East and Westcoast.
Hi Everyone, I have been lurking here for a few weeks since myself and a friend of mine have decided to roap trip late next spring/early summer. We both hail from Dublin, Ireland, and it will be both of our first times in the USA. We are hoping to have maybe one or two more people coming along as well.
I am posting here because I'm hoping to find out what you make of our plans. Do you wreckon they are to ambitious or are they reasonable? Because we just don't have a clue!!!
We are hoping to fly into San Francisco and stay there for 10 days, hoping to stay a few night in Yosemite Park, maybe even try hit the Grand Canyon then drive to Las Vegas for 3 days then on to Los Angeles for 10 days and then on down to San Diego.
We were originally hoping to drive across from San Diego through Arizona over to New Orleans then down into Florida, but we just don't know if that would work. If not we dont mind flying over to Florida but it would be nice to drive.
We are then spending the rest of our time, 10 days in Orlando, 2 days in Daytona Beach, 2 days in Phillidelphia then 10 days in New York.
Because we are not US residents we have 90 days in which to do this! Do you think it is possible and how much do you think we should budget? I'm 23 and she will be 24 a the time of the trip.
Another question I have is car rental. We were looking into it and it seems a bit pricey. I seem to remember a friend I have lost contact with telling me about driving someone elses car for them from one destination to the other and that the price on doing this was not half as bad as you were doing the owner a favour?
You all seem to be extremely helpful and knowledgeable and I would like to say thanks for any responses in advance.
The Usual Suspects
Céad Míle Fáilte! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!
You are certainly asking the usual, which is to say the proper, questions. The details of your trip are probably not as important at this point as simply getting the broad brush strokes of feasibility. So let's start there. 90 days is plenty of time to see a good bit of America including both coasts and even bits of Mexico and Canada if you are so inclined. Some rules of thumb to keep in mind as you plan. If you were just driving, with no stops for sight seeing, than it's 5-6 days to cross the U.S. east<->west and 2-3 days north<->south. Time is not really your limiting factor.
Money, however, might be. Generally, when my wife and I travel, I loosely plan on around $150/day for meals and lodging. I budget car rental, gas and airfare separately, because those I generally know about prior to leaving. There are ways to save on the day-to-day expenses, so that you may be able to do considerably better than we do. Your biggest cost driver, however, will be the car rental. The problem is that you are both under 25 years old and that means you will be hit by a substantial daily surcharge or $25/each/day. If you both want to drive, that means an extra $4500 on top of a rental for the full 90 days. Unfortunately, driving someone else's car does not come without its own restrictions. This is referred to as a Drive Away and can work in certain circumstances, but it is not a way to take a scenic cross country drive. Almost always, the car must be delivered in very short order, say 5-6 days for a complete coast-to-coast drive and so leaves no time for doing anything other than driving.
I hope that outline of time and money factors gives you a clue as to what you can accomplish.
Last edited by AZBuck; 08-05-2008 at 10:27 AM.
Hello and welcome to the R.T.A. forums.
That's quite some adventure you have in mind.
With the time you have then I can't see any reason for you not to be able to drive across the country from San Diego to Florida if that's what you would prefer to do.
From San Francisco it is worth visiting and staying in Yosemite to do some exploring. If you do end up driving across country you may as well take the beautiful Pacific coast highway [Route1] to Los Angeles before heading out to Vegas, Grand canyon and then continue East.
The budget is a tough one to answer, especially as you haven't mentioned your real interests and what sort of accommodations you are considering along the way, so some more info and we should be able to help.
I'm also not sure on the car rental bit. I have heard that sometimes rental companies, which charge extra for one way rentals, can sometimes offer discounts, if they need part of there fleet moved because to many are on one side of the country. Driving somebody else's car could be a minefield. Things like mechanical condition for such a trip, what would happen if you were to break down, who would pay costs and no company back up.
I think once you have sorted out the basics and whether to drive or fly and list your interests etc there will be better building blocks on which to build your trip. Another thought is, have you considered a little less time in the cities and a bit more time in between them? There are so many fantastic areas of natural beauty to explore so I thought I would ask, but if you are city folk then that's fine.
Come back soon.