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Old 25th May 2015, 19:29   #16
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Default re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

I'm sure many others here are much more well traveled than me, but here are my 2 bits:

Driving in the US is pretty boring, with lower speed limits, etc. This is my opinion. If this is to be a holiday in which you want to enjoy driving I'd say stick to Europe.

My suggestion would be to book return tickets to a certain city, and plan to return there and fly back from there. You will save on flight tickets and the rental fee.

I would say pick a city like Frankfurt, drive through Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland before going through France and getting back into Germany.

My suggestion would be to rent from Sixt, while you may find some rates cheaper Sixt generally has very well loaded cars (in terms of features) i.e it will never be a base model. Something like a BMW 1 series will cost you just under $1000 for 14 days, while you can get something like an Audi S5 or an M550d for around $15-1600. Choose a diesel, the mileage will be a boon.

Also with this you can get your speed thrills on the Autobahns, and go through some gorgeous roads with great views.

I have to admit, what I've described is something I'm longing to do
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Old 25th May 2015, 20:12   #17
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Default re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
So its more of a *together alone* time that we want but since my cute little niece is in PA (US) we thought of spending a day or two with them before embarking on our roadtrip.
You answered your own question, and any other advice is null and void!

You can now proceed to change the title of the thread to Driving Holiday in the US: Advice Needed.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 25th May 2015 at 20:13.
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Old 26th May 2015, 00:57   #18
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Default re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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I can't do a roundtrip if I go to US as 2 weeks would already be less for doing an East to West coast drive. So 1 lakh for ND to NY and another lakh from, say LA, to ND..
Car rentals work out cheap if your hire and return locations are the same.
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Old 26th May 2015, 13:06   #19
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
Driving in the US is pretty boring, with lower speed limits, etc. This is my opinion. If this is to be a holiday in which you want to enjoy driving I'd say stick to Europe.
You are right about speed limits in US, my sister got a ticket recently when she did an inter-state drive herself.

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Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
My suggestion would be to book return tickets to a certain city, and plan to return there and fly back from there. You will save on flight tickets and the rental fee.
This is what's going to save me decent money. In the US I simply couldn't come back from the same city if doing a long drive, there just isn't that kind of time available with us.

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Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
My suggestion would be to rent from Sixt, while you may find some rates cheaper Sixt generally has very well loaded cars (in terms of features) i.e it will never be a base model. Something like a BMW 1 series will cost you just under $1000 for 14 days, while you can get something like an Audi S5 or an M550d for around $15-1600. Choose a diesel, the mileage will be a boon.

Also with this you can get your speed thrills on the Autobahns, and go through some gorgeous roads with great views.
This really settled it for me!!

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
You can now proceed to change the title of the thread to Driving Holiday in the US: Advice Needed.
I'll be honest, initially I really wanted everybody to say that go to US and do an East-to-West coast road trip. That way everything would've worked out for us. But then spending 2-3 days at my sister's would've left me with very little time. Has she been located in the west coast, maybe a different story then.

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Car rentals work out cheap if your hire and return locations are the same.
Yep, that's what the plan would be.

So Europe it is then! Now the next question, what all countries? In the meantime let me check out the rental websites.
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Old 26th May 2015, 13:22   #20
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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So Europe it is then! Now the next question, what all countries? In the meantime let me check out the rental websites.
Book a compact from economycarrentals.com (1 level up from compact).

After that when you are collecting the car tell them you want to pay extra to reduce deductible. Deductible in case of damage is 1200-2000$, but you can reduce it to 300$ by buying extra insurance.
When doing so ask for a free upgrade. Smile and stuff. You may end up with something like a mini cooper by paying little extra.

As for countries.
You can do Alps circuit in your budget which means Austria/Northern italy(Stelvio etc.,)/Switzerland/Germany(Autobahn).
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Old 26th May 2015, 13:23   #21
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

Just a few afterthoughts, the notion that you need to deal with slow speeds is very dated.

Have a look at the current max speed map of the USA:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_l..._United_States

So more then 40 states have speed limts between 70-80mph. Which compared to many European countries is actually better/faster!

