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  1. #1
    surfpeta Guest

    Default roadtrip july-august 2005

    hello all.

    i hope you don't find this post too boring cause i'm sure you've been asked these same questions a million times already. as a roadtrip beginner i will ask them anyway :)

    we're two girls from slovenia planning a 3-4 week roadtrip. we haven't decided yet whether to stay on the west coast or do the whole thing. we checked some car rental prices online and were surprised to see they were as low as $800 per three weeks. is that correct and is there anything else we can look forward to see in the small print of a car rental contract? we'll both be 25 this coming fall (in case this has any effect on the price of car rentals). is there any difference in the car renting procedure if you stay in one part of the US compared to driving across the country? we plan on sleeping in cheap motels but we don't mind camping either. can you help us with some preliminary budget calculations?

    thanks, petra

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default The Whole thing?

    i hope you don't find this post too boring cause i'm sure you've been asked these same questions a million times already. as a roadtrip beginner i will ask them anyway
    We aim to please -- beginners are always welcome here.
    we're two girls from slovenia planning a 3-4 week roadtrip. we haven't decided yet whether to stay on the west coast or do the whole thing.
    The Whole Thing -- all of North America or just the USA or??? It is doubtful that you could see even the southwest in 3-4 weeks -- but it would be a good start.
    we checked some car rental prices online and were surprised to see they were as low as $800 per three weeks.
    That does seem to be a very good price. What rental company were you looking at?
    is there any difference in the car renting procedure if you stay in one part of the US compared to driving across the country?
    Many contracts specify that rental cars may not be driven across state borders without incurring a huge surcharge. What does the one you are looking at say?
    we plan on sleeping in cheap motels but we don't mind camping either. can you help us with some preliminary budget calculations?
    I would suggest looking at Gen's article about The Art of the Cheap Roadtrip and I expect that Gen and others will post here soon with more tips.
    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default

    Hi Petra (oh, i really love that name!:-)

    we haven't decided yet whether to stay on the west coast or do the whole thing
    Like Mark said, it is virtually impossible to visit America or even just the US in 3-4 weeks. Of course, everything depends on a lot of factors. For example : how many time you want to spend on the road, how much you want to sleep and what is your driving experience. Some people just like to drive like crazy, some prefer to take it easy and some enjoy both. If you're not really used to this kind of trip, especially if it's your first time in America, I suggest you concentrate on one portion of the territory because you'll find that our countries are huge! Sometimes you can drive for several days without even crossing the State/Province line! That doesn't mean you can't change your plans en route, anything's possible but you have to think about timing, especially if you rent a car! I think 3-4 is enough to see some interesting parts of America but I bet you'll want to come back!

    we checked some car rental prices online and were surprised to see they were as low as $800 per three weeks. is that correct and is there anything else we can look forward to see in the small print of a car rental contract?
    Like for every other kind of contract, you have to read everything and if you don't understand something, ask for explanations. Very important : ask for illimited mileage unless you want to pay expensive extras when you get back. Only 800$ US?? There must be a limitation of some kind (X miles/week) and that must be for a very basic vehicle. I don't know what will be your luggage and if you'll bring camping gear with you, but if you reserve a car in advance, you probably won't be very happy to realize that your stuff don't fit in the trunk at your arrival. I know Europeans are used to small cars and know how to fit lots of things in small spaces:o) but you still have to think about all these details. Oh and don't forget about air conditioning if you're going in the south west unless you're a heat addict like me:-)! You also have to think about insurance : auto insurance and travel insurance (medication, luggage, etc.). Is your driver's licence valid in the US? Do you have passports? Do you want to do a roundtrip or go from point A to B? That'll change your flight plan.

    we'll both be 25 this coming fall (in case this has any effect on the price of car rentals).
    Yep, unfortunately, most rental car companies will charge you an extra if you are under 25, for insurance reasons, apparently.

    we plan on sleeping in cheap motels but we don't mind camping either.
    There is a post on this forum called "Lodging for the budget traveler" use the search function. You will see all kinds of suggestions on cheap motels/campgrounds and other alternatives. Motel 6 is always a sure bet, you can usually have a basic clean room for under 45$US (incl. tx) depending on the area you're in (usually prices tend to grow in the east).

    can you help us with some preliminary budget calculations?
    Just to give you an idea, my latest roadtrip lasted 2 weeks and it costed me more or less 950$US. This includes gas, lodging in cheap motels, souvenirs and meals. But if you are going to camp, you could make this even cheaper and my trip was a solo roadtrip while you get to split the expenses.

    Happy planning!

    Gen
    Last edited by Quebec Gen; 04-27-2005 at 05:17 AM.

  4. #4
    surfpeta Guest

    Default

    thanks for all the info. it's a great start. i'll be back with more questions once we've planned out more of our trip.

    petra

    ps. we both drive small cars, yes, so that shouldn't be a problem :)

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