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  1. Default $10,000 one man east to west?

    I'm an Indian citizen & plan to do this solo on a tourist visa. I want to go from New York to LA. Please suggest a suitable itinerary. I am more interested in seeing "real America" than concrete jungles (although I do want to visit Miami & Las Vegas).

    A few $$ related questions:
    • I'm 20 years old & want to do the trip this year. Will there be any additional fee charged by car rental companies?
    • Would you suggest buying a used car & selling it after the trip, or renting one? Can I get a Mustang or some SUV in my budget (rental)?
    • How many days/stops is suitable for my budget? I don't want luxury, but neither do I want to rough it out camping or sleep in the car. I don't mind camping in outdoors locations (yellowstone?)
    • Daily expense estimate?

    The $10,000 budget excludes airfare from & back to India. This would be a one-way road trip. I'll get on a plane back to India after reaching the west coast.

    Also, outside this budget for the road trip itself, how much would a cruise to Alaska cost with some guided sight seeing?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    We are not a travel planning service, so a neatly wrapped itinerary will not be forthcoming. However, if you have some idea of the general route you want to take, then we can provide suggestions of things to see and do in the nearby areas.

    There will be an additional fee for renting a car since you are under 25. There will also be a one way drop off fee. Check with the agency from which you are renting for the fee amounts. There are many legalities to deal with when purchasing a vehicle, such as what state it will be licensed in, insurance, taxes, and the inevitable effort of trying to sell the car in the end. I would not recommend it.

    You could easily spend 2-3 months "out there" with that budget. Figure on $100/day to be safe. A Mustang or an SUV are quite a bit different, but yes, you could get either one on that budget.

    I think the cost of a cruise to Alaska is outside the scope of this forum's primary intent. A search engine should be able to provide you with more specifics for this query.

    Now, on the comment about "real America." A great deal of the population lives in what you call the "concrete jungle." I would suggest your as apt to find what makes America the country it is within those areas as you would be searching out in the rural areas.

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

    Default Research

    Hello and welcome to the RTA froums !

    It comes up time and time again on the forums regarding foreign nationals purchasing vehicles, but with all the paper work and registrations and the need for a US address, we still have not had a person come back to tell us they succeeded in doing so. Unless it was an extended trip it wouldn't be financially viable anyway.

    Your budget is healthy but you will have to deal with 'Young driver' surcharges and a one way drop off fee. You best course of action would be to start looking at various Companies to see what they can offer. After your car rental fees etc you could work around $100 a day for budgeting but this is a 'ball park' figure as you could be more frugal or more extravagant.

    There is not much of this year left and has already seen some winter conditions in certain areas, and places like Yellowstone will be well into 'winter mode' by the Months end.

    The "concrete jungles" like everything else in the US is part of the "real America" so you will need to do some of your own research to discover what it is that appeals to you. You could drive across the Country in 6 or 7 day's so the question is, how long have you got ?

    The same for the Alaskan cruise, you really need to use the Internet o get the most up to date info and prices etc. When you have some dots on the map we will be pleased to help fill in the gaps, but you need to make the start.

  4. Default

    Sorry didn't mean any offense with the concrete jungle comment, I just happen to prefer small towns and nature.

    Major cities I want to visit are NYC, Miami, Las Vegas & Los Angeles. I also want to do a grand canyon plane ride. Based on these destinations, can you recommend authentic small town (steakhouses, offbeat attractions) and natural attractions? I like theme parks and do want to visit Disney land. I am also a fan of strip clubs & similar adult entertainment (I have a separate budget for this).

    Ideally I would like to do this over a period of 1 month. But is $100 or even $200/day practical in the bigger cities? With $50/day average for lodging ($100 in big cities), $20/day for food, $20/day for fuel- the car rent itself and other fun things would be extra...

    By this year I meant 2011- I would still be 20 until August.

    Thanks for your help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Budget

    As far as budget in the larger cities - there's nothing saying that you'd have to stay within the city limits in order to be able to visit those locations. You can usually find more affordable lodging outside of the cities. As for the food budget, it's certainly possible to find a decent meal at a great price in New York City and elsewhere. $20/day for fuel means your daily travel distance will be about 180 miles, assuming 25 miles per gallon and $2.75/gallon for fuel.

  6. Default

    I would recommend you get the book "Road Trip USA" by Jamie Jenson. I took a cross country trip with a couple friends a few years ago and found this book indispensable. It was immensely helpful in planning, and then I took it with me and found it useful on the road as well.

    An Alaskan cruise from the lower 48 (Washington) to the South Central area of Alaska, with sightseeing, will run you anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on whether you're going one-way or roundtrip, what sort of accommodations you'll have, the amount of stops/sightseeing opportunities, etc.. And then flights out of Alaska can be quite pricey.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default a huge problem

    If I'm reading your post correctly that you will be 20 when you try to do this trip, there is a major problem that I'm a little surprised hasn't been mentioned yet.

    Almost no car rental company will rent to anyone under 21 years old. In the few cases where there is an exception (NY State Law for example requires companies to rent to people 18 and up) the underage fee will be a minimum of $50 per day and it would be extremely unlikely that you'd find anyone who would allow a one way trip across country.

    Purchasing a car also will not really be possible, as short term visitors generally can not meet the requirements to get a license, registration, and insurance that are all needed to legally drive the car.

    The sad reality is that foreign visitors under age 21 basically can not travel across the US without relying on public transportation or finding a US resident to travel with.

    If you could wait until you turn 21, you'll find your travels will be a whole lot easier.

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