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Old 9th December 2009, 20:29   #1
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Hai TBHpers,

Giving below a link to broad plan for a Coast to Coast, US Road-trip in Ocotber, 2010. I've been researching on this for some time, want to do it in October. From Sep-25th to end October is the best off-rate season, best fall season and time with least rush all way through. Unfortunately, my family would not be able to join with me this time as my son's 10th exams are on and my wife would not get long leave, so I'd have to do it solo.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?k...2M1lKSFE&hl=en

Anyone interested to join me for this Maha trip please, PM me or post it here.

Cost wouldd be about 2.5 L per person all inclusive, that's the upper limit, likely to be between 2.10 to 2.35, if there's only 2 people. If there's 3 , the cost can come down to around 1.5 L per person. Also hope to use many family / friends contacts for stay.

Ideally the person should be willing to rough it out, specially in the Canyonlands / Flagstaff / National parks, things could become very basic.

The highlights you can tell your grandchildren some day:
  • About 10K kms inside US.
  • Touch the famous route 66 in many places.
  • Coast to coast
  • Cover the top recommended US drives
  • Complete Pacafic coast, US1
  • Grandy Canyon
  • Arches National Park
  • Hollywood, many walks
  • San Fransisco, Golden Gate.
  • Washington DC
  • Many others.
Those who have experience in US, C2C, please give your inputs / advise and suggestions, thanks.

Ramky
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Last edited by ramkya1 : 9th December 2009 at 20:37.
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Old 9th December 2009, 20:54   #2
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My 0.02 cents + VAT

Going from memory and personal experience:

If you are in Washington DC, you may want to consider the Blue Ridge parkway drive from there through Tennessee and cut through Arkansas through the top of texas (amarillo et all)

Much more beautiful country, amazing scenery than the flatlands of Indianapolis (you will get a lot of that after texas )

Also I dont think you will have to rough it out in the Grand Canyon/Flagstaff area, filled with Indian owned motels! It is quite mainstream.

Rest seems fine. I would have also added Montana but that would be too off the beaten path!
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Old 9th December 2009, 20:57   #3
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Congratulations! I had contemplates a C2C drive while I was in the US, but since I didnt know how to drive, had to depend on others...and thats a perfectly wrong foot to start off on! Good luck to you!

Anyhow, just curious - why cut through the country diagonally from Boston to CA via IN, NM etc? Why not start from the south (say SC or FL) and drive through the prairies and deserts of the south? That way, the trip distance might also reduce considerably?
OR
Stick to the north only? i am told the scenery on the northern route is better and has more variety.

However, all of this is insignificant, if you actually had certain places to visit in mind and wove the route around them!
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Old 9th December 2009, 21:01   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis View Post
Also I dont think you will have to rough it out in the Grand Canyon/Flagstaff area, filled with Indian owned motels! It is quite mainstream.
My 2paise as well:
GrandCanyon - went there this july and camped at the Desert View Campground away from the tourist madness (though there wont be many tourists there around Sep/Oct since schools reopen and it gets colder). Since you are visiting quite a few National Parks, wouldnt be a bad idea to pack a nice, sturdy, all-weather tent and camp whenever possible. Be sure to check if camping is allowed at the various NPs you visit during Sep/Oct. It is a very cost-effective option. You can save taking showers for when you are in comfortable hotels! :P
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Old 9th December 2009, 21:15   #5
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All the best for your trip. Do you intend Mid West? There are some quite nice scenic places in this region.

Do not forget a good health insurance before traveling.
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Old 10th December 2009, 11:20   #6
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Thanks for all the inputs here and direct mails to me (never realized so many had my direct mail id!!!)

@ Genesis: Going down south from WDc will increse the distance by around 1000 kms, the most direct route to Indy from there is thro. i40 and 70. After Indy, the country is very wiiiiiiiiiiideeeeeeeeee, but the drive has a barren charm of its own.

Around the Grand Canyon if one has to soak in the scene, need to stay in the area as much as possible. There are good campsites, the land is far and wide, to reduce driving in the night, we may have to sleep it out in the car itself. Flagstaff has many motels, Flagstaff reviews for Motel 6, Super 8 and Howerd Johnson (chain motels) which are cheaper around 50$ per day are not really good, they are average, some of them don't even guarantee safety of your car, so choosing place to stay there a project by itself. Don't know about Indian owned ones there.

