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  1. Default USA circuit in 1 month

    Hi guys,

    me and 3 of my friends from Slovakia have bought flight tickets to NY for this summer. Length of our stay is exactly 32 days (including arriving day and leaving day). Currently we r trying to figure out how can we see as much as we can during that period. Since we r still students our budget is limited and minimalistic. So far we are thinking about driving big circuit around whole USA.

    It look like this. In reality with all of sights near road and all of the necessary addition driving it could go up to 15k km which is 9320 miles.

    My question is what do you guys think about doing such a big portion of miles in 32 days. Is it doable ? Also to mention that we are 4 guys and 3 of us can drive.

    Best regards & thanks for all answers and opinions :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Getting started.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    It would be possible yes, would it be fun ? That depends on what your goals are for the trip and what you want to see. With that type of trip, half of all your daytime would be spent in the car which can be testing on friendships. You should sit down as a group and decide what you each want from the trip, the places you really want to see and then try and join the dots and see how it works. A good wall map of the US and some marker pins is a good way to start, but keep in mind that trying to see as much as possible often means less time to actually enjoy them and they just become an attraction ticked off a list rather than a memorable experience to cherish.

    Once you have done some research and other questions come up , just ask. Enjoy the planning !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Get some good maps to see just how much there is to see and enjoy in half the US.

    More than 9000 miles in little more than 4 weeks works out at more than 2000 miles per week, that is 4 days of doing nothing other than driving each week. Only you can decide if that will be 'enjoyable' and 'fun'.

    Might I suggest that you cut that down and concentrate on the eastern half of the US. The historical, natural and other attractions in this part of the country can make a great trip, and you would actually have time to see and enjoy all the places you visit.

    Dave mentioned a good sized wall map. that is a great idea, but for more detail of the routes and attractions, it would well pay you to get hold of a Rand McNally road atlas. If this is not available locally, you can purchase one from the RTA store via the link at the bottom of this page. If you order it now, you will have it in a couple of weeks. It will show you all the roads and routes available to any attraction, and most, if not all the attractions along the way. You will see so much more detail than you will on a computer screen.

    Whatever you do, do not take travel times from computer programs. They are unrealistic and do not relate to real time on the road. As a rough rule, assume that every hour you will be covering about 50 - 55 miles - including all essential stops, but not sightseeing.

    On a budget, what accommodation are you thinking of using - Motels or camping?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I'm going to chime in here and agree -- only you decide whether driving 2000+ miles every week (not including the miles you put on driving to/within/from any given attraction) is fun for you. Everyone has their own road trip style.

    Three drivers is a plus in one big way: it will help you spell each other on the longer days on the road. But even with three drivers, 600 miles is about the amount you should drive in one day, less if you are stopping to see something along the way or if you are camping (because you'll still have to set up camp at night and then tear it down).

    One other issue that you'll need to figure out if you're on a budget: your rental car. You are three unrelated drivers, and it's quite a possibility that the rental company will try to charge you extra fees for the other two. Sometimes that's as much as $25/day per driver, or $50/day for the two extra drivers. However, try an overseas consolidator, as they are sometimes able to get those fees waived.

    If you do decide to change your trip in order to enjoy it more, you will probably want to keep to a loop trip. It's also cheaper for your rental car, as there will be no one-way drop fees added.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Possibly another issue.

    Following on from the above about your car rental, the fact that you say you are students, there are usually 'Young driver fees' applied for each driver under the age of 25 years and it is very difficult to find companies that will let anyone under the age of 21 years old drive at all. These can be significant amounts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Phoenix, Arizona



    If the 9,000+ mile loop in a rental car proves to be too much, in driving time, or in cost (when you add up all those possible extra fees), you might consider a hybrid itinerary. Rent a car when you arrive in New York, and do a loop restricted to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, which could include the New England states, Washington DC, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and so much more. Take as much as two weeks to explore the best of the Eastern US.

    At the end of that time, return to New York and turn in your car, then cross the country by air (search for deals--it can be far less expensive than driving, especially in a rental car), or by train (Amtrak offers student discounts). When you reach your preferred destination in the western US: Denver, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, wherever, you rent another car, and drive another two week loop that could include any number of world class marvels. Turn in your car where you got it, fly back to New York, and home.

    Depending on your budget and priorities you could jump around even more. Only you know what's most important to you: if the thing that matters most is the journey, then by all means, stick with your original plan and drive the whole thing, Sometimes the journey truly is the destination. That can be glorious, and it can certainly be done. Just be aware that you'll be spending the greatest part of your time sitting in your rental car, watching the miles go by.

    If, on the other hand, it's the destinations that matter most? If there are specific, but widely separated sites and sights that you really and truly don't want to miss? In that case, consider a combination of transportation methods. To put distances in perspective: a drive all the way across the US takes just under six days (in each direction), with minimal stops. A flight across the US takes just under six hours.

    The USA is a very big country (especially when you add in Alaska). And there's a lot to see, so no matter how you travel, your trip should be quite wonderful (as in, filled with wonders)!

    Enjoy! If you do it right the planning can be half the fun.

    Rick Quinn

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    To put it in perspective distance wise, driving from NYC to Los Angeles is like driving from Moscow to Madrid.

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