2 Scottish Lassies Need Help!
Hi there, i hope someone can help!
Myself and a friend are planning a road trip across the states this year. We are planning on flying to Vancouver, covering the West coast and Vegas. Then going through Arizona (making a couple of stops) New Mexico (making a couple of stops) Texas (making a couple of stops) Louisiana (making a couple of stops). Then heading North through Mississippi then Tennessee stopping at Memphis and Nashville. Then heading North again to Chicago and then East to New York and then on to Toronto to get a flight home. The problem is that we are planning to do all this in 4 weeks! Can someone let me know if this is achievable? Also, we really want to get a convertable, can anyone suggest a good hire car co in Vancouver who would be best to rent from, even if we want to drop off in Toronto!?
Any help would be much appreciated!!
Welcome to the RTA Forum!
I don't know of any one company specifically that will best meet your needs, you'll simply have to do a little shopping around.
I can tell you that you will need to expect to pay a very large premium to do the kind of trip you are talking about. A convertable will cost a lot more than a standard car to rent, and you may also have to pay more on top of that for a one way drop fee. You also didn't state your age, but while some companies will rent to people under age 25, most will not rent premium cars, like convertables to anyone who is not at least 25.
As far as your trip plan, if your definition of "stop" is much more than spending the night in a motel and then moving to a new location the next day, then I think you'll have problems. Your trip covers at least 6000 miles, probably more, which means you need to be covering more than 200 miles a day. That's not an impossible distance but its also with the assumption that you would be driving every single day. If you start spending more than a day or two at the places you've listed, you really will start running out of time.
Try Avis for the car. They seemed to be ridiculously cheap when we rented from them in Toronto (great city - you'll want to spend several days there - after seeing Niagara Falls, of course!) though I'm not sure how they were for one way drop off charges. Is there a particular reason you chose this route? It does, as has been suggested, seem to be something of a challenge in terms of miles. There really is so much to see and do along that route that I think you're gonna struggle.
Thanks for your advice, i will look into a economy car with avis and some of the other co's in the area. I would guess it would be cheaper to pick up a car from city centres intead of the airports?
We chose this route becasue we want to see as much as we can, i realise it may mean driving for hundreds of miles each day but we will do a full planning session and see what we think! How long would you suggest for such a trip? Would there be another route you would suggest to bring our milage down?Also can you give me some advice to which would be the best cities, hotspots you would think we should visit? We really would like to see some of the southern states as well as the west coast.
Thanks for your help.
Rental rates really vary
You really need to check out as many car rental agencies as you can, and then compare the rental costs from their airport sites and their downtown sites. Most of us are boggled by how they determine their rates and it's hard to pin down a pattern. Always make sure they have all the relevant information like age of drivers, number of drivers, and pick-up and drop-off locations. Also, you might want to check with your current auto insurance to see if it covers you for car rental liability/damages. If so, you can decline their daily insurance fee which will save you some bucks.
I google-mapped your basic route plans. You're looking at about 10,000 miles. I don't know if this link will work but let's give it a try: go here. As you can see, this doesn't include any exploring or meandering around. Just the direct miles. So you can easily figure another 20% or so, if not more if I've left off places you want to visit, for 12,000 miles. 12,000 divided by 28 days is 430 miles per day. Since we figure a person can only average about 55mph over the course of a day of driving...this includes time for very quick stops for food/fuel...this is about 8 hours per day of driving. Doesn't leave you much time for exploring. And this pace will be virtually impossible to keep up over a 28-day period, I don't care how young and energetic you are. You are eventually going to need some downtime from the road.
And, really, you probably only have, at most, 26 days because your arrival/departure days probably wont' allow for much, if any, travel. So now you're looking at 460 miles/day and closer to 8-1/2 hours per day driving time.
I'm sorry but, realistically, I think you need to re-evaluate your plan. If you flew into Vancouver and did a loop of the West, you would be traveling less miles and really be able to enjoy the things you see more. Plus you could return the car to Vancouver and avoid the one-way drop off charge. Or fly into Toronto and do a loop through the East and Southern parts of the country. At least that's what I would do if it were me.
Let us know how we can help you further.
Judy, since you started the trip in Canada, Google defaults the trip to Kilometers, not miles. I actually did the same thing earlier, but converted it to miles when I figured the 6,000 number.
I'd guess total actual traveled distance will probably be around 8000 miles. That still leaves a pretty grueling 300 or so miles a day to cover, everyday for nearly a month, which would be tough, although not nearly as tough as 12,000 miles.
If you want to focus on the west and south, I think I would leave off Chicago, New York, and Toronto. Perhaps start in Seattle and then fly home from somewhere in the south like Houston, Memphis, or Atlanta. You'd still have to keep moving, but that would shave a lot of miles off your plan.
Sorry for the KM mistake!
Gosh, I looked and it does say kilmetres, not miles. I'm so glad you pointed that out, Michael. I'll watch for that in the future so I don't make the same mistake again.
Its a google thing
Google decides that if you are starting your trip in Canada, you must prefer the metric system, even if you are finishing your trip in the US. If you start your trip in the US and go to Canada, it still uses miles.
I would like to think there is a way to change that within the program, but after a quick look, I don't see an obvious way to always use miles (or km).
Just use the reversing arrows
That would be nice, and actually pretty easy to code -- but what I do is just use the reversing arrows (switch order of the destination/start locations) to get the mileage/Km conversions. Or you can use this other tool for conversions.... Not as handy - but still works.
Originally Posted by Midwest Michael
I have done the same thing, however, that doesn't really work when you are plotting a trip like this one where you are starting in Vancouver, ending in Toronto, but spending most of the trip in the US. If you reverse it, you are still starting in Canada.
Other than "doing the math", you have to move your starting or ending point to a US location to get it to report the results in miles. Not that this is all the difficult, just an annoying extra step that really shouldn't be needed.