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  1. #1
    Simon Payne Guest

    Default Route/Money Advice

    Hi there,

    Next Spring/Summer my partner and I are hoping to travel around America for 3 months, or so. Our plans are at a very early stage and would appreciate as much help as we can get. Please take a look at our "proposed" route and pass any comments that you feel may be useful.

    NYC > Chicago > Route 66 > Las Vegas > West Coast > San Diego > Texas > Florida > West Coast (FL) > Florida Keys > East Coast (FL) > East Coast > NYC

    We hope to take in all of this over about 3 months, or so. How many miles are we looking at? We will be hiring a car and staying in motels en route. What do you think this will cost us? Per day? For the whole trip? We don't want to miss out on seeing things so that we can save a few dollars, but then again, we don't want to be staying in expensive hotels (well, we do ... but money could be tight), so how much do you think will be a suitable sum to save up and set aside? I've been trying to work out how much money we will need per day - $40 motel, $20 food (?) what about car hire, insurance, gas, etc? On the subject of cars - I will be 23 and my partner will be 22, are we going to get stung for insurance?

    Thanks in advance.

    Simon :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    I'm guessing your route may be about 8500 miles, give or take a few. You might go to the "road trip planning" section where there are some websites where you can type in your route and get more exact mileage figures.

    Per day costs for hotels will vary depending on whether you are in cities, small towns, tourist areas, etc. Plan on about $40/nite for cheap chains (like Motel 6, Super 8, Days Inn) when in non-touristy areas. These motels can be more like $50-80 in cities. The price really varies. You might check out their websites for more exact information. Again, there on tools on this website that will give you more specific information.

    I never rent cars so I don't know what to tell you there but you can get prices for Hertz, Avis, Dollar (these are some of the main car rental agencies) by going directly to their websites or by, again, using the tools on this website.

    There have been many posts on this issue so you may want to check back, do a search, and read previous comments about these issues.

    Costs vary so widely, it's really hard to give someone an estimate. When I do a cheap roadtrip, I usually camp (which can run $12-20 per night for a tent site), eat out of a cooler (sandwiches, bagels and cream cheese, fruit, granola bars, cheese and crackers, raw carrots, etc.) which only runs about $5 day for food, and figure that my gas will run me roughly $20-30/day depending on distance traveled.

    This is only about $55/day at the top end. But add in a few motels if I can't find a campground or the weather turns bad, a restaurant meal once a day, and the cost can almost double per day...and that is if the hotel and restaurant meal are both relatively cheap.

    Add in attractions fees and the price goes up even more.

    But, if I plan a weekend in a city, it's not unusual to spend $80-120 per night for a decent hotel, meals might total $30 for the day (and, again, that's for relatively cheap meals). So this can easily total at least $110 per day. And that's before I've gone and done anything, paid any admissions, enjoyed a couple cocktails, or bought anything.

    (BTW, for all of these I'm figuring meal costs for just one person so double accordingly.)

    I don't think I've been much help but you will really need to do some more research on your own, figuring your own wants and needs, to come up with a better figure. I suggest that you explore this issue a bit more and then come back here for more specific questions. I'm sure you'll get lots of good responses.

  3. #3
    robert miles Guest


    I think you are gonna get stung on the car rental because of your age. Me and my friends are trying to plan a similar trip and we are all under the age of 25.

    Some companies dont even touch you if you are under this age. However the ones that will let you rent will charge you a ridiculous amount.

    It ranges from about $15 to $25 extra per day for each under age driver. We are gonna be charged an extra $50 per day because of two under 25 drivers. Its a joke. It really increases the price.

    Also bear in mind that you will be charged a one-way drop off fee which can be as high as $600.

    The cheapest I have found, for one month rental, 2 under 25 drivers and with drop off fee is 2000 uk pounds. Dunno whether this is normal or taking the piss.

    good luck, and let me know if you find any cheap places or ways round it.

  4. #4

    Default rental car under 25

    I rented from Enterprise on two occassions when I was under 25 and I don't remember any additional fees due to age. They also had decent rates, but I always returned the car to the same location versus a one-way rental. Make sure you read the fine print when quoted a price because some the unlimited mileage deals can be misleading and are only for a specific set of states or in-state only.

    Depending on the additional change for insurance, you might be better off buying a used car and getting insurance. If you're paying with your credit card, look up the benefits because some cards will insure rentals. Hope this helps and good luck planning your trip.--Betsy

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