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  1. Default Help!! Trying to organise a road trip for next year and need advice

    Me and a mate are from the uk and are wanting to road trip across the states for about 5 months or so starting may 2011. We already have a rough idea of where we want to go and which states we want to visit. The route we have mapped out is;
    -start in san francisco
    -down route 1 to LA
    -from LA to Vegas
    -Vegas to Arizona and the grand canyon
    -through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana to New Orleans
    -up the Mississippi to Memphis
    -through Tennessee visiting Nashville and Knoxville
    -from Tennessee up into Viirginia
    -up through Virginia to Washington DC
    -then to New York going through Baltimore, Newark and Philadelphia

    After New York we are thinking of heading up further to either Boston or Vermont and are also thinking of missing out LA and going straight to Vegas through Yosemite National Park.

    Any advice and from anyone who has done this routes, a similar one or parts of it would be more than welcome. Any great little towns/places along the way? Should we buy a car or rent one? Will 5 months be long enough to do it properly without it feeling like we're rushing? How much money should we look at taking?

    Thanks very much

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

    Default legal issues

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    It sounds like you've got a great idea for a trip, 5 months is a fantastic amount of time for a trip like this and far more than what most people have available. However, there are a few issues

    First, a 5 month trip means you need a full tourist visa, which from what I understand, its a very complex and time consuming process. I don't have much for answers, but I would get started on that now. Without it, you'll be limited to 3 months on the Visa Waiver Program.

    Second, buying a car for a 5 month trip would likely be the cheaper options, however purchasing a car as an international visitor is also a very difficult process. If you do get a full visa it will likely be a little easier, but you will likely need to get a US drivers license (you can drive on a UK license, but purchasing a car will be nearly impossible without a US one), and then register and get insurance. Without a US address, you generally can not do any of those things, and in many cases, you have to prove that you actually "live" at your new US residence.

    If you can get past all of those things, you should have a great time, but the red tape will be a challenge and I would get started on that ASAP, even though your trip is still a year away.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default More research.


    It's an exciting plan you have laid out and with 5 months to travel will have time for plenty of exploring without feeling rushed !

    As Michael noted you have some issues to sort out to finalise the basis of your trip and at what budget. Renting a car for that amount of time won't be cheap but if you are under 25 years of age you could also be facing a "young drivers" fee that can amount to $25 a day extra.

    You have an outline of what you want to do but I would keep researching the places between those you have listed with a good map at hand and by searching through the RTA pages as there is just too many options to start listing things at the moment.

    As for a budget, again it's a case of doing a little research, in the green tool bar above you can get an idea of costs for Flights, car rental and Hotels. You can then shop around looking for comparisons, over 5 months you might want to consider buying some basic camping gear and camp out some of the time, here are some budgeting tips. You will be amazed at the info you can find that covers everything relating to the road trip by looking through the various pages at RTA, it amazes me how I keep finding new things and I have been around for a while now !

    Once you have these steps out of the way I am sure we will be able to make some meaningful suggestions and if you have any other specific questions just ask, but for now enjoy these early planning stages.

  4. Default

    Hi, We haven't done all of your trip but have done some so assuming you do get past 'Homeland Security' you might want to include these little detours:-

    from LA to Vegas - Go via Death Valley and stay the night, well worth it for the unbelievable starlit sky
    -Vegas to Arizona and the grand canyon, Hoover Dam well worth a visit
    -through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana to New Orleans
    -up the Mississippi to Memphis Assume you'll 'do' Graceland, but if you get the time (only a day trip really) go see Elvis' Birthplace in Tupelo, less gaudy and gives more of an insight into his life
    -through Tennessee visiting Nashville and Knoxville The Country & Western Hall of Fame in Nashville, well worth a look, even if you're not a big fan. You might want to visit Dollywood too, there are various events on throughout the year. We visited the nearby town of Pigeon Forge during the last 'Rod Run' of the Season (september), never seen so many hot rods and classic cars in my life, took us an hour to drive about one mile through them!!

    As our American cousins would say, "Enjoy!"

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