Hi, i'm British (live in the UK) and am hoping to travel around the USA in July/August 2014. I am a student and need to start earning money to fund this holiday, which is why i'm trying to plan it so far it advance. I will be in a small group, perhaps 3 or 4 of us and we will all be aged 21-22. I have decided i think the most feasible way of doing the trip is to rent a campervan and drive ourselves, simply because even the cheapest accommodation in the US appears to be too expensive for this budget. Ideally i would like to have an 8-week holiday, coming to absolutely no more than $7500, or about $6500 excluding flights. I have quite a few questions regarding logistics and just generally what's plausible. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
1. I have a rough route which is as follows: Boston --> NY -->Washington--> Philadelphia --> Chicago --> Mt. Rushmore --> Yellowstone-->(maybe Seattle but i might have to skip this out) --> San Francisco --> LA-->Las Vegas --> Grand Canyon --> San Antonio --> New Orleans --> Miami --> Charleston.
This is very very provisional and is missing out some other stops in between these ones.
It's an incredibly long route and i think almost 8000miles of driving (that figure might be completely wrong though...i was trying to figure it out!).
Anyway my first question is: Is this far too ambitious to cram into 8 weeks? If i tried to would i just not be spending enough time in each place? Or is 8 weeks enough for this mammoth road trip? I just have no idea really. I might have to completely re-do the route if 8 weeks isn't long enough.
2. As non-US citizens who are aged 21-22 how easy/expensive will renting a campervan be? Would be easier/cheaper to actually buy our own one out there and then sell it at the end of the trip (is that even possible?? I know my parents bought a car when they went out to the States when they much younger and then sold it at the end but that was about 40 years ago so it could be much harder to do that nowadays!)
Is getting insured on a vehicle going to be an issue because we're so young? I found a website, turtle-travel, for vehicle rental which seems quite good and reasonably priced. Anyone have any experience with it?
3. What's the best way to do a trip like this? If we're travelling in a campervan what should we do when we get to cities. Do cities in the US have many campervan sites that we can park at during the day and/or night?
4. How expensive is living/travelling in the US. I was hoping to have a budget of about $40 a day for food and all other costs (EXCLUDING gasoline for campervan, i've been working out separate prices for that).
I think that's all i can think of for now. Thanks for reading and please respond if you can give any advice!