I have often rented cars in one place and dropped them of somewhere else. Yes, you do pay a surcharge, check on forhand, but on the total cost of a holiday its less then marginal.

I've done tens ouf thousand miles of road trips in the USA and in Europe. Very different, each in its own right and its really about preferences if you have to make a choice. We were lucky having lived in the USA and in Europe.

One thing does stand out though. Most things in the USA tend to be cheaper then most of Europe.

So, hiring a car, the petrol, the food, the motels, just about everything on a per day, or per mile travelled if you like, is likely to be less in the USA.

Jeroen

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 26th May 2015 at 13:43. Reason: Blog link removed. Sharing/promoting personal blogs on the forum posts are not allowed. Thanks!
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Old 26th May 2015, 13:53   #22
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Book a compact from economycarrentals.com (1 level up from compact).
What's 1 level up? I mean am I looking for a Compact or Intermediate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
After that when you are collecting the car tell them you want to pay extra to reduce deductible. Deductible in case of damage is 1200-2000$, but you can reduce it to 300$ by buying extra insurance.
When doing so ask for a free upgrade. Smile and stuff. You may end up with something like a mini cooper by paying little extra.
But then there's the possibility that I might not even get the car I wanted, isn't it? Is it better to pay some kind of small booking amount and reserve the car that I want?
economycarrentals.com doesn't show Mini Cooper but shows Merc A-class from 17 Aug to 29 Aug'15 available at Frankfurt airport - total cost 27000 (includes GPS and cross border card) Isn't this too good a deal or did I miss something??!!

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
You can do Alps circuit in your budget which means Austria/Northern italy(Stelvio etc.,)/Switzerland/Germany(Autobahn).
Can I do Germany, Czech Republic (I'd love to go to Prague and visit their nightclubs!), Austria, Italy, Switzerland and then back to Germany?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Just a few afterthoughts, the notion that you need to deal with slow speeds is very dated....If you change your mind, or at a later stage, still go to the USA here are some of our experiences:
[/url]

Jeroen
Thanks for confusing me but I think I'll try to stick to Europe for now. Your road trip account looks awesome though!

Last edited by GTO : 27th May 2015 at 11:05. Reason: Quoted post edited
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Old 26th May 2015, 14:26   #23
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
What's 1 level up? I mean am I looking for a Compact or Intermediate?


But then there's the possibility that I might not even get the car I wanted, isn't it? Is it better to pay some kind of small booking amount and reserve the car that I want?
economycarrentals.com doesn't show Mini Cooper but shows Merc A-class from 17 Aug to 29 Aug'15 available at Frankfurt airport - total cost 27000 (includes GPS and cross border card) Isn't this too good a deal or did I miss something??!!
My bad. I meant one level up from economy. If your A class 27000 is in your budget, go for it. You will have to pay around 10000 or so for the extra insurance at counter(I recommend you take it)


Quote:
Can I do Germany, Czech Republic (I'd love to go to Prague and visit their nightclubs!), Austria, Italy, Switzerland and then back to Germany?
I do not recommend eastern Europe driving for first timers. Do this. Land up in prague, take train to Vienna etc., and do circuit, and then then train back to prague.

I did something like this.
Land in vienna. Return from Budapest. Cost was same as DEL-vienna-DEL.


Quote:
Thanks for confusing me but I think I'll try to stick to Europe for now. Your road trip account looks awesome though!
It was very simple.
We landed in Vienna, did our circuit, and returned car in Salzburg. Cost was just 40 EUR more for non Vienna return as Vienna and Salzburg are close together. From Salzberg we took train to Budapest. You can do something like this. Do road tripping in Western Europe and Alps and stuff.
Speaking of nightlife, vienna has good nightlife.
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Old 26th May 2015, 14:33   #24
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Book a compact from economycarrentals.com (1 level up from compact).

After that when you are collecting the car tell them you want to pay extra to reduce deductible. Deductible in case of damage is 1200-2000$, but you can reduce it to 300$ by buying extra insurance.
When doing so ask for a free upgrade. Smile and stuff. You may end up with something like a mini cooper by paying little extra.

