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  1. #1

    Default 90 day road trip...

    Hi all,

    We've been browsing this forum for a couple of moths now and have decide to take the plunge and get deeper in to the world of Roadtripamerica.com. It seems you guys seem to be very experienced with costing and budgeting these types of things... so, here goes...

    We (two of us...) are flying from lovely London to Quebec, Canada to visit friends in late March Early April. We are planning to shop around for a car while we are there for a few weeks. We should be on the road at the end of April.

    We plan on heading down the eastern side of the country and then gradually making our way semi circularly around (zigzagging here and there!) perhaps a jaunt over to Mexico... up the west coast ... across the top of the U.S/ bottom of Canada and hopefully back to Quebec with some money to spare...

    We aren't in any hurry and hopefully we won’t be attempting too many crazy distances in one day, we are hoping to camp for the majority of the time if we can and only have a few nights per week in a motel...

    Our budget is very loose at the minute as is our trip plan but here is roughly what we had planned budget wise...

    Car: $2000 - $2500
    Food and Ent: $40 per day Average
    Accomodation:$2550 (total) $212.5 Per Week Average.
    Fuel : ???

    We have never been to the states before so we are also wondering about the insurance complications and whether buying a car is the best thing to do? We are still at a very loose stage in our planning so any help at all would be much appreciated. Fuel is a complete unknown to us… so we’d really need some help on that…

    We can't wait to get over there and enjoy some of the amazing sights the states has to offer. We’re really looking forward to sorting out the little details with you guys.

    Thanks in advance,

    N&K

  2. #2

    Default

    This is a big topic to cover, but I'd say that if you're planning on buying a car for under $2500, it might not reliably last you for an entire ninety day trip. $2000 is not going to get you a very nice ride, I would say consider a rental although that's not going to be any cheaper.

    Fuel -- right now is about $2.19-$2.59 / gallon for regular but who knows where prices might be in the spring? But if you're from London I guess that sounds like a screaming deal! :D

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PSU 98
    This is a big topic to cover, but I'd say that if you're planning on buying a car for under $2500, it might not reliably last you for an entire ninety day trip. $2000 is not going to get you a very nice ride, I would say consider a rental although that's not going to be any cheaper.

    Fuel -- right now is about $2.19-$2.59 / gallon for regular but who knows where prices might be in the spring? But if you're from London I guess that sounds like a screaming deal! :D
    Everything in the USA is a bargin with Pounds!

    We were under the impression that we couldn't rent a car for any less than that over the same period. isn't the limit on car rental 28 days? or are we being missled? Are there any long term budget rental places?

    We are aussies too so we don't mind a grotty car with a good engine that will get us around!!! We've checked out some canadian dealership websites and the cars we can get for that amount of money are younger than 10 years old which I would have no quams about driving cross country back home...

    Sorry to be asking so many questions so soon but we really need to shape the costing and logistics of this trip quite seriously over the next three months...

    The other thing that we are familair with is the idea of driving other peoples cars cross country... is this worth looking deeper into?

    We've bought Road Trip USA too! Can't wait...

    N&K

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Ideas

    We were under the impression that we couldn't rent a car for any less than that over the same period. isn't the limit on car rental 28 days? or are we being missled? Are there any long term budget rental places?
    Normal rentals are limited to 30 days, it is possible to obtain rental cars on a modified lease basis that extend this time limit. The advantages of spending $2000 on a rental versus $2000 on a used car include no costs of maintenance, anything goes wrong on a rental, you can simply exchange it, insurance costs will (probably) be less.
    We are aussies too so we don't mind a grotty car with a good engine that will get us around!!! We've checked out some canadian dealership websites and the cars we can get for that amount of money are younger than 10 years old which I would have no quams about driving cross country back home...
    Most rentals here will be 1 year old or less.
    The other thing that we are familair with is the idea of driving other peoples cars cross country... is this worth looking deeper into?
    Drive Away services can be a good match, except that you will be limited in the places you can go. It is tough to sightsee if you are supposed to deliver a car the next day. For more information, look at our international visitors page.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Before you get too far ahead of yourself....

    Let's see, you're going to be travelling on Australian passports, arriving from England, buying a car in Canada, and driving into the United States. If I were you I'd do a little checking with the 'proper authorities' before I pursued this too much further. Do you know whether Canada will let a foreign national (even a fellow Commonwealth member) register a vehicle? What address will you use? Have you made sure that you can get insurance for this multinational endeavor? How much time will you have to sell the car at the end of the trip? Can you take the loss if you can't? I did a quick check and you can rent a brand new car for 3 months for about $2700, but even then, you'd have to make sure that your rental agreement allows travel into the United States and unlimited miles. So, for starters, I'd at least get in touch with the Canadian and American embassies or consulates wherever you can on your journey and look into their requirements for ownership of vehicles and border crossing, and then plan from there.

    The other part of your proposal that rings a little hollow is your proposed cost for a weeks lodging. You might be able to get by on a little over $200 per week if you camp 5 days and use motels 2, but I wouldn't plan on staying 4/3 too often. As a rule of thumb, motels will run you about $60/night and commercial campgrounds $20. You may find some for less and you will certainly find that some nights you'll have to pay more. Just be prepared

    AZBuck

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Let's see, you're going to be travelling on Australian passports, arriving from England, buying a car in Canada, and driving into the United States.
    We'll be arriving on British passports, though I doubt it would make too much of a difference which one we travelled on... or would it?

