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One month roadtrip to North America - help!

Travel Forums North America One month roadtrip to North America - help!

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1. Posted by Kat_Williams91 (Budding Member 2 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!


Me and two of my friends (we are from the UK) are planning on a road trip to North America in March next year for one month.
We are thinking of renting a car and driving the whole way, which is just over 6000 miles in total, which is a lot, but two of us drive. My first question is, when we go I will be 22 years old and my friend will be 24 years old - we have both been driving for at least 5 years with no claims on our insurance. Will we be okay to rent a car where we both can drive it?

Also, we are looking at going from New York to Florida (via Niagara Falls) then to New Orleans, across to L.A, California and finally Las Vegas - is this do able in 30 days? We will be staying in hostels the whole way so we will be getting decent nights sleep.

And one last question, we have worked out flights and car costs. But has anyone done a trip similar to this before? Any ideas of how much we are looking at for 30 days of hostels, food and drink along the way and also some spending money, as we want to be able to do main attractions and not have to scrimp on everything!

Thanks for your help.

2. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2009 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

If you both want to rent that car, yes, but I'd imagine it would cost more. You could have some trouble finding an agency to rent that car for 2 reasons:

1 - your age

2 - many companies will not allow you to take the car out of their region (most cars now equipped with GPS tracking)

(remember that you will also be paying a whopping drop fee over and above the rental charge!)

I recommend you go to one of the Hostel sites where you can add up the charges yourself

I would estimate daily expenses like this:

hostel...............$30. (Motel 6 could be cheaper for 2)
(gasoline depending how you drive...$60. to $90.)

3. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3573 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Good advice in above post. I have crunched rental car numbers for members under 25 before. The costs will be substantial. Most nationwide companies charge an additional $25/day for renters under 25 years old. 30 day rental, under 25 surcharge, drop off fee, insurance, taxes, and you are in going to be over $4K for a 30 day rental. Not practical IMO.

You might look into using the bus system. Megabus & gotobus have great prices. Gotobus has tours, both east coast, west coast, National Parks. I would plan out a route and see it is practical. Otherwise, start saving your money! Good luck with your planning.

4. Posted by Kat_Williams91 (Budding Member 2 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your replies :) Daawgon, are those estimated daily costs each or between all of us (obviously food and entertainment are each, more wondering about the gas prices)

Also, as this is a once in a lifetime thing, we are willing to put a lot of cash into it. We estimated for car rental, gas, hostels and for our flights over we would be looking at about £4000 each, and then all we'd need on top of that was our spending money.. So for those basic things we would have £12,000 between us - does that amount sound about right? I know its a lot of money and we could do it cheaper, but as I said its a once in a lifetime thing, so we wanna do it the best that we can possibly afford :)

Thank you for your help :) I really appreciate it

5. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2009 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

My estimates are per person, except for the fuel charge. It seems to me, that for that kind of cash, you could mix air travel with car rental, and think about doing one region at a time (that way you could also return the car to the original renting locations). At least March will be fairly good weather across the States (you could still hit snow in the north or mountains).

Southwest Airlines is our best point-to-point LCC

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Jun-2013, at 09:14 by Daawgon ]