As for countries.
You can do Alps circuit in your budget which means Austria/Northern italy(Stelvio etc.,)/Switzerland/Germany(Autobahn).
+1 for economycarrentals.com.

One more point - generally, if you have an option of renting from the city rather than the airport, that works out a bit cheaper.

Suggest that you plan the trip in late August-September rather than earlier, as you will be able to avoid some of the holidaying traffic that way.
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Old 26th May 2015, 14:35   #25
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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+1 for economycarrentals.com.

One more point - generally, if you have an option of renting from the city rather than the airport, that works out a bit cheaper.
I would not recommend that. You save some 30-50 EUR, but cities are very tricky. Airports being outside the city mean you get open roads to get used to the car and roads. So spend that 30-40EUR extra for peace of mind.


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Suggest that you plan the trip in late August-September rather than earlier, as you will be able to avoid some of the holidaying traffic that way.
Yes, August-sept is better
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Old 26th May 2015, 14:54   #26
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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I would not recommend that. You save some 30-50 EUR, but cities are very tricky. Airports being outside the city mean you get open roads to get used to the car and roads. So spend that 30-40EUR extra for peace of mind.
I would not suggest to do it for EUR40-50 difference, but more from a convenience standpoint. Eg. if you are planning to spend a day or 2 in the city where you land, then it may be better to pick up the car from the city office after you have looked around the city. This is what we did last year in Milan (where we stayed for a day before picking up the car). Convenience as well as cheaper to pick up in the city in such cases. If you are planning to drive off straight from the airport, then by all means pick up there.

Also, in fine69's case, this is the first time he will be driving overseas, and the only the second time he is traveling abroad. I would always advise familiarise yourself a little with the look and feel of the traffic and rules, before jumping into a car.
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Old 26th May 2015, 14:57   #27
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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I would not suggest to do it for EUR40-50 difference, but more from a convenience standpoint. Eg. if you are planning to spend a day or 2 in the city where you land, then it may be better to pick up the car from the city office after you have looked around the city. This is what we did last year in Milan (where we stayed for a day before picking up the car). Convenience as well as cheaper to pick up in the city in such cases. If you are planning to drive off straight from the airport, then by all means pick up there.

Also, in fine69's case, this is the first time he will be driving overseas, and the only the second time he is traveling abroad. I would always advise familiarise yourself a little with the look and feel of the traffic and rules, before jumping into a car.
That is why I said do not rent from city. Driving in a busy city can be daunting with rounabouts, cycle lanes and what not. With airport, you can cat shuttle to airport, rent car, and come on the highway. But the time you reach your next destination, a city, you are used to the roads.

I have been a first time, and trust me, driving in a European city(or even American) is daunting, esp with a stick shift.
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Old 26th May 2015, 21:51   #28
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

Ok just for curiosity sake, what are my other options if I wish to go elsewhere. I mean Ireland, New Zealand, Japan maybe?!
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Old 26th May 2015, 22:29   #29
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Ok just for curiosity sake, what are my other options if I wish to go elsewhere. I mean Ireland, New Zealand, Japan maybe?!
Ireland - yes
Japan - Budget will be stretched
New Zealand - Out of your budget

Go to Europe. Its very good. If you do not want to go to regular Europe, go to Iceland. Possible in 3L with a not so expensive car(no 4x4)
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Old 26th May 2015, 23:13   #30
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Ok just for curiosity sake, what are my other options if I wish to go elsewhere. I mean Ireland, New Zealand, Japan maybe?!
New Zealand - August is winter time, you will have rain and, in some parts, snow. May not be the best time.
Japan - not sure about driving here. The one positive is that they drive on the same side as India, but if you can't decipher road signs in Japanese or speak the language, it is probably a non-starter. I would rather travel by train, the rail network in Japan is sensational and super-punctual (and the bullet trains cover all major cities).
Ireland - never been there, I am sure it's great. But 2 weeks only in Ireland, you may feel shortchanged for your first international holiday.

You could consider Scandinavia (Norway is legendary for drives) or Turkey. You could go to Kenya or South Africa, but I would not suggest driving as you will be risking life and limb, and car.

Why not the Canadian Rockies if you want to do something different?
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