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    If I were you I'd do a little checking with the 'proper authorities' before I pursued this too much further. Do you know whether Canada will let a foreign national (even a fellow Commonwealth member) register a vehicle?
    That, we actually have no Idea about, Ahhhh! this is getting scary, looks as if the reserch level on this adventure has just gone up a notch...

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    What address will you use? Have you made sure that you can get insurance for this multinational endeavor? How much time will you have to sell the car at the end of the trip? Can you take the loss if you can't?
    If we do end up purchasing a car we have freinds in Quebec who will probably be able to help us out... again though we aren't too sure of the insurace implications... if they can buy the car on our behalf and we can be added to the insurace that might be the way for us to go. Getting the cash back on the resale at the end of the trip would be a nice finish, but the most important thing is a having a good safe trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    I did a quick check and you can rent a brand new car for 3 months for about $2700, but even then, you'd have to make sure that your rental agreement allows travel into the United States and unlimited miles. So, for starters, I'd at least get in touch with the Canadian and American embassies or consulates wherever you can on your journey and look into their requirements for ownership of vehicles and border crossing, and then plan from there.
    Thanks for the great advice AZbuck... we'll get in contact over the next few weeks...

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    The other part of your proposal that rings a little hollow is your proposed cost for a weeks lodging. You might be able to get by on a little over $200 per week if you camp 5 days and use motels 2, but I wouldn't plan on staying 4/3 too often. As a rule of thumb, motels will run you about $60/night and commercial campgrounds $20. You may find some for less and you will certainly find that some nights you'll have to pay more. Just be prepared
    AZBuck
    Again, thanks... we might just have to cut our trip down to 2 months too get the budget that we want out of the trip vs. the amount of fun and comfort we want to have! I guess its a fine line... But it'll be a good challenge finding it!

    Perhaps if we do shorten our trip and speed things up a bit, it would make the idea of rentig a car a more feesable option. I guess the best thing (in a perfect world) would be to borrow a car for the time we are there and get added as extra drivers on the insurance.

    Wooeee... what a mission!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default A Mission Indeed

    There's no need for this to get scary, and if you're out for adventure, problems to be overcome are part of that. I've always found the planning part of any trip to be as enjoyable (albeit in a different way) as the trip itself. You've got the time to look into some of the legal niceties of your trip and it's much better to do that now than to arrive at a motor vehicle department or border crossing unawares. It's the same with the budget, get a good grasp on what you have to spend, what lifestyle that will support and for how long, before you take off. Then when you're actually on the road you can concentrate on enjoying the trip and not worrying about any big, unexpected pitfalls. You've picked perhaps the best time of year to see America and even two months is plenty of time to really experience much of it at a pace most natives don't ever do. I envy you.

    AZBuck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    169

    Default Mexico

    You may want to look into the issues with taking the car into Mexico. That is a whole 'nuther matter. Canadian auto insurance will not cover and "travel medical insurance" will not cover you in Mexico, if my understanding of this is correct. Perhaps easiest to just do Canada and USA. Many spectacular places to do & see in two or three months without ever covering half of North America.

    Once you get the legalities worked out, we can start to help you with actual sights / routes to see.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    I'm curious about what you think you will be able to do for $40/day for food and entertainment. Is this per person? Or in total?

    If you eat exclusively out of your cooler, you will be OK on this amount and still have some money to play with. But not tons of money. If you want to go into museums and other venues that charge admission, or visit a few clubs along the way, I think this amount will fall a bit short. And if you eat in any restaurants, that will make a huge dent in your daily budget. To have any money left to play on, the restaurants would need to be McDonald's and similar, cheaper places.

    There are a lot of really cool places to see that could easily break that budget. Admission prices of $5-12 is pretty common. Some places are much higher. I would hate for you to have to miss out on cool things to see and do because you didn't budget enough. I think I would budget at least $60/day for this. You might spend less but this gives you more leeway.

    If you're planning on going to any of the many wonderful national parks in the US, you'd be best to order a National Parks Pass for $50. Entry fees are typically at least $10 per carload so if you see just 5 parks, you've paid for your pass.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    I'm curious about what you think you will be able to do for $40/day for food and entertainment. Is this per person? Or in total?

    If you eat exclusively out of your cooler, you will be OK on this amount and still have some money to play with. But not tons of money. If you want to go into museums and other venues that charge admission, or visit a few clubs along the way, I think this amount will fall a bit short. And if you eat in any restaurants, that will make a huge dent in your daily budget. To have any money left to play on, the restaurants would need to be McDonald's and similar, cheaper places.
    Yeah its about $45 dollars between the two of us... Looks like it could need an adjustment but yeah... we'll probably spash out at a resturanut 1 or 2 days out of the week... but generally, we'll be cooler boxing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    There are a lot of really cool places to see that could easily break that budget. Admission prices of $5-12 is pretty common. Some places are much higher. I would hate for you to have to miss out on cool things to see and do because you didn't budget enough. I think I would budget at least $60/day for this. You might spend less but this gives you more leeway.
    Thanks for the advice judy, we are usually pretty good at underestimating haha! You're probably right for us to budget on the entertainment aspect a little more generously. so we'll see how we go...

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    If you're planning on going to any of the many wonderful national parks in the US, you'd be best to order a National Parks Pass for $50. Entry fees are typically at least $10 per carload so if you see just 5 parks, you've paid for your pass.
    Yeah, we're definately getting one of those. Is that for a yearly pass?

    Guys thanks for all your help... we are looking at booking aour Tickets to canada this week... I'm starting to get geared up...

    :)

    N&K

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