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Travelling through America for 3 months, need some tips please!

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Hi, Me and 2 friends (all under 25) are looking at travelling america in a car around September this year and just trying to sort out the best flights/car hires etc. Just wondering if anyone here h… Read More
Sandman` Avatar
9y, 4m agoPosted 9 years, 4 months ago
Hi,

Me and 2 friends (all under 25) are looking at travelling america in a car around September this year and just trying to sort out the best flights/car hires etc. Just wondering if anyone here has done anything similar really, any tips in particular?

Found flights on travelsupermarket for around £380 each from Gatwick to JFK airport, but car hire seems to be a nighmare! We want 3 of us to be able to drive, I have only just passed my test but the others have both been driving 1 - 3 years. Because we are aged 21/22 there seems to be extra charges involved, as well as mileage restrictions and insurance costs its really difficult deciding who to go with.

Any advice or pointers would be greatly appreciated!
Malcolm
Sandman` Avatar
9y, 4m agoPosted 9 years, 4 months ago
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1 Like #1
Hey,

I Studied in LA for a bit last year. When we hired a car we went through STA Travel as they didn't bother with all this stuff beforehand. As a note of caution, near all the car rental companies are evil as far as I have experienced! You really do need to book online before you go, be aware of which insurance you have/need (bearing in mind that it may be covered in your travel insurance). Make sure you know what price you are meant to pay, and don't allow them to quote you more than this. Annoying but, in my case true. Dollar rent a car are worse, but Budget seemed quite good to us....
1 Like #2
Top gear did a show about driving in america, maybe you should watch it , just some dos and donts. maybe someone has the link?
#3
Great stuff, cheers for all the tips so far! I have been looking at avis car rental and it doesnt seem TOO bad, the < 25year old surcharge is almost £10 per day extra though. Might even be cheaper for us to try buying a car out there then put it into a dealer for sale or something before coming back.

The idea is to try and find like motels or anywhere cheap really to stay each night so driving to find a specific hotel wont be a problem (I hope!). Any ideas about travel insurance? Do I need seperate insurance for a rental car if I have decent travel insurance?

Cheers people! Added some rep for you all :)
#4
Sandman`
Great stuff, cheers for all the tips so far! I have been looking at avis car rental and it doesnt seem TOO bad, the < 25year old surcharge is almost £10 per day extra though. [COLOR="Red"]Might even be cheaper for us to try buying a car out there then put it into a dealer for sale or something before coming back[/COLOR].

The idea is to try and find like motels or anywhere cheap really to stay each night so driving to find a specific hotel wont be a problem (I hope!). Any ideas about travel insurance? Do I need seperate insurance for a rental car if I have decent travel insurance?

Cheers people! Added some rep for you all :)


Just been reading up on this as I was going to suggest it but apparently it's not a viable option.
Apart from the red tape, not having a permanent address etc etc. Insurance would be extremely high and selling the car on could be a problem too.

Here's the link
http://www.usatourist.com/english/tips/carbuying.html
#8
Cheapest way to travel is by Greyhound Bus, you can get a coast to coast ticket for approx £70, we did it and were allowed to take 2 weeks to go from Montreal to San Fran, stopping sometimes for a few days sometimes to save money sleeping on the bus, great adventure though - good luck
#9
insurance for under 25's woth car hire companies is waaaaaaaaaaaay to high. I wouldn't bother hireing a car.
#11
Cheers for all the useful info guys, much appreciated. Gonna take a look at this top gear episode now and defo gonna buy that guide!
#12
Megabus also run out of the US now. Also, when we traveled my buddy was a member of the AA (Automobile association of America). Not only did they cover the insurance, but also offered tour books. On the night we wanted to stop we gave a call to a few motels. Although they were nothing spectacular they were super cheap often at about $22 (11 pounds) a night for the room (about $7/3.50 each a night). I believe you can buy these books without membership, but it may work out better for you to join if your going into lots of different states. They are also really good for comprehensive maps. http://www.aaa.com/scripts/WebObjects.dll/ZipCode.woa/wa/route may help you out.
#13
did21, thats very useful info - thanks! Do they do car rentals as well do you know? We will be staying at motels too and those prices sound spot on. If they cover us for insurance we should be able to rent a car from somewhere else without paying them for insurance as well right?
#14
dont drink the water and stay away from people who say yee haw alot they are mainly located in what is commonly know as sh it kicker bars for obvious reasons
#15
I did the same thing as a student many years ago for 11 weeks. There was a great deal then with some of the airlines for internal standby flights. We paid $400 for a month of unlimited flights with Delta Airlines and went everywhere - sometimes took a night flight somewhere just for fun! We were only refused on one flight that we booked for and got on the next one 90 minutes later. Don't know if Delta still do such deals, but it was an absolute bargain! Visted N, E, S & W and a few places in between. Tip: Avoid Wisconsin, but definitely do Oregon State if you can. Good place to start on the West Coast and great highway to travel whoe way down to Californa, along the coast the whole way - whale watching from a rental car is brill and loads of cheap campsites along the way. Enjoy!!
#16
Thats one hell of a bargain for unlimited flights, gonna try and find out some more info on that now tbh! Its a lot harder than I thought trying to get a rental car organised. We thought we could rent 1 car for 3 months and be able to go anywhere around the US in it but theres so many exclusions and terms and conditions etc its v.hard to understand. Anyone know if its even possible to do that?
banned#17
Try this - don't know if it'll work as Quidco is down at moment. & can't remember site name.

Via [url]www.quidco.com[/url] (cashback site) look for travel then car hire THEN look up the car hire insurance site they have - for over 25's it works out about £100 a month for ALL the extra Insurances that they LOVE to add in US & which can account for a VERY large % of the car hire cost - often over 50%.
It might be worth giving them a ring & seeing what they can do for you.

You MIGHT - according to hubby (from US) be able to get a better deal via local car hire firms than the Nationals.

Something to consider & I must admit to being tempted when I've seen all those mid sized U Hauls driving everywhere with 'Drive me for $9.95 a day or $15 a day' emblazoned on the back doors - a darn size cheaper than any car!. Take a few sleeping bags & they might be transport & hotel room. LOL JUST be CAREFUL where you decide to park for the night - ask some respectable locals!!! Often if you're polite they might even let you park in their (often very large, in non city areas) yard. Avoid the locals with chain saws or that odd look on their faces & watch out for pick up trucks with gun racks in the rear - avoid!

Also there are sites where you can find people that need cars moved from one side of country to another - they want them fairly quickly BUT it might be a way to have cars VERY cheaply (if not get paid to drive them some places!). Car hire places also want cars moved to different locations. They were advertising $1 a day car hire this month to people prepared to drive cars one way to Florida for the season. The season might end in September - do some research!!!

Have fun & let us all know how you get on.
banned#18
Your flights also seem steep - keep looking - there were Delta flights on a glitch from £149 all in here a couple of months back BUT there are OFTEN flights for around £250 each all in. September isn't peak season!!

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