Two Brits planning a road trip seek advice
Hi.. My name is Ollie and I am 22 soon to be 23, I am currently living In the UK near London and A friend and I are fed up with living quite a dull life over here compared to what we could be doing over at your end. We are planning on a road trip from somewhere like Boston over to Cali and trying to fit in as many states as possible... time isn't a problem but of course we will have a budget.. we would like to either buy a big old buick or caddy or try and get drive-aways where possible (would they let a Brit drive - away?) This would be a first for both of us and would appreciate any feedback and advice.... we want to see all the sites and some of the less touristy towns etc, would we be welcome at most places or shall are there places we should steer clear of? what would you advise we budget for each day.. food and a bed when needed, not including gas....
I am also looking into doing a roadtrip in america, and am a fellow brit. Do you know anything about the laws about driving over there, insurance and all the legal stuff? I'm 18 and would be 19 when doing it (from may -august) I am planning to get a VW camper or a caddy something old and rusty with character!
thanks for any help you can give
Drive-aways are not really a holiday
You can contact one of the driveaway companies but I expect you will have to post a sizeable bond. I suppose there is some romance is driving a vintage caddy -- but are you really looking forward to breaking down on your roadtrip?
There are no places you should steer clear of -- being British -- being pleasant is always the best.
The question of budget is covered by a number of the posts on this forum.
Ollie and friend,
Congratulations on picking up and doing something about your self-described "dull" life! I did the same thing last summer, and it has taken this soon-to-be 20 year-old to Europe for an unforgettable 5 months (I am currently in Frankfurt, awaiting my flight home). Unfortunately, I have no knowledge and therefore no advice concerning buying cars, etc., but I would agree with the editor that something more manageable, reliable, and economical than an old (though stylish!) Caddy would probably be the best in the long run. Maybe something like a Honda would be good, unless you're looking for something you can actually LIVE in. But that, of course, is your call. As for destinations, I have a few recommendations. If you're interested in US history at all, Boston and Philadelphia are great, of course. There are also tons of Revolution and Civil War-era battlefields scattered about the east, and Mexican and Native American battlefields in the west. The northeastern forests are great for hiking and camping. Check up on the Adirondacks in New York, the Poconos in Pennsylvania, and other forests and parks in the New England states. The 2000+ mile Appalachian Trail goes from Georgia to Maine, cutting through some great scenery and ending on Mount Katahdin, Maine. The northern midwest/west states of North and South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho are sparsely populated (there are easily more people in Boston than all of Wyoming), rugged, and very very cool and beautiful. Do some looking up on Teddy Roosevelt National Park, Badlands NP, Glacier NP (awesome), and of course Yellowstone. I think they're currently working on a massive monument to Crazy Horse somewhere up there too, carved out of a mountain just like Mount Rushmore. The Pacific Northwest has some very amazing mountains (the Cascades, which include Mount St. Helens) and forests (among others, the world's only (I think) temperate rain forest in Washington's Olympic National Park). The southwest has the most breath-taking scenery I've ever seen. From the hoodoos at Bryce Canyon NP to the Narrows in Zion NP to the incredible stone arches in Arches NP to the unbelievable scale of the Grand Canyon, the southwest is guaranteed to blow you away. A drive not to be missed for the world is the amazing Highway 1 that goes down the western coast. California is a good place to end. Besides San Francisco, it has the famous redwood and sequoia trees, Yosemite NP, real deserts and real mountains, and other stuff. My favorite cities in the States are Boston, NYC, Chicago, and my hometown Pittsburgh. Wow, didn't mean to write an entire travel book here. Maybe I should've just emailed you. As you can see, I love this land and I think you will too. The US has the wettest area on earth (Hawaii), the fastest measured windspeed (Mt. Washington, NH), the tallest mountain in North America (McKinley, AK), both the oldest and largest known living things (both trees and both in CA; Methusaleh, a bristlecone pine, and General Sherman, a redwood), and many other superlatives to her credit. Oh yeah--the people here are great too. I wouldn't expect any special trouble on account of your nationality. In fact, I think Americans would love to meet some Brits! We love your accent. Now for the budget. It seems to me that food in America is a good deal cheaper than what I experienced in England. I mean, a 2 cheeseburger meal with fries and a coke at Burger King is like 2 pounds ($2.99) in Pittsburgh. Supermarket prices are also lower, I think, but I can't think of any good examples since my mom does all the shopping. Cans of Coke sell from $.35-.60, and 20 ounce-ers from under a buck. You could easily survive on $5 a day if you just ate from grocery stores, and you could eat like a king on $15. I don't really know what the lodging situation is like. I think your basic motel is about $25 per person, give or take. Don't quote me on that, though. There are generally lots of campgrounds if you're up for that, but hostels are few and far, far between. Gas is a pittance. When I left home in November, it was less than 1/3 the cost of petrol in the UK. So, if you get that Honda with about 30 miles to the gallon and drive straight the 3000-odd miles from NYC to Seattle you'll be looking at about 100 gallons of fuel at roughly $1.50 a gallon. However, that trip would take you about 2 or 2.5 days of nonstop driving and you wouldn't see much. Feel free to email me. Heck, feel free to come to Pittsburgh and I'll hook you up with a place to stay and show you the local attractions. Hope all goes well.
Another Option worth checking out
The founder of www.onewaylocator.com has been in contact with us. It is a new company but they specialize in matching folks who want to travel with RVs that need to get moved from point A to B.
Please let me know if it works out for you.