Vancouver - New York - Budgets.. Car? Visa? Help..

Travel Forums North America Vancouver - New York - Budgets.. Car? Visa? Help..

1. Posted by Kimi88 (Budding Member 35 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


I'm planning a trip well in advance from Vancouver to New York, Going mainly by the coast, in July 2010!
I'll have about £6000 - i dont know how much this will be in dollars?
I would love to stay for about 5-6 Months but dont really know how i should bugdet? Also what would be easier to get around, buses or buying a car? I'll be 21 and 22 in the august so i dont know how much insurance would be?
I would probably just buy from a dealer or private?
Also another thing.. do i need a Visa to stay that long? Is there much that would prevent me getting a visa?
I dont have a criminal record or anything, my credit historys not great but i dont think that matters?
I wont be looking for any employment, if i do want extra money i'd just go for a bitty cash paid waitress or bar job or something.. is that allowed?

lol im sure i have more questions but i think i've put enough in this post!!

Thanks for any help!

Kim x

2. Posted by The Julies (Budding Member 7 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


£6000 should be enough! I'm going travelling in a couple of weeks and i'm doing a couple of months in America and Canada, and to be honest you should look to have around a £1000 a month, so if your going for 5-6 months that should be enough! Hostels are cheap and there are plenty of cheap places to eat etc.

I personally think getting a car is better because you can chose anywhere you want to go and you see so much more, although if your travelling alone the greyhound buses might be better because if you get lost and your on your own in a car it might be a bit scary!

My friend and i are just hiring a car, we are having it for 42days and that is costing us £1200 pounds (£600 each) and that includes insurance etc.... because you are 21 like me and my friend are, its much more expensive because they add on all these other crappy little charges, but £1200 was the best deal we could find. The good thing is you can pick the car up from one state and leave it in another state. However i couldnt find any comapny that lets you collect a car from Vancouver and leave it in America. So what we've had to do is get a shuttle bus from Vancouver to Seattle and then collect the car from Seattle airport. If you do decide getting a car, i would sort it out before you go there are so many companies on line, so just keep looking and try to get the best deal, and i wouldnt pay with your £6000pounds, i would try and get a bit extra to pay for it.

You will need to get a visa.... basically everyone fills out a visa waver form online before they go (it's free) ... but you are only aloud to stay in the US for 3months! Which sucks! My friend and i wanted to go for 6months, but then we found out we couldnt so we have changed our trip into around the world trip instead!

With only being allowed in the country for 3months that includes Canada & Mexico, so you can't just stay in america for 3 months then think you can fly into canada for a week or so and fly back to the US, you have to leave that whole area. - If you know what i mean.

There are ways around it - you can get sponsered, i don't really know how this works, so you would have to phone up the American Embassy in London, another way of getting around is working as a nanny, or the easiest way is to do it is 'camp america' so you will do 6/8 weeks in a camp with children then you can travel after. I think you get a visa that lasts for a year with 'camp america.'

I think the best thing for you to do is call the embassy and find out what your options are - i can imagine it's quite a long process because they have to do all types of checks and you have to go for an interview etc. But it can be done. I just know it's a lot harder to get a visa to the US then to somewhere like Australia.

Your not allowed to work at all in the US unless you have a working visa which is obviously different from a normal visa. I'm sure people do work and get a bit of cash in hand, but to be honest if you get caught you will be sent home and be banned from visiting there, so i wouldnt really say its worth it! So if you do want to work look into the working visa. (If you did camp america first you get payed for doing that, so that would be a way to get some cash while being out there)

Theres a travel company who specalise in students and under 25s called STA travel, if you havnt heard from them look at their website or give them a ring, they will have tours going from vanouver to New york, you pay a certain price (not expensive cos it's all discounted) and it will include all your hostels/transport and even some food. They have loads of great deals and tours you can do, so it's def work giving them a ring, they do cheap flights aswell.

