1) Does the order of travel make sense?
2) Which leg(s) of the trip would you recommend driving?
3) Should we add or remove places to visit?
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Length of travel: 1.5 - 2 months
Budget: 10k max
Interests: Outdoors, culture, cuisine, art & architecture
Wanting to see places outside the cities
Willing to stay in hostels
Don't want to visit LA or LV
Depart Vancouver (Canada)
Fly to SE Asia
Cities in bold are must see places
I think your current plans are too ambitious. The U.S. and Canada are two large countries geographically. So if you want to cover a lot of territory in a relatively short period of time, you'll have to rely on flights. That will eat up quite a bit of your budget. Please note that U.S. airlines charge for checked bags unless you're a frequent flyer or hold the airline's credit card. The notable exception is Southwest Airlines (to book flights on that carrier, you have to go to its Web site). Car rental rates aren't as low as they used to be; and if you're a driver in your 20s, please note that, as a general rule, renters must be 25 years of age to rent a car without any additional fees associated with age. Is there any reason why you want to avoid Los Angeles and Las Vegas? Both have plenty of your interests. LA is a cultural center of the U.S. as much as New York is. It has interesting architecture; is blessed with beautiful beaches and mountains (not to mention the desert), has some amazing restaurants; and splendid art galleries and museums. It's a huge metropolitan area composed of smaller interesting communities. Las Vegas is known for its casinos, food and entertainment. But it also is surrounded by spectacular scenery that is, in my opinion, among the best in the world. For example, there are the five national parks (all in a row) in southern Utah, a relatively short distance from Las Vegas. The scenery of those parks is so stunning it will take your breath away. Las Vegas also is near the Grand Canyon. One additional attraction: dining and accommodation will be easy on your budget in LV. Finally, an ultimate road trip would be the Pacific Coast Highway. Check it out. So look at your map. Check the cost of flights. Check the cost of accommodations. Look into rental cars, buses, Amtrak. Rent bikes in some cities known for being bike-friendly. Do some research; and you'll be richly rewarded. P.S. You left out Washington, D.C. If you're determined to visit the East Coast, it should not be missed. Entry to most museums is free, as are the monuments. It's a beautiful place.
[ Edit: Edited on 20-Jan-2015, at 09:51 by berner256 ]