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  1. Default Washington > San Fran in 11 days! Possible? Tips?

    Hi all! Itís fantastic to find such a great website!
    I am a South African visiting the United States for the first time and Iíve heard that the best way to see the country is via road tripping! I have friends in the states whom I will be joining with, as well as a friend from Mexico. We will be a group of about 7 Ė mostly female Ė between the ages of 17 and 21. We arenít what youíd call ďwild teenagersĒ so attractions like night clubs in Vegas wonít really be our thing. Scenery is better but we donít mind a few museums along the way.

    We will be travelling from Dec 13 Ė 24, 2008 (Yes, I know it is winter!). I am looking at travelling in either an RV or 7-seater car and trailer for our luggage. I donít really have an idea of the buying power of a dollar in the states but our budget is between $1000 and $2000 each. I have come up with a rough itinerary, but Iím not too sure if itís possible/ enjoyable in our time frame. Any tips, questions, comments, alternative route ideas would be appreciated! (I will be doing NYC and Florida on a separate trip, so please donít suggest going there for this one.)

    We want to start in Washington, DC and end in San Francisco. This is the route Iíve devised so far:
    Washington (possible 1 day tour before we start)> Pittsburgh, PA > Columbus, OH > Toledo > Chicago > St Louis > Kansas City > to Denver via just Topeka or Topeka, Wichita and Colorado Springs (not sure if Colorado Springs is worthwhile in Dec) > (we have a choice hereÖ)
    1. > Salt Lake City to San Franc or,
    2. > via Grand Canyon (at sunset???) to Los Angeles (perhaps a simple drive-through Las Vegas as gambling and dancing girls arenít our thing) and then up to San Franc.

    This itinerary doesnít indicate stops (Iím not sure of driving times and attractions along the way just yet), but we will probably be staying at on-route motels or hostels.

    I would love to see Disneyland, but as Iíve already said, Iím not sure how long this trip would take and I do plan to visit Florida during the New year. So maybe I should leave it out???

    Thanks for any comments! Iím super excited to see the states!!

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

    Default The big roadblock

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The very first thing you're going to need to figure out is how to make the transportation aspect of your trip. Unfortuantly, because of your ages this will be an extremely big challenge.

    Almost no companies will allow someone under age 21 to rent or drive a rental car. Having at least one person who is at least 21 means some cars will be available, but specialized cars like RVs or 7 passenger vans/SUVs will likely be off limits. Even if you could rent a large van for this trip, you generally are not allowed to pull a trailer with a rental car.

    I think the easiest, and perhaps only, solution will be to rent 2 cars. Hopefully at least 2 people in your group will be 21 for this to be possible, and those people will have to do all of the driving. It also won't be cheap - you'll need to expect about a $25 per day per car surcharge.

    Once you have that aspect figured out, then you'll have a much better idea of what else you can do with this trip.

  3. Default Under age Car hire

    Hi there! Thank you somuch for pointing out the car rental problem! I've done some research and have found some companies that are willing to rent to under 21s. How reputable they are, I'm not sure. There's Allstates car rental, Budget, Enterprise and National if I get it from NY. There's super huge premiums - which I kind of expected anyway, and if split between all of us will work out affordable - but at least I know it's possible!

    However, I'm not entirely sure if the planned trip above is possible in the given time frame! Any pointers?

    Thanks alot!

  4. #4


    One you have the money figured out. 11 days should be ample time. Figure about 4 or 5 days of just driving across the country.

    Also, take into consideration that the Continental United States is roughly three times bigger then South Africa area wise. That might help as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Careful!

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthAfrica
    There's super huge premiums - which I kind of expected anyway, and if split
    between all of us will work out affordable.
    Remember, the surcharge for an underage driver is per driver. If the surcharge is $25/day and all 7 of you plan to drive at one point or another, you are looking at paying $175/day extra, that's nearly R900/day!


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