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  1. #1

    Default Curious Norwegians checking out the US!

    Hi everybody!

    We're a young Norwegian couple with three weeks to spend on the road in the US, and now we're asking you guys for advice on how to make the most out of it!

    My girlfriend is attending UCLA this semester, and she has her final exams around 05/10/2011. We have tickets to leave the US from NYC 05/31/2011. Im working in Norway, so our plan is for me to fly on over and meet up with her at an American city of our choice and then just work our way from there to NYC.

    We are not sure whether to rent or buy a car, or if we're gonna drive the whole way (we're don't even know what way that is yet)

    Time period: 05/10/2011 -> 05/31/2011
    Route: Anywhere -> NYC
    Budget: On the tighter end, but some flex.
    Last edited by Marius; 12-28-2010 at 06:13 AM.

  2. #2


    Our initial idea is to both fly to, and met up in, New Orleans where we rent a car, drive on down to Florida, checking out the Keys, Miami, Disney World etc.
    And then make our way up towards DC, where we get rid of the car, take the train to NYC, spend a weekend more or less there before we hop on the plane home to Norway.

    Any thougts on what there is to see along this route? Or are there other routes we should consider?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default foundation

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    A few basic things to consider.

    First, buying a car for a trip that's only a couple weeks long really isn't cost effective. It will be much cheaper to rent, and that's not even including the hassle of buying and selling, and doing all the paperwork - which is virtually impossible as a non-resident anyway.

    The other thing to consider is that renting a car one way will always be more expensive that doing a round trip, and if you are under 25, there will also be an additional fee there.

    As far as where to go, that completely depends upon you. The US is far too big of a place for us to randomly start throwing out places, when we really know nothing about you or what you are interested in. However, this site is filled with ideas and resources, that will provide lots of help if you look around a little bit.

    I will say this, considering your gf is already in LA, I'm a bit surprised that you don't just meet her out there and start by exploring some of the many scenic wonders of the west. Is there something specific drawing you to the east coast? There's nothing wrong with the outline you've laid out, but again, without knowing what you are after, its really impossible for us to tell you if its the right trip for you.

  4. Default

    Hei :)
    As a fellow norwegian I´ve done almost the same route, just in the opposite direction. Spent 5 weeks driving from Washington DC down to Key West and then to New Orleans. Had a bunch of wonderful stops along the way. Will recommend stops in Charleston, Savannah, Orlando, Miami, Key West - but it all depends on what you´re interested in. There are some really wonderful plantations with interesting history to visit in the Charleston-Savannah area, Colonial Williamsburg is another place I loved to visit and of course I never get tired of the parks in Orlando (make sure to visit Magic Kingdom, but if you´ve got the the time there are many other great parks. Other favorites are EPCOT, Sea World and Discovery Cove). In Miami be sure to stay in South Beach.

    New York is my favorite city in the whole world and here it´s a ton of things to do. If you haven´t been here before I would visit Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center gives an amazing view of the city and Empire State Building), take a walk in Central Park, take the Staten Island Ferry to see the skyline and Statue of Liberty up close, walk across Brooklyn Bridge (take the subway too Brooklyn and walk back), see ground zero, visit a museum or two - how about American Museum of Natural History or MoMA - and don´t forget about the shopping....

    Have fun planning! This is a trip I would like to take once more too!

  5. #5


    Hi again guys!

    First of, thanks for your replies, all help is greatly valued!

    Midwest Michael:
    I guess I could have been more informative here. My GF is staying in LA, she arrived yesterday actually and stays there until the start of our roadtrip. Im going to visit her the first two weeks of March, a stay that includes a weekend in Vegas, and MAYBE a short visit in SF. So to make the most out of my two relatively short stays in the US, we're heading east for the second one.

    My GF is also the one considering getting a car. Everyone keep telling us you absolutely need to have a car to suvive in LA, but we decided for her to go over there, and see for herself for a week or so, and then, if needed, get one. And if she does, I guess well maybe change our plan and try driving across the country those three week. But then again maybe not, I guess it can get difficult getting rid of the car at the end of the journey.

    Hei og takk for svaret!
    Your New York tips are noted! Great stuff!

    So far Ive bought Lonely Planets USA guide and searched around this site, checked som rental prices and such.

    Key West in a convertible is absolutely a to-do.

    Whats to see between Miami and Washington DC? (Rhymes!) And how long would it take to check out New Orleans?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    From what I can find, it looks like your GF is going to have to get a California driver's license or state ID in order to title and register a car in California. She will need to be on a student visa with a verifiable California address and have her legal presence documentation from Immigration. If she wants to go through all this, it can be time consuming. Caution her that before she can title and register a car, it must have a smog certificate issued in the past 90 days. The annual registration fee can be quite costly for newer cars. Insurance may be a problem because she would be a newly licensed driver with no US driving record.

    Renting would be a lot less hassles - she can do that with her Norwegian license, also having an International Driving Permit will help unless her license is in English. California does not require an IDP, but it helps. An IDP is simply a translation of her license into several languages. If you are going to drive when you get there, get your IDP now.

  7. #7

    Default Miami to NYC in May. Where to stop on the way?

    Hi again RTA'ers!

    Me and my GF are hitting the road 05/10/2011 at Miami Intl.

    I've booked a convertible, and we're heading straight for Key West for a weekend stay, upon returning to Miami, spending a few days on the beach. So around May 15. we're ready to leave Miami.

    Where to next? We have to be in DC May 23.

    What would you squeeze in? I'm wanting to do something like Miami - Jacksonville - New Orleans - Memphis - Nashville - DC.

    Between Nashville and DC, is this the much spoken of Blue Ridge Parkway? Described in the "East Coast Loop" post here, which I'm currently using to scope out some treats along the way.
    Does anyone have links to Google Maps with recommended routes or similar alont the east coast? I'm sure these topics are brought up by many, as I'm already finding lots of great info in here!

    Does that sound reasonable? Will it be to much driving?

    Where\what would you suggest to stop\see along the route?

    One alternative could be to cut for Atlanta from Jacksonville, or maybe New Orleans...?

    I posted a thread here around Christmas concerning our upcoming road trip in the US. I'm starting a new thread today because things are a lot clearer and more set now, but check it out if you want some background. [Edit Mass Tim - Merged threads]
    Last edited by Mass Tim; 02-23-2011 at 04:46 PM. Reason: Merged threads

  8. #8


    Hi again! The plan is now as follows:

    10-12. May : Key West
    12-14. May : Miami
    14-16. May : OPEN <- Input very welcomed!
    16-18. May : New Orleans
    18-23. May : OPEN <- Input very welcomed! (Memphis? Nashville? Blue Ridge Parkway?)
    23-26. May : Washington DC
    26-31. May : New York

    We're leaving the car in DC, and travelling by AmTrak up to NY.

    I would love any input on stuff to see or do along the route, and especially pointers on the OPEN slots in our plan

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