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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Liverpool, England

    Default Summer Road Trip

    Me and my girlfriend are planning to visit America this summer for three months ( June, July, Aug ).

    Our route - Start on the North/East coast, travel south to Miami then West to Califronia, taking in all the sights along the way!!!

    Our budget - We are on a budget of around $ 600 per week! That is to cover food, place to stay, gas, travel expenses!!

    We also have some extra money to enjoy some of the touristy things we see along the way!!

    Our dilemma - Waht would be the best option?

    1- Rent RV for the whole journey.
    2- Buy a car on arrival use it for the whole trip and sell at the end.
    3- mix it up and rent Rv, Rent car, Take Trains and Buses.

    What do you think is our best option and what do you think of our budget??

    Thank you in advance for you help!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Below Bare Bones

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I'm afraid that your budget is simply not up to the trip you have outlined. $600/week for two people is barely enough to cover food, lodging and gas if you stay at low-end motels, eat self-prepared meals and drive only modest distances. It will not also cover the cost of a car rental or admissions, and in fact would not be sufficient to even rent an RV if that's all you did with it. If you are both between 21 and 24, for example, just the underage surcharge for you both to drive a standard rental car would be $350/week. Buying a car and selling it at the end has come up often on these forums and the short answer is that for foreign nationals such as yourself with limited time (less than about three months) it can be anywhere from financially unsound to legally and physically impossible. So, my first piece of advice for your trip is to not get ahead of yourselves, and to have a budget that is much more like $900-1,000/week for the two of you before you feel comfortable setting out on such an adventure.


  3. Default

    On $85/day for two people . . . let's be sure I understand: $85/day must cover your living expenses, and you have "extra money" for fun stuff, touristy stuff. So we only need to address the living expenses.

    An RV is totally impossible. That budget won't even cover the cost of the rental, much less gas, mileage fees, and campsite rental. And that leaves you nothing for food.

    I don't know how feasible it is to buy a car, then sell it right away.

    I checked a SMALL RENTAL car (two people, I figure a compact Chevy Cobalt will do, and they get decent mileage) from Avis rented from June 1 - August 31, and it cost (including taxes, etc.) $25/day.

    Mixing things up isn't really an option. First, renting anything one-way is extremely expensive. Second, unlike European countries, we don't have a plethora of convenient trains, and in all honesty, our busses aren't all that safe. Cheap, yes. Safe, not so much. If you're going to check into these options, our train system is called Amtrak, and our busses are called Greyhound. You can google information on them. America's size and geography really dictate that for such a trip, having your own transportation is the only realistic option.

    Wait, I just realized a problem: Are you coming back to the North /East to fly home? If you're planning a one-way trip and expect to fly home from California, then you'll not get a rental car for $25. It'll be considerably more.

    If you rent a car, that leaves you $60/day for two people -- tight, but do-able. A campsite will average $20/night. If you camp, however, you'll probably need to pick a slightly larger vehicle (to accomodate a tent, sleeping bags, and more), and that'll raise your car rental. Hotel rooms vary widely by cost; some are as low as $40; others are in the hundreds. Priceline is a great source for low-priced hotels.

    Gas is about $2/gallon in most places.
    If you were to start in New York, to go Miami, then end in San Francisco, you'd travel 4333 miles and would use about 144 gallons of gas at a cost of just under $300. This would require about $4/day from your budget.
    If you're making a loop trip and are returning back to New York, it'd be more like 7242 miles, 241 gallons and just short of $500, $5.50/day from your budget.
    Of course, this is a VERY rough guess, and I"m making some BIG ASSUMPTIONS here: You said North East and I guessed New York. You said California, and I chose San Fran ramdomly. Also, this doesn't allow ANY getting-lost miles or driving around town miles -- you should probably allow another 30% for that, just to be safe. Finally, will gas STAY at $2/gallon? Who knows? This time last year it was $4/gallon, and it could return to that price literally overnight. I think it'd be safer to assume $3/gallon, and know that IF it doesn't go up, you have a little extra spending money.

    With so many variables, I'm not sure I answered any questions whatsoever.

  4. Default

    Don't forget, without insurance, you will need/want to purchase insurance through the rental agency. That can total $20+ a day as well. Unless you want to pay the bill for any damage (including replacing the entire car if it happens).


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Liverpool, England


    Thanks for the advice!!

    Some good point were raised!!

    Think we are gonna save a little bit longer and aim for a budget of between $900-$1000 per week!!

    We should be able to make this last!!

    I am 28 y/o so dont have to worry about excess on car rentals!!

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