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  1. #1

    Default Miami to San Fransisco (Spring 2017)

    Myself and two friends from the UK are planning a road trip in May 2017 to celebrate our 30th Birthdays.

    We have a loose plan in mind but would really welcome any thoughts and suggestions as we begin the process of planning our trip of a lifetime!

    We plan to fly into Miami and hire a Mustang Convertible for the trip. We have set aside 3 weeks for this, ending up in San Fransico and have plotted the below stop-over locations to break up the journey and hopefully get the full experience:

    Fort Lauderdale
    Little Rock
    Wichita Falls
    Santa Fe
    Grand Canyon
    Las Vegas (2 nights)
    Los Angeles
    San Fransisco (2 nights)

    Any suggestions at all, variants to the plan, places you reccomend we should see and experience would all be great! I look forward to hearing from you- thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    A few things jump out at me, and a question or two that pop into my head.

    Are you interested in nature, such as national parks? Your list is really city-heavy. Now, that may be the way you want it.

    Are your hearts set on a Mustang convertible? There are two reasons I ask. First, there isn't a lot of trunk space - boot space - nor is the back seat very comfortable for that third person to ride. Also, you may or may not get one. Most of the rental companies rent "or like vehicle" which means you could get something similar, but not necessarily a Ford Mustang. Those that can guarantee that, are often rented at a premium and may or may not be able to be dropped off somewhere besides where you picked it up.

    Are you aware that you may be charged a hefty one-way-drop-fee on a car rented in one city and then dropped off across the country? This fee can range between $500 and $1000. You might be able to arrange for a vehicle through an overseas consolidator, and they can sometimes waive those fees and a few others, such as 3-unrelated-drivers fees.


  3. #3


    Hi Donna,
    Thank you for your reply and warm welcome!

    To answer your first question, yes, we are defiantly interested in nature and we're hoping we would experience this on route. If you have any suggestions on advised places we could detour or roads to take that would be appreciated. We had thought of the locations listed as stop-over's only, just a place to bed down but we are open to variants (as long as the driving time is split well between them).

    On the vehicle we really would like the Ford Mustang, particulaly for the East Coast section of the trip. We have costed this with a one way rental and are OK paying the premium. I understand you sometimes get other vehicles and would be interested if anyone could recommend way of improving our chances (companies or pick up depots in Miami) without guaranteeing a Mustang and paying even more!
    We would consider an SUV for the first part of the trip and maybe change in Vegas but thought a swap part way may end up costing more with no guarentee.

    I haven't come across an oversees consolidator as you mention- have you any details on this?

    Thanks again for your thoughts and look forward to everyone's input.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I haven't come across an oversees consolidator as you mention- have you any details on this?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Few Details

    Let's start with some items on the car hire. If you're 'comfortable' with the cost of a one-way car hire that's great, but if you can avoid it - do so. A couple of European consolidators that people have sometimes had good luck with are Europcar and Rentalcars. The best way to ensure that you get a Mustang rather than something "similar" is to do a little research on the hire firms themselves and see which manufacturer supplies most of their fleet. Sometimes you can find this info on their website, but if not take a look at their used cars sales. For example a quick search of Hertz's used convertible cars shows Ford Mustangs, while Enterprise lists a mix of Mustangs and Chevrolet Camaros. Another possibility is to contact Miami Airport rental desks directly, by phone or email, and see what they typically have in their inventory. Unfortunately, you'll have to keep in mind that if they have a convertible with California plates on hand, that is what you're going to get regardless of make/model. Fortunately, unlike flight reservations, you can usually cancel a car reservation without penalty, so even after you find something - keep looking!

    Some specific 'nature' sites along your route that you might want to consider exploring include Okefenokee Swamp, Hot Springs National Park, Crater of Diamonds State Park, Caprock Canyons State Park, Petrified Forest National Park, Oak Creek Canyon, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Mojave National Preserve, the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1), and Point Reyes National Seashore. In addition to those there are many national forests, and national wildlife refuges throughout the U.S.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    We would consider an SUV for the first part of the trip and maybe change in Vegas but thought a swap part way may end up costing more with no guarentee.
    This may then cost you TWO one-way drop fees. OUCH!!!!!! Also, AZBuck is correct in his comment that you may get some sort of convertible if it has CA plates on it, because that's going to be their best way to get the car back to its "home state".

    Another thing to think about with a convertible: even in May, there will be places where you will probably not want to have the top down, because it will be too hot. From Phoenix, to Las Vegas through the deserts to LA, May's temperatures will be around 95F. (We just had a spell of that in February, in the LA and San Diego areas, and it was a little hotter out in the deserts. Yes, in February!)


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