Hi, me and my best friend are currently planning a cross country road trip when we have finished uni in 2012, as we won't really have any time limits on us and can really take our time and see everything we want to, as we've already got a lot of places we want to see! so far we're thinking:
Seattle, San Francisco, Yosemite, LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, Lake Powell, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Arizona, Santa Fe, Austin, New Orleans, Orlando, Miami, Memphis, Nashville, Washington DC, Philadelphia, NY, Niagra Falls, Chicago, St Louis, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park (good job we've got a few months eh!)
Our main issue is the car, we thought renting would be way to expensive for that long and we wouldn't be 23 yet so would have to pay additional costs, so thought that buying a car would probably work out cheaper, but have read on forums that it can be difficult to get it registered and insured without a fixed address.
Any help/advice would be much appreciated!
yeah the plan was to buy a cheapo one, we were just worried that they might need to post it to the address or something?
do you think we could just use the address of wherever we're staying while we're there then?
If you want to save your self from worries it might be better if you get airplane tickets and travel by air
we thought about that, but there are so many places we wanted to see it would end up costing us a fortune
If you really want to see all those spots, plane tickets WILL cost a fortune.
Having traveled across the US a few times by (cheap) car, I will say it is really fun and I highly recommend it. Someone else said something about a fixed address, you will need SOMEwhere to register the car and most US states require you to purchase insurance.
No one has mentioned that driving a cheapo car over that great distance has breakdown risks which are very real. If you breakdown some place like Nevada or Yosemite, you will be looking at insane money to get towed/repaired and you will be stranded for some time.
On that front I would recommend buying something American for which every backwater garage will stock parts, carrying some tools and maybe even a few extra parts if something looks particularly tattered on your "new" vehicle.
I had an alternator fail in a 97 VW Jetta outside Cheyenne, WY on a Sunday and I thought I was really screwed... luckily I had the tools to diagnose the problem and swap it out for a new unit which they had in stock at the Cheyenne AutoZone!
Thanks a lot thats really helpful, some people have said that you can just use the address of wherever you're staying at the time?
Breaking down was something that I'd worried about, considering that its going to be 2 girls on the trip, do you think it would be possible to get breakdown cover whilst over there or do you think it would be difficult because we're from England?
cant you just use a parents address?
I'm also from England and did a similar trip July/August 2010.
I appreciate it's a different method than you had thought, but I used TrekAmerica and travelled from NYC to LA via Seattle, it certainly takes the hassle out of sorting out your own travel and I had a great trip, plus the company of about 12 other single or paired young people, mostly from the UK, was great.
I've signed up as a brand ambassador for Trek America so if you have a look at their trips then let me know as I can offer a 5% discount.