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  1. Default NYC & LA Tour - This Summer - Key Questions!

    Hi there,

    I am organising a road trip across America between LA & NYC for me and two friends this summer (probably middle of July) and have a couple of questions I would like answered if anyone can!?

    First of all the rental car. We are three under 24's and therefore it seems like we are going to be paying a fortune in excess charges!! Can anyone recommend a rental company that has the cheapest of these excess fees? Also the smallest fee for picking up and dropping off in different locations?

    Secondly the route. We want to see Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore, Chicago and maybe some of the south too. Is there a particular route that you might recommend? Also how long should we allow to travel that route?

    Finally cost. Obviously in the major cities we can make use of hostels/hotels. What would you recommend on the road? We are happy to take a couple of tents and camp generally; is this something that is easy to find whilst driving? If so what is the general cost? And how about motels; what is the average cost of those?

    Anyways I hope someone can answer some of my questions at this early stage in planning our trip!



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

    Default The variable

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There are always answers to questions, but you've left off a key element needed to answer your questions: time.

    The amount of time you have available and plan to be on the road is going to have a major impact on what you can see, what routes you can take, and how much things will cost.

    Unfortuantly there is no one size fits all answer with rental car costs, you'll just have to shop around, and yes, you will have to plan for substantial fees because of this being a one-way, under 25 rental.

    The trip you've laid out so far could pretty much be done by following I-90 and I-15, with appropriate detours to National Parks. This would be about a 10 day trip to get to LA, if you stop at each of the attractions/parks/cities you've listed for about a day. This of course doesn't include the south, but including the south would require a substantial detour from the other things you've listed.

    I'd figure about $20 per night to camp and at least $50 per night for budget motels. Hostels are another option, but they generally charge "per person," so the savings might not be as substantial as you think when compared to motels.

  3. Default


    Thanks for your reply!

    The One-way drop off and excess fee's are a nightmare! I cannot see the one-way fee's stated on any of the websites though; do you know how much they will be on average?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default wide ranging

    Rental Car costs and fees can be all over the place, so its not easy to come up with an average. That said, I'd probably expect the drop fee to be about $500 and the underage fees to be about $25 per day. But those could be a lot more or potentially a lot less depending upon the company, rental locations, etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Drop off fees vary a lot

    When I've poked around, I've found that the drop-off fee can vary by hundreds of dollars. Starting point, drop-off point, type of car, etc. all make a difference. You will really just have to play around on the websites of the different rental agencies and plug in the various information as if you're setting up a rental and see what they say. Or give them a call and talk to a live operator for assistance on this. The fees vary not only between the agencies but within an agency based on these factors. There is no easy answer.

    Both campgrounds and hotels are usually easily found. Camping will always be cheapest. Hostels may be cheapest within cities. However, reasonably priced hotels can usually be found on the outskirts of cities that are cheaper than hostels due to the per-person cost.

    This post has some tips that might be helpful for budget planning.

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