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Old 07-13-2010, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Near L.A.
4,114 posts, read 9,224,113 times
Reputation: 3346

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I have been approved for 4.5 vacation days off work in late August/early September (so, with those plus other weekend and furlough days, I get 10.5 days off work!) My plan: return to California for a visit.

Here's the issue: I'm 24. I would not mind flying out there, but then if I rent a car once I land in San Diego or the Bay Area (wherever I choose to go first) I'll have those outrageous daily under 25 fees. That means that renting a car for 10 days would cost appx. $775 at the cheap end, and that's just for compact. (No joke, I've researched.)

So...I figure, there are plenty of states between the midwest and California that I haven't seen. Why not make a road trip out of it? I'm energetic enough that I can make it there and back in two days each. The total round trip, when the drive between San Diego and San Francisco is factored in, comes out to just under 5,100 miles.

(1) Would it be okay to drive my car out there? I have had it for two years (bought used at 125K miles), now has 161K miles and is in excellent mechanical condition. NO problems to speak of (it's a Toyota) and it's fuel efficient. Or, (2) might it be feasible to secure a rental car here in Cincinnati/N. Kentucky (cheaper than out in CA) and drive it? Obviously this would prevent wear and tear on my car...but, renting would still be expensive b/c of the under 25 thing.

Let me know what you think. Thanks much!

Last edited by EclecticEars; 07-13-2010 at 06:30 PM..
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:17 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,123 posts, read 17,121,718 times
Reputation: 9974
Well, what is your time worth? the 4 days Plus costs of hotels food on the road car cost of going there. at 161K even the best maintained car is going to have problems. I would wait a year untill you can get a rental when you are over 25, Also avoid rental at the aiports. I rented a car in San Fran to San Diego, the difference in price at aiport vs off airport was about 25% more.
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Looking over your shoulder
30,320 posts, read 27,776,619 times
Reputation: 81204
Are you able to go with a friend or by yourself? A friend can help drive and share costs of gas, motel, etc. along the way. Driving will cut your time shorter in Calif but give you some fun along the way enjoying the sites. The cost factor of flying and renting a car is higher then driving gas + motels along the way. Youíre looking at about 3 days travel each way by car which only gives you 4 left to enjoy Calif. Itís really a choice of where do you want to spend your TIME, on the highway or in Calif.

When I was 25 I bought a new 67 Mustang GT 2+2 and made a road trip to the northwest into Washington and Oregon with two of my friends. We all enjoyed the trip and still today remember the fun we had along the way. Three days out and another three to get back to eastern Nebr but it was worth it. It only gave us four days at the ocean but it worked out. We had a place to stay free near the ocean so we did have motel costs along the way.

Best road trip any of the three of us ever had. Get a friend to go with you.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
1,410 posts, read 3,560,030 times
Reputation: 386
I would never drive that length unless it was a month or longer trip. With 10 and a half days, for that drive, you are going to feel (and actually be) like you are in the car most of the time. The under 25 thing stinks, but i wouldnt consider this trip unless i flew. Otherwise, take your car and go to an east coast beach (10-12 hours) and wait until you are 25 to fly out to cali and do that trip.

G Man
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:48 PM
 
6,351 posts, read 19,341,703 times
Reputation: 9919
Eclectic Ears, I live right above you in Dayton. I'm a truck driver. I subbed on one of our team runs from Dayton to Anaheim, CA. Leaving Dayton on Monday at noon, it took the two of us until Tuesday night about 11 p.m. Local) to get to Anaheim. We stopped twice for fuel, twice a day for a quick bathroom break and we ate in the truck. We watched the scenery go by at 65 mph. I'm afraid the Gman5431 has it right; you'll spend waay too much time behind the wheel for such a short visit. And, if you're by yourself, I don't think you'll be able to physically do that in less than 3 days each way ... Plus, I'm not sure I'd drive a car with 161K on the clock that far. (A breakdown could consume what little time you have left (and maybe more...)
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:04 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,567,489 times
Reputation: 7604
5500 miles of driving crammed into a 10 day vacation? I think you'll regret it unless you just like driving.

Even if you get 30 MPG, you are probably looking at $500-$600 in gas. And if you manage to cram in the drive out and back in 4 days, figure $80 a night for a hotel, $20-$30 a day for food. Plus I would have your car mechanically checked over for any potential problems. Once you add all this up you are not coming out ahead much over just renting in CA.

I would look to rent a car off the airport property, that might save some bucks.

Another thing to consider is it's basically 2400 miles one way. I've done some long drives and while I can imagine you doing 1200 miles one day, I can't see you doing the same the following day and be alert and able to be safe. Unless you have someone to go with you. Plus you'll be rather spent when you get there.

It sounds like a good idea, but you have time working against you and in addition, I think you'll find in life sometimes it's worth paying a little extra upfront to save yourself some comfort and money on the back end.

Just remember to be safe and never drive when sleepy.
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