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  1. #1

    Default East Coast - Boston to Miami

    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post in the RTA forum so I will apologise in advance if I make any errors.

    I am in the process of planning a road trip from Boston (MA) to Miami (FL).

    27th June Fly from Manchester to Boston

    • 27th June – Boston
    • 28th June – Boston
    • 29th June – New York
    • 30th June – New York
    • 1st July – Washington DC
    • 2nd July – Washington DC
    • 3rd July –
    • 4th July – Charleston (SC)
    • 5th July –
    • 6th July – Orlando (FL)
    • 7th July – Orlando (FL)
    • 8th July – Miami (FL)
    • 9th July - Miami (FL)

    10th July Fly from Miami to Manchester

    I know this is a lot to fit into 2 weeks but after a month long road trip down the west coast in 2010, I wanted to strangle my friends after only 2 weeks.

    Additional Details:

    • Travel between Boston, New York and Washington will be via Amtrak.
    • Car pickup on the 3rd July from Washington
    • Car drop off the 8th July in Miami
    • Hotel budget per night is ฃ150 ($215) Flexible if needed.
    • Provisionally reserved 4* hotels in Boston, New York and Washington next to the major train stations.

    Questions:
    1. What route would you recommend between Washington and Charleston? (direct via i95, coastal road or go west).
    2. Where would you recommend we stay between Washington and Charleston?
    3. What route would you recommend between Charleston and Orlando? (direct via i95, coastal road or go west).
    4. Where would you recommend we stay between Charleston and Orlando?
    5. Any Advice on One-Way Car rentals?
    6. What type of vehicle would you recommend? (Convertible, 4x4 etc)
    7. Any must see attractions we must see?

    Any advice is welcome!

    Thanks for your Time

    Russ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    1. What route would you recommend between Washington and Charleston? (direct via i95, coastal road or go west).
    2. Where would you recommend we stay between Washington and Charleston?
    3. What route would you recommend between Charleston and Orlando? (direct via i95, coastal road or go west).
    Do you have a map? Or a good road atlas? If not, time to order a new atlas from the RTA store (just scroll down). It will give you so many travel road options. With the timetable you're on, though, you may want to stick to interstates.

    5. Any Advice on One-Way Car rentals?
    6. What type of vehicle would you recommend? (Convertible, 4x4 etc)
    Try rentalcars.com, as they are an overseas consolidator that may be able to get you a car with no one-way drop fees. Your best bet is some sort of sedan - you'll get more trunk (boot) space, a more comfortable back seat with room for feet. (You didn't say how many are traveling, so I'd steer clear of convertibles if there are three or more people.)

    7. Any must see attractions we must see?
    So much to see, but it's difficult to recommend anything when we don't know much about what YOU like. If you tell us what you enjoy when you travel -- museums, nature, hiking, sedentary activities -- we can make recommendations. You can also open up that atlas and see what's between DC and Miami that interests you. Quite a few great places are on the maps.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Routes and Stuff

    There are three basic routes between Washington and points in the southeastern United States. Of those three, I would recommend the coastal route since you plan on stopping in Charleston on your way to Miami. If you take the coastal route and explore the Outer Banks, then the logical place to spend the night would be on either side of the Ocracoke-Cedar Island ferry, depending on when you can get a reservation for the crossing, sunset or sunrise the next morning would be ideal. Ocracoke can be a bit expensive. While there is only motel in Cedar Island, if you cross before it gets too late at night you could easily get to Beaufort before settling in for the night.

    As for the car, a small sedan is generally the best value for a RoadTrip. You can usually get a 'mid-sized' or 'intermediate' for not much more than an 'economy' or 'compact'. Besides CarRentals, another European consolidator that people have occasionally used with good results is Europcar. Having made the transition the other way (driving in the British Isles) I can tell you that you will be pleasantly surprised by driving conditions on this side of the Atlantic. Roads are wide and straight with decent shoulders (usually), gas (petrol) is relatively cheap - maybe a third of what you're used to paying, and your rental will almost assuredly have both an automatic transmission and air conditioning (and a CD player).

    Driving on the right (as opposed to left) side of the road will be almost second nature in no time. The controls will be on the 'other' side of the car and everyone else will be on the 'other' side of the road, making it seam natural for you to be as well. The only place where I've found I have to really think about what I'm doing when driving on the other side of the road is when making a turn from one small two-lane road onto another. A bit of forethought about which lane you'll turn into on the new road is warranted. Think "Long Left/Short Right" and be sure to look both ways while you're thinking!

    Otherwise, I think you're in for a great trip. Enjoy.

    AZBuck

  4. #4

    Default

    One word of caution : driving the coastal route on a summer weekend, much less one with the 4th of July, is an expectation of huge traffic jams, especially routing through the Outer Banks.

    There are some sites to see on an inland route such as Monticello in central Virginia. But given the time of year I would recommend the train from DC to Charleston, SC, a wonderful southern city. If driving I 95, try to hit the road by 5am.

  5. #5

    Default CAR HIRE..........What a NIGHTMARE!!!!! Advice needed

    Hi Everyone,

    Part of my East Coast USA road trip I am planning on driving as there is so much to see.

    The plan is to pickup the car in Washington DC on the 3rd July and drop off in Miami FL on the 8th July.

    As there is only two of us and weather is going to be so much better than the English summer, we want a convertible.

    I've been quoted around ฃ250-ฃ350 (GBP) for the car hire but then the absolute ridiculous "One-Way Return fee" of $300-$750 (USD)!!!



    -Has anyone had any previous experience with one way rentals?

    -Which company has the cheapest fee's?

    -Should I expect some surprise fees when I pickup the car?

    -Would we be better with an SUV.


    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Russ


    Moderator Note: Please keep all questions about the same trip in the same thread and there is no need to shout (by using all-caps).
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 03-31-2016 at 04:57 AM. Reason: merged threads

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default look up

    I think if you read the answers that others have already provided, you'll see that many of your questions have already been answered.

    One way drop fees are typical among most companies, and the rates you're seeing aren't really that surprising, especially since you'll be travel over a busy summer holiday.

    Your best bet to avoid them will likely to go with an overseas based consolidator (others have already suggested several specific options). Even there, you might just be stuck having to pay them or expect the fee to be rolled into the rental rate.

    Hidden fees generally aren't a big issue in rental cars - as long as you are paying attention when making your reservation. Make sure your quote includes all taxes and fees, and then when you pick up the car, don't sign up for any extras like prepaid fuel or insurance (if you want insurance, add it when you make the reservation).

    As others have also stated, the best value for a rental car is always going to be a sedan. You'll generally pay a significant premium for an SUV, with little to no real benefit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    They charge the one-way fee in order to figure out a way to get the car back to its home state when it's time for smog tests and licensing. As said above, try an overseas consolidator, as they are often able to get fees like this waived.

    SUVs and convertibles often come with a lot higher price tag. Not sure why, but if you can fit in a "mid-sized sedan", they usually have the best price tags *and* the better fuel mileage. A convertible often will not have as much trunk (boot) space as you need for a trip, and then you're stuck with suitcases etc in the little bitty back seat (if there is one). SUV's will use a lot more fuel.


    Donna

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