You travellers point awesomes helped me out with figuring out my Asia plans last October so I'm hoping someone out there can now help with the new plan. I'm now in Australia and next year myself and my 3 girlfriends are planning on seeing America for a few months.
We wanted to do Route 66, and just hire a car and drive ourselves from New York to New Hampshire, back to Chicago all the way through to LA.
Now that we are really looking into it, we have no real concept of time it will take, cost and the most practical route to make. All other forums and websites we look into are pretentious travel 'buffs' all trying to argue their opinions so we have come back to reliable travellerspoint!
We also now know that the majority of route 66 doesn't actually exist anymore so gone is our picture of the romantic cruise to our favourite songs in a convertible!
We would more than happy for any info on rough cost of a roadtrip East/West and length of time needed, and any websites people know of to help us plan a route. We would love to see as many states and take as many picture with us next to the most famous buildings/bridges/signs etc! Also, we really want to get down to Tennesee too as we are massive bourbon fans!
As you can tell, all our plans are just ideas at the moment, everything is all up in the air so we could really do with a nudge in the right direction!
This is a huge country with so much to see. Be sure to allow plenty of time for driving and sightseeing along the way. Imagine driving from Sydney to Perth....that's the kind of distance you'll find here. Check out the Route 66 threads here, they're full of good info. And yeah, we make great bourbon!!!
One note to consider though, and this is a biggie about cost: one-way car hire is very expensive here. Most car hire companies give you the best rates for returning the car to the place you started. Search through threads in this Forum, as again, there is a lot of info. There are tons of inexpensive hotels ($USD 50+/night/room, double beds) in the middle of the country, though some are a tad shabby, but hey, you're only sleeping there until the adventure begins again the next day.
Plan, plan, plan, but not so much that it consumes the adventure. Costs for car and hotels should be forefront, but also bear in mind the distances and time it takes to drive off the main highways (speed limits are slower than on the Interstates).
Here is a link for some of the oddities to be found around America:
Good luck, and keep up the dreams.
I would come in either the spring or fall - summers here have turned into major disaster periods - mainly drought and wildfire season. You might find a $50. motel room in Kansas, but you'll pay considerably more in San Francisco and certainly in NYC (you might be able to afford a hostel bunk there). You could possibly cross the entire country in 3 days of hard nonstop driving on the Interstate highways, but you'd see nothing at all except concrete and desert. Route 66 is in pretty sad shape these days - it's mainly a memory. People who live here use the plane - it's safe, fast and affordable (Southwest Airlines is the new Greyhound).
You are going to need a lot of time to travel across America, and see all of what you mentioned. Just driving to the places you mentioned, will take days. That doesn't account for the actual time spent enjoying the sites your going to see.