I hope this has helped a bit! I would def do your trip, it will be amazing and the best thing you probably ever do.
If you have any more questions just ask :)

Lauren x

3. Posted by bgl (Full Member 167 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


Would definitely not recommend that you buy a car. I know visitors from Europe who have done this. First of all, buying a used car, and going cross-country, you never know what kind of mechanical problems you might encounter on the way, and that could get expensive very quickly. Secondly, at the end of trip, you would need to sell it, and you WILL be at the mercy of whoever is willing to buy it. Even if you don't explain your situation, good chance they will understand that you are more or less desperate to sell since you're leaving the country, and they WILL take advantage of that. In other words, in all likelihood you will not get anywhere near the amount of money you'd be hoping for. There's also the practical aspect of the payment itself. Chances are they are not going to pay you cash, but with a check. Cashing a check in a bank in a U.S. can be very tricky unless you have an account there. And, I'm not even addressing the issue of insurance and other practical aspects. My advice: forget about buying a car, and use public transportation. Buses, trains or planes, whatever is cheap and convenient.



4. Posted by Piecar (Inactive 1218 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Well, I don't know the insurance issue for a foreigner buying a car and insuring it in Vancouver....and I'm not looking into that for you....

However, if that looks to be easily accomplished. I disagree with previous posters...I would DEFINITELY buy a car and do it that way....

Vancouver is loaded with upstanding used car dealers who I have trusted over the years. I'll tell you where to go right now....I have never paid more than a Grand for ANY car, and have averaged one every four years. (YEP. Four thousand dollars, sixteen years of buying cars.)

Go to Cars from Mars on Kingsway slightly northwest of Victoria....Or Cars R Us one block further. They'll set you up.

Now, did I get you right?

You are going to drive down to the bottom of California from Vancouver. Going to drive east through Arizona , Texas and all those places to Florida?...(Avoid Arkansas. Horrible place. Ready to fight to prove that Arkansanians) and then up the East Coast to New York?

Well that is an epic and awesome trip! Sounds cool...Better buy a big car though...Someplace you can sleep.. Cause that is A LOOOONNNNNNGGGGG way. And gas ain't cheap...Neither hotel rooms or food....

I ain't dissuading you...but, DAMN. I do hope you do it though...That is an awesome trip!!!


5. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Buying a car in Canada and selling it in the USA is a poor idea, use public transportation here and if you're still interested buy in the USA/sell in the USA.

6. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

There are some amazingly cheap rent-a-car dealers in both the USA and Canada. Try looking on either Yahoo! or Google for some traders. I've done car hire in both countries many times - and as long as you avoid the big famous companies, you can find so many good deals that will suit your mammoth budget nicely.

7. Posted by tazzaa (Budding Member 22 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

My friend an I are travelling from Vancouver to New York in a months time (but driving more across the top of the States & Canada) and we've had a lot of the same questions/issues as you.

We looked into car hire but the one way drop off fee makes this very expensive so we've decided to buy a car (are in the process now). We considered taking buses/trains etc but this was going to be way less flexible and more time consuming (although cheaper). I'm still trying to work out the details but it looks as though we may end up getting rid of the car as scrap metal in New York as we won't be able to sell this on because it will have a 'Canadain title', still need to find out what the deal is as we cross the border from Canada to USA though and what charges/duties we may be up for there. Might end up selling the car in Ontario/Quebec. If you can I would suggest buying your car in the States, would make resale a lot easier.

You can get insurance in BC when you are on a tourist visa using your British licence you will just need to use your passport as a secondary ID. If you get the working holiday visa (12 months) that will allow you to work in Canada but after 90 days you would need to get a Canadian drivers licence to get insurance... that will involve sitting both the written and pratical drivers licence tests.

I'm also not aware of the visa waiver limitations where after 90 days you have to leave Nth America entirely... I've been living in Canada for 11 months and have come in and out of the States many times without any issues with the visa waiver... as my 90 days expire they have just been issuing me with a new visa waiver.