my boyfriend and i are going on a very exciting holiday over to the states next year, about march ish. at the moment we are looking at about 3 months, we were thinking of buying a car and just going for a long drive. does anybody have a similar experience, or does anybody have any site seeing suggestions. we aren't too definate on the places we need to see, although i do need to go to louisiana to see my host family and friends again. but apart from that, we are open to suggestion. and anything you can help us with would be greatly appreciated.
Three months traveling sounds wonderful. I spent the last 15 years taking a group touring the United States ( 2 weeks a year), and found every area we went to was prettier and more spectacular than the one we had just seen. If you like nature and have a limited budget, you can spend 3 months just seeing National Parks and still not have enough time. You will find that your brain will become saturated with new sights, so go slowly. Spend several days in each area, and spend time doing nothing to let your brain catch up with your body. Your timing is great if you plan to travel out west...the desert in the spring is the best time...even Death Valley is starkly beautiful (one of my favorite parks). If you plan to travel the parks, stay in the parks for convenience...a little more expensive than surrounding motel/hotels, but what you save in time, gas, and convenience is well worth it. Word of warning, they book up very early so make reservations as early as possible (they can be cancelled - check web sights for National Parks).
Motel prices can vary widely, but if you are not on a tight budget, we found Homewood Suites (mid price motel chain) to be great. You get a full kitchen, separate bedroom (wonderful if one traveler likes to stay up later than the other or get up earlier), free breakfast, and free snack dinner several nights a week.
Buy a small ice chest, and stock snack/picnic food and drinks from a major grocery store to save money over prices at convenience/gas stops...also lots of areas in the midwest and west are sparsely populated, and finding food when you want it can be a problem.
If you really want to see the US, stay off interstates except when you need to get from point A to point B in a hurry. The back roads will take you through small town USA, and can be very interesting, but much slower.
Have a great time.
Sounds like a great trip, and Jade gives you some really solid advice. The only thing I would say differently than he did is to try to get a nice mix of cities, parks, and rural areas. There are some really great cities to see in the USA.
Many people like Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, Seattle, and Boston for big cities to visit.
Death Valley, Denali Park(in Alaska), the Carlsbad Caverns, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Mt. Rushmore are just a small handfull of my favorite parks around the USA.
Smaller cities/towns that I recomend are Savanah Ga, Portland Or, Portland ME, Sedona AZ, Boulder Co, Asheville NC, and many many more... just realized the list could go on for a really long time.
Like Jade mentioned state highways are usually the better driving experience when you are travelling in the states, but interstate(national) highways are much faster for travelling. Most interstate highways have a speed limit of 65 mph(roughly 105 kph) and have almost delays save construction projects, while many state highways will be 50 - 55mph(80-90kph) and pass through towns where the speed limit drops and you encounter traffic signals and such.
Also, consider leasing a car rather than buying one here. Buying a reliable car, registering it, and getting auto insureance can wind up being more expensive than renting a newer car for three months... Plus when you rent if the car breaks they replace it/fix it for you so you don't have to worry as much about getting stuck somewhere... Just a thought though.
Best of luck with it all... For route info or more ideas just ask.