@ Shutterbug: Good question....... mmmmm. why?

If we have to hit the Coolridge NP Highway 100 ride and join the "leaf-peepers" from all over the world, Boston is a good entry point. This ride is supposed to be one of the best in the world and full of colours, more vibrant than the falls in UK, this would be also near the ride to Niagra.

If I start from NY that would reduce the distance by about 800 KM but would miss the Hwy 100 ride. Boston has been historical entry point for migrants and the wagon triails rolled westwards.... This is just an excuse to touch Boston, some relatives in Buffalo, Albany and New Jersey.

Did consider that option of tents, great idea about the tents. Wall Marts sells and TAKES it back, if given back at the same point. If we reach late, pitching the tent in the dark could be a problem as I understood from other people who have used camp sites around there.

October would be colder, from what happened this year in US, had historical lows, snows and white-outs. Considering the crowd, costs and other variables, September 20 on is the best time, even can rentals fall during this time.

@akascauhan: Would not think of travelling without one, its an SOP.

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Last edited by ramkya1 : 10th December 2009 at 11:35.
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Old 10th December 2009, 11:32   #7
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Some states of US do not recognize Indian driving license, and require you to have a driving license from US only.
So if you do not have a US license, go to DMV sites of all the states you are passing through and check.
I think I recall that in Nevada you require a US driving license.

Other than that IDL is useless in the US. Most states recognize Indian license.
Apart from that if you are getting a rental, try to bargain for a hybrid(like Nissan Altima). Do not go for civic hybrid etc.,(its painfully anaemic!)
Also check rental company policy. For example Enterprise charges you extra if you take the car out of state.
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Old 10th December 2009, 11:45   #8
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Hai,

Thanks for that input, I've gone thro. the parked International Driving Licence Thread here, only Nevada & Arizona was in doubt. Checked that out, with a tourist visa, Indian Driving licence with International Licence (just for back up along with Indian Licence for thos ignorant cops) in english is OK for ALL US states.

Anyone hiring around NY, WDC area pays higher tax. The one way drop is 1000$ MORE!!!!!! If I drop it back at the same place, after doing a loop drive, which many people do, I'd save 50K!!!!! It would take 54-72 hours for a cannon-ball run from NY to LA, record is of Al Unser Jr. 34 hours, I would take about 5 days to do this, don't have the time to drop back, so only option is one way drop and pay 50 K more.

Most probable rental compact from Avis would be Chevy Cobalt 2.2, Sportz.

=======


Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Some states of US do not recognize Indian driving license, and require you to have a driving license from US only.
So if you do not have a US license, go to DMV sites of all the states you are passing through and check.
I think I recall that in Nevada you require a US driving license.

Other than that IDL is useless in the US. Most states recognize Indian license.
Apart from that if you are getting a rental, try to bargain for a hybrid(like Nissan Altima). Do not go for civic hybrid etc.,(its painfully anaemic!)
Also check rental company policy. For example Enterprise charges you extra if you take the car out of state.

Last edited by ramkya1 : 10th December 2009 at 12:04.
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Old 11th December 2009, 01:17   #9
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Did a C2C trip 4 months back. Started from Philadelphia-chicago-colorado-utah-arizona-california-vegas. Went all the way upto SFO from Malibu on the Pacific Coast highway, drove through sections of Route-66 in AZ. I Had been living in Philly for past 4.5yrs until 2 months back, so I had a US license, American express card that covered insurance on my rental. Budget worked out cheapest in my case but then again these rental quotes are ever-changing. I also wanted a one way drop but didn't feel like paying $1300 in drop off fees in Seattle, so i drove back to Philly from SFO.

My trip lasted about 17 days and included stay overs at friends places wherever possible since I was a student and wanted to save money, don't we all ? I'd suggest that if you're driving alone, get a tent and just camp, you'll save a boat load of money, camping is really really cheap, like $15-20 for a night and they're nice, excellent showers and wash rooms and Kamp ground of America (KOA) also have wi-fi ! KOA is a chain and is almost present on major highways across the country. Average costs of motel works out to around $40-50 / night. So, it obviously adds-up over a period of around 20-30 days.

