Car Travel across US

Travel Forums North America Car Travel across US

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1. Posted by ash48 (Budding Member 20 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Me and a friend are planning on a road trip through the U.S. for 2 months. I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to just drive one of our cars. Is that crazy or does it sound like an alright idea. I've never done a road trip, so I don't know if it will be really expensive or just a good plan.

Any suggestions would help.


2. Posted by solveig (Full Member 53 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I crossed the US from San Fransisco to NY 10 years ago. I think it is
an excellent trip to do. We spend 2 and a half month on the trip and did camping most of the time. As gasoline is (was?) very cheap we ended up spending less money pr. months than we would have staying at home in
Denmark (because of the rent). This form of traveling give you all the freedom - stop whenever you want. Furthermore, the US has very good roads and so really there is nothing to worry about. If you make the trip I advise you to spent more time in the western part of the country,
as the landscapes there are amazing. The west is the best!

cheers, Sol.

3. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 438 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Road trips in the usa are easy and fairly inexpensive, you'll spend a bit on tolls if you are traveling on major highways but it's when you get off the highways that you really see the country.

Except near major cities cheap accomidations are pretty easy to find and if you like to camp it's even cheaper.

If you have more specific questions feel free to drop me a line.

4. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2004 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Good advice from the others--just one last note:

If you are planning on going any distance, look for the Interstate highways. They are marked by signs like I-80, I-95, etc. in a red on top and blue on the bottom shield. Go to google images and type in "Interstate Highway Signs" to see examples. These are the best highways in the US and are always open--except when a snow blizzard comes through--and even then they close only for a few hours to get the snow cleared off the road.

This is especially important if you are traveling through mountain ranges--the US has three big mountain ranges. The largest are the Rockies (which includes the Wasatch mountains) covering parts of the states of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana; the Cascades (covering parts of the states of California, Oregon, and Washington), and the Appalachians (covering parts of the states of Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, New York, and the very far northern section of Georgia).

Other US and state highways are good and you will take them to see certain scenic areas--but when you need to cover a large stretch of ground (that is, go around 65 miles an hour or 100 kilometres per hour), stick with the Interstate highways.


5. Posted by StewarG (Budding Member 3 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

We're thinking of doing the same starting September this year.

We've been looking at Train travel as an option, but we know it's VERY limited.

Personally I'd love to drive across from East to West coast.

What I'd like to know is, we've looked at the usual, IE Hertz, Avis etc. but they're all in excess of $2000.00

Can anyone recommend any companies that offer, I guess, pretty much, open ended (up to 2.5 months) driving across the US, for REALISTIC prices. Or would the better option be to buy a car then sell it at the end?!



6. Posted by farleyUL (Full Member 125 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


Personally, I wouldn't want to mess with renting a car for 2 1/2 months...I think you'd be better off buying something cheap and most importantly, reliable. Make sure that you check the car out yourself and just exercise common sense. If someone is selling you a Ford Escort with 200,000 miles on it and no maintainence records, you probably want to keep away. But if they're offering an old Volvo 940 with service records, the engine is clean, etc, then you've probably got yourself a decent car. Good luck!

7. Posted by andyc2k001 (Budding Member 2 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi, i am wanting to drive across USA next summer and have started planning now, could anybody tell me how i would go about getting car insurance over there because with no residence i dont see how i would be able to get any

another question would be about accomodation, whats the price ranges for basic rooms at a motel? here in the u.k we have the idea that they can be $5 a nite but i cant see them being that cheap.


8. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2004 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Basic hotel rates out on the road here in the US range from $25 to $45 a night depending on hotel. In larger cities this goes up to $50 to $100, and in resorts the prices are $100 and up with $150 a night being not at all out-of-line. The large resorts in Las Vegas for example in the peak seasons of late spring to late summer run $200 a night and up. (For example, Mandalay Bay or Paris Las Vegas quotes $400/night on the holiday weekends).

For actual prices, go online at,, or and get quotes.

You might find some hostels for less, but even they will run you $7 to $20 a night.


9. Posted by andyc2k001 (Budding Member 2 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

thats very help ful, thanks you :)

10. Posted by squash6462 (Inactive 23 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Quoting StewarG

What I'd like to know is, we've looked at the usual, IE Hertz, Avis etc. but they're all in excess of $2000.00

Hi Stew!

Have you checked out Thrifty? I recently rented a car with them in Las Vegas and it was only about $20 a night.

Also, I noticed on the Enterprise homepage there is a link about long term rentals.

I think it might be complicated to buy a car. Since your from the UK (I think) you're insurance would probably be pretty high, probably at least $600 for the 2 1/2 months, plus you have to worry about selling the car.

Good Luck!
PS: At least your exchange rate is going pretty well!