Skip Navigation

Travelling alone across USA in Jan/Feb 2012

Travel Forums Travel Companions Travelling alone across USA in Jan/Feb 2012

1. Posted by 3spirit24 (Budding Member 6 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Hey all!!

I'm a 24 year old girl planning on travelling around america beginning of next year! I'm alittle nervous as i'm not sure on the best way to do it! I've heard of Greyhound buses, but i'm only hearing bad stuff about it, I wouldnt mind maybe if i was with someone but not too keen on my own!! Is car hire a good idea? I would love to do this with another like minded person to share the driving and experiences with! I'm looking at mainly the West coast, focusing on LA, Vegas, San Fran, Redwood NP, San Diego to name afew!

Look forward to hearing from you all!
Sarah x

2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1851 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Much of America is snowed under that time of year and California is just a small part of it.

Generally if Americans have to travel a long distance, rather than spending endless hours on a bus (average speed 55 mph) they will fly as it is easy and fairly cheap. You can then pick up a car at the airport.

I have been to California with a car a number of times and it is easy to do (you cannot take a car outside of the state, as in Las Vegas, Nevada). You do need a car in many places as public transport only goes from A to B and only at certain times. A Car will get you where you want, when you want, especially out of town malls, entertainment, tourist spots and the like.

But cars are not that cheap, especially when you add on CDW. You don't have to but if you park your car legally and someone scrapes it and admits blames (and does not drive off), then you are liable for the cost of repairs (maybe $300 and maybe $1,300) and you have to try and get the money back off of their insurance company. Get a good road atlas.

If you see a motorbike on the freeway, slow down as it is probably a speed cop.

The biggest cost is accommodation. It has really gone up in recent years. There used to be lots of cheap motels about but asians took them over and raised and raised the rates so it is now often cheaper to book online into a real hotel.

While America is not as bad as some cop shows and films make it out, nevertheless keep to main areas and at night and watch the TV instead of going out. You will probably be safe if you do go out but one robbery with violence or worse can ruin your whole holiday.

Do not take a free drink from anyone, and watch at all times that no one puts anything into your drink (ie: don't leave a drink on a table while you go to the toilet). Divide your money up, so that you have maybe $100 in small notes within easy reach and the rest hidden away. If someone wants your money, give them the $100 and they'll probably be happy with it and leave you alone.

I had many holidays in America and had no trouble but then again, I'm a 6' 3" man, and fairly solid. It's different for a young lady, even if only unwanted attention from a local letch.

Do take out full insurance "just in case". Hopefully it'll be a waste of money as there's nothing worse than getting good value out of your insurance.

3. Posted by ala86s (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Hi Sarah!

My name is Alina, aged 25. I plan the travel across us the end of March through April.

I don't know what is the reason, I mean why chose this time, but as we're travelling only 2 months apart maybe you can use some of my advice.

I understand it's only California you're visiting? I think that for shorter distances buses are good idea, cheaper than flights. And than to Napa from San Francisco you can take organised bus tour. Generally, it would be cheaper to take buses, but than if you want to travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles it's like 9 hours so I would consider plane.

Good luck and have lots of fun. Would you have any recommendations, write - I'm subscribed to that thread.