One of the best decisions of my life to do this road trip, I've always been meaning to write about it in the travelogues section but am just too frickin' lazy to do it..haha. Shoot whatever questions you have to me via PM
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Old 11th December 2009, 10:30   #10
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RJK do give your road trip in U.S. with pictures.
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Old 11th December 2009, 10:46   #11
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Sooooooo happy you posted, relieved and reassured to hear some of what you have written.

The one way drop is a killer, if one has time, it's best to avoid it and do a loop trip. I had to pay only 30GBP for a one way drop in UK in october, 09, took the car from Europe car at Scotland and dropped it off at Croydon, near London, but than UK is so small comparitively.

Very useful information on KOA, will dig for info. on them. Yes, camping is the best way there is to save money, its so well organized in US and October would be a lean month to book in.

I've done many comparisions of traveling US, even a grop tour which coveres 50% of my plan would cost about 2.5 L per person and would be a an eye-wash. The best way to see US is to drive, IMHO.

Will take a rain-check on your offer for informaton, a few underneath to start off and thanks a ton.

Have about 5 people already who want to truck with me, will have to see finally how many are serious. One needs to choose carefully, looks like we will have to hire a SUV afterall

1. How many Kms a day was your drive distance, meaning if I start off at 5 AM on a freeway with fuel / loo stops and eating on the run, how many KM's can a seasoned driver cover in a day. I won't do any night driving.
2. How safe are the highways and camping grounds?
3. Was the route same up and down?
4. Which were the highways you took?
5. Are the camp grounds away from town, for e.g. I want to avoid going into Oaklahoma and Indi and Albuque, want to stop just for the night.
6. Did you take a 0 liability insurance with Budget, it's way too expensive than other types available, I am inclined to take that, how much did it cost you?

--Ramky
======


Quote:
Originally Posted by RJK View Post
Did a C2C trip 4 months back. Started from Philadelphia-chicago-colorado-utah-arizona-california-vegas. Went all the way upto SFO from Malibu on the Pacific Coast highway, drove through sections of Route-66 in AZ. I Had been living in Philly for past 4.5yrs until 2 months back, so I had a US license, American express card that covered insurance on my rental. Budget worked out cheapest in my case but then again these rental quotes are ever-changing. I also wanted a one way drop but didn't feel like paying $1300 in drop off fees in Seattle, so i drove back to Philly from SFO.

My trip lasted about 17 days and included stay overs at friends places wherever possible since I was a student and wanted to save money, don't we all ? I'd suggest that if you're driving alone, get a tent and just camp, you'll save a boat load of money, camping is really really cheap, like $15-20 for a night and they're nice, excellent showers and wash rooms and Kamp ground of America (KOA) also have wi-fi ! KOA is a chain and is almost present on major highways across the country. Average costs of motel works out to around $40-50 / night. So, it obviously adds-up over a period of around 20-30 days.

One of the best decisions of my life to do this road trip, I've always been meaning to write about it in the travelogues section but am just too frickin' lazy to do it..haha. Shoot whatever questions you have to me via PM

Last edited by ramkya1 : 11th December 2009 at 11:00.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 19:41   #12
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Wow this is just what i was looking for, in fact just a few days back i was discussing the same with one of my very close friends in the US and we arrived at a similar cost structure.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 22:04   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSM-Vtec View Post
Wow this is just what i was looking for, in fact just a few days back i was discussing the same with one of my very close friends in the US and we arrived at a similar cost structure.
First timers problem is visa. Very difficult to get specially at your age.
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Old 24th January 2010, 16:25   #14
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I have used my IDP, or State of Karnataka issued license to drive all over USA. In fact, the California Hertz guy kept on looking at my glossy license and commented that they don't get that sort of a shiny thing. May that he got it confused with State of Kentucky...hehe. I drove from Los Angeles to Seattle and back, Washington DC to Orlando / Cape Caneraval (Space Center thing) among other trips.
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Old 8th February 2010, 15:51   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danlalan View Post
First timers problem is visa. Very difficult to get specially at your age.
Ya i know but no harm in trying our luck...its a tourist visa, and i have a job in India.
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