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Old 06-19-2012, 08:49 AM
 
99 posts, read 164,352 times
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Hi all

I am strongly considering a cross country trip and back this fall (from the VA/DC area across to WA/OR, down and across the south to come back). Need to go get a map and figure out exactly what I want to see, and start planning a route. I am extremely excited, and seeking any advice!

I plan to rent a car to do this for 2 months. So I am wondering if anyone has done this before and what car companies they have used (would obviously need unlimited mileage and no geographic restrictions) - it's looking like it would be around $1100-$1300 (at minimum) for the car rental depending when I go exactly and which company I use. Then I am wondering if anyone knows about getting temporary auto insurance (if it is cheaper than the car company offers), and possibly a temporary AAA or something similar.

Will post in this thread with updates on my planning, etc.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:36 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,598 posts, read 62,438,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdcgirl View Post
I am strongly considering a cross country trip and back this fall (from the VA/DC area across to WA/OR, down and across the south to come back). Need to go get a map and figure out exactly what I want to see, and start planning a route. I am extremely excited, and seeking any advice!
If it's your first trip then where you go won't matter much at all.
You're still bound to visit 8 of the top 10 places most will mention.

HOW you find them is the only question. I highly recommend the "stumble across" approach.
Well prepared for being on the road... but an unplanned itinerary.

Get a copy of the BIG Rand McNally road atlas book ($8 at walmart).
Look for the Interstate routes then the smaller old US and state highways that run nearby.
Plan to spend most of your time on the smaller roads.

Quote:
I plan to rent a car to do this for 2 months.
This approach will likely prove to be very expensive.
Find a reliable small used car to BUY that after the trip you can sell...
(Or another traveler to go with who has a car)

Time frame is another matter.
This trip is no less than 6000 boring interstate miles.
It's far closer to 8000 miles with the side trips that would make it worthwhile.

Allowing 250 miles for each of the traveling days... that only leaves you 30 days to see and do.

Last edited by MrRational; 06-19-2012 at 09:45 AM..
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:43 AM
 
34,498 posts, read 41,630,408 times
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$1100-$1300 is probably the base price,after all the add ons are factored in it will probably be substantially more.If either you or your traveling buddies had a car you could certainly save some money by going in it.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:49 AM
 
99 posts, read 164,352 times
Reputation: 74
Yes 1100-1300 is the base price including taxes (for the cheapest i could find - economy car). If I add the rental's insurance policy it would add $300-$400, which is why I wondered if temporary insurance through an insurance company would be cheaper.

I will be traveling alone, so using someone else's car is not an option. Buying a car and selling it does not seem worth the hassle to me.

I have 60 days for this trip.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:50 AM
 
99 posts, read 164,352 times
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Oh BTW - I plan on using couchsurfing for as much of this trip as I can (it's a big part of it). So that will eliminate hotel costs. So the car rental doesn't seem that big a deal to me.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:36 PM
 
99 posts, read 164,352 times
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Update: Called a few insurance companies that offer temporary non-owner driver's insurance, but they are only liability policies, not damage to the car.

Hertz' CDW is still almost $500 for the 2 months (and that is at $8/day which I am sure to find nothing less than that).

I did find a travel insurance through worldnomad.com for $211 for the 2 months which includes a $35000 CDW on rental car (as long as I am at least 100 miles from my home at the time something happens), plus it includes a variety of other insurance benefits. Even if it doesn't include roadside assistance, I can pick up a yearly AAA (which I had planned on anyway), and still be almost half the price of the rental car company's CDW.

Just in case anyone was interested.

Still in the planning phases, will post here soon with some of my stops!
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,433,941 times
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Call your credit card company, and see if they cover the CDW. Most better cards do.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
4,250 posts, read 8,113,987 times
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We did 60+ days last summer and covered 13,000+ miles, (with an AK cruise in the middle).
For a two month sojourn one can cover some serious territory including stopping and wandering around at many Nat'l and State parks. We only did a few long days, and most days were 200 miles or less and many were under a 100 with much sightseeing, pic taking, wandering around.

The 'fly over states' were given short shrift, but only because of our need to get to 'Points U to Z', as we headed back east.

The 'fall trip' presents some weather and logistics considerations: many roads and sights and sections of parks/sightseeing spots can be problematic in 'fall', esp at any higher elevation. We drove in snow in May, June and July at some of the higher elevations.

The rental sounds like a pricey deal and I hope the company does not nickel and dime you to a fare thee well when you turn that car in. Much of CDW does not cover all the potential stone chips, windshield chips and slight scrapes that one has a hard time avoiding on a 10,000+ mile trip, imo.

Motels are easily 'gettable' on the afternoon of where you think you will land for the night; a smart phone is indispensable for GOOG maps, GOOG Navigator, checking websites of motel chains for deals, and for calls. A laptop can't hurt, either.

The motel every night or three, gets old quickly too, as does the 2-3 hots in a joint every day. Trip Advisor is a very good site for good places to eat in nearly every town in North America, regardless of size.

I would plan 'generally' rather than GOOG Map points A to M to Z, as stuff comes up, places appear that require more time than you expected, some destinations get bypassed, and it is seriousazz Big Country out in most of the western states.
My 50Cts...

Wish you well, and enjoy the country.
GL, mD
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:32 AM
 
99 posts, read 164,352 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Call your credit card company, and see if they cover the CDW. Most better cards do.

Yes it does but only up to something like 15 days I think.
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:37 AM
 
99 posts, read 164,352 times
Reputation: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by motordavid View Post
We did 60+ days last summer and covered 13,000+ miles, (with an AK cruise in the middle).
For a two month sojourn one can cover some serious territory including stopping and wandering around at many Nat'l and State parks. We only did a few long days, and most days were 200 miles or less and many were under a 100 with much sightseeing, pic taking, wandering around.

The 'fly over states' were given short shrift, but only because of our need to get to 'Points U to Z', as we headed back east.

The 'fall trip' presents some weather and logistics considerations: many roads and sights and sections of parks/sightseeing spots can be problematic in 'fall', esp at any higher elevation. We drove in snow in May, June and July at some of the higher elevations.

The rental sounds like a pricey deal and I hope the company does not nickel and dime you to a fare thee well when you turn that car in. Much of CDW does not cover all the potential stone chips, windshield chips and slight scrapes that one has a hard time avoiding on a 10,000+ mile trip, imo.

Motels are easily 'gettable' on the afternoon of where you think you will land for the night; a smart phone is indispensable for GOOG maps, GOOG Navigator, checking websites of motel chains for deals, and for calls. A laptop can't hurt, either.

The motel every night or three, gets old quickly too, as does the 2-3 hots in a joint every day. Trip Advisor is a very good site for good places to eat in nearly every town in North America, regardless of size.

I would plan 'generally' rather than GOOG Map points A to M to Z, as stuff comes up, places appear that require more time than you expected, some destinations get bypassed, and it is seriousazz Big Country out in most of the western states.
My 50Cts...

Wish you well, and enjoy the country.
GL, mD
Thanks for your post. I am surprised CDW does not cover chips and crack to windshield, and things like that! Actually when I rented a car once, we realized there was a crack in the windshield when I got to my destination. My CC company was ready to cover it when I called them. But, when I got back to dropping the car off and to file damage report, luckily they said the crack had already been there and not to worry. But anyway, I wonder why the CC company would cover it but not a car rental's CDW? That seems odd. Need to look into it a bit more.
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