (/w 5 years full license; no tickets or accidents), car hire is particularly expensive. The cheapest I can find is about $2800 (£2000) for a 40-day rental of a Toyota Camry (or similar 4 door), which seems exceedingly high? The prices I've seen quoted on some of the threads on this board are more like $1000/mo for car hire, and it seems insane the price should more than double just because I'm under 25... I also checked the price if I drop the car back off at NYC rather than Atlanta (I figured I could do the drive in 2 days if it was a big cost saving), but it only appears to be about $150 difference, which after gas is next to nothing (plus $100 cheaper return flight to the UK from JFK than ATL, but still). Does anybody know how/where I can hire a car more cheaply?
Also, should I be looking to book places to stay in advance (for the big cities & planned stops) or rock up on the day?
Apologies for the wall of text and all the questions, and I'd really appreciate any help anybody can give. Thanks!