Aussie to travel NYC to LA via Houston and Las Vegas...
A few of us lads in Australia would like to do a road trip from New York to Los Angelas via Houston, Las Vegas, Washington and anywhere else cool we can visit on the way.
We have 4 weeks to play with, and would like to know how much cash we need to consider. Are there any spreadsheets previous members have done for past trips?
Not being a native, I'm also not sure on the best way to get transport, do we buy or lease!? We're in our mid-twenties and don't mind roughing it a bit...
Look forward to some help!
Very Big Canvas
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!
You've got a lot of ground to cover, but plenty of time to do it. The few places on your list are certainly within reach on a four week trek. Unfortunately, 'cool' is much too broad a term to really define what it is you want to see or experience on your trip: Nature? Nightlife? Oddities? What?
Judy laid out a good summary of RoadTrip costs that still hold pretty true, although you might want to increase the cost of gas to $3.00/gal and kick everything else up by about 10%. Don't forget to also leave some 'wiggle room' and a fund for unexpected emergencies.
Your best bet, by far, is to simply rent a car. There will be a fairly large charge (several hundred dollars) for leaving the car in New York rather than returning it to Los Angeles, and there will be a hefty fee (around $25/day/person) for any drivers who are under 25. But leasing makes no sense for a period as short as a month and buying, especially as a foreigner with no permanent address in the US is neither cost nor time efficient.
Last edited by AZBuck; 07-10-2007 at 08:54 AM.
We are all in our mid-twenties, and single, I want to see a bit of the history, would like to stop via Washington etc but also want to party hard in NYC and visit some sporting events.
If you had three weeks to drive from NYC to say Las Vegas going the 'long way' around the coast, how much would you spend on average including food, fuel (or gas :) plus leisure spending (booze, partying and enjoying the young mans way of life). per day each day? On average ~$100 per day? ~$150 per day?!
We have no idea what we are getting ourselves into, and literally have a blank canvas to work from in regards to recommended routes and places to see. We don't even know the true distances we are working with. We have crossed back and forth across Australia several times which is roughly the same width as the USA so we're not totally naive...
None of us know what is in each state apart from the big ticket tourist landmarks that are known world wide... so any recommendations would be helpful!
A Few Broad Strokes on Your Canvas
In round numbers, and with a fair amount of guessing as to how many of you there are and what level of creature comforts you require and how much you plan to eat and..., I should think that $100(US) per person per day should cover food, gas and lodging. Your partying and 'young man's way of life' will be on top of that, as will admissions to whatever you want to see. The other big expense you have to worry about is the car rental. As I pointed out, whether you are 24 or 25 makes a huge difference in what the car rental will cost you.
If you're going to do New York and Washington, do Philadelphia as well - lots of history and good night life. You'll also want to get to at least one beach on the Atlantic coast. From Washington, some place like Dewey Beach, DE or Ocean City, MD will offer a good mix of partying and beach, while the Outer Banks of North Carolina will be a bit more 'natural' while still offering some other diversions. From there head inland and cross the Appalachian Mountains through Great Smoky Mountains National Park and on to Nashville and Memphis with there great music scenes before making for Houston. Across the southwest, Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, and the Grand Canyon are all (more or less) on your way to Las Vegas.
Those would be the highlights of a great journey across America, You can spend a few days anywhere along the way that catches your fancy, or you can wander off that path as things develop on your trip
The right paint...
For the $2500 it will cost us to rent a car we feel could be better spent in actually purchasing a motor vehicle to drive around the place... We can get a relatively new mini-van for $2k.
Any thoughts? Prices for insurance. 3 of us are over 25...
The other side of the coin
In an ideal world, yes, buying a car does make perfect sense. However, if it breaks down, not only do you have to pay for the thing to be fixed but also make arrangements for it to be towed to a garage and wait whilst it's repaired. At least, with a rental, you phone their emergency number and they come right out and fix it. If they cannot fix it they tow you to their nearest depot and send you on your way in a new car. This last point, incidently, is why it's worth going with one of the big rental companies with lots of depots throughout the area that you will be travelling through.
There's also the problems associated with registering the vehicle and getting insurance as you won't have a US address.
Whichever way you go, the best of luck with your trips, and be sure to come back afterwards and let us know how they went!