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  1. Default Chicago to Miami

    Hey everybody!

    I'm new to this website but it seems full of helpful people so I figured I could seek some advice here. I'm from the UK and next year I'm taking a trip round the world with some friends (Japan, Thailand, Australia and America).

    We're flying into LA from Australia then making our way up to San Fran, and then flying east to Chicago; but from there, there are a ton of places we wanna visit and we were wondering if a road trip would be possible/feasible/sensible.

    Basically, we wanna go up to the Niagara Falls from Chicago, then over to Boston on the coast, then basically down the coast, stopping at NYC, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Williamsburg (VA), Orlando and Miami.

    For this leg of the trip we'd have three, maybe four weeks. Is this enough time to pull off something like this? Would we be able to stop at each place for a couple of days?

    There are also further complications. As we're from the UK, we won't have our own car out there (shipping them would be too expensive); we're also just 18/19 years old (in our gap years before university). Most rental companies have policies where the primary driver must be 21+. This is clearly a problem. Are there any rental companies that allow 18/19 year old drivers?

    Also the destination is obviously a long distance from the origin...1200 miles maybe. Most rental companies will charge an extortionate drop-off fee for this, as we won't be returning the car to Chicago. In my guidebook it mentions Driveaways, where you drive someone's car from A to B, can anyone fill me in on this? Would they be OK with us taking 3/4 weeks to do this journey? And are they still strict on the 21+ thing?

    There are 4 of us making the trip btw, so we were thinking maybe an RV or some sort of van might be more suitable, but again, we may need an additional license or something for this?

    But yeah if anyone could send any advice or assistance my way, I'd greatly appreciate it. If all else fails, we'll just be getting Amtrak passes, although I feel that driving would be more adventurous and we'd get to see more of the actual country.

    Many thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default bad news

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The really bad news here is that I don't know of any good way for you to embark on a roadtrip like this. It is virtually impossible to rent a car in the US unless you are 21. You might find a local company that will allow rentals to an 18-20 year old, but you're going to pay an extremely high fee for this, and one way rentals will not be allowed.

    Driveaways will also not be an option. These companies do not allow you to take the car for more than what it takes from point A to point B, so that's not going to work here either.

    I think you'll be stuck with Amtrak to make this trip work. While passenger rail in the US is a huge step down to what you'll find in Europe, the service on the East Coast is decent, so I think you should be able to make your Chicago-Florida leg without too many problems.

  3. Default

    Oh, I'm very disappointed to hear that!
    But thankyou for your reply, that's one more thing out the way in what is proving an extremely complex trip to plan!

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