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2 Month NA road trip - lots of questions

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2 Month NA road trip - lots of questions

Hi All,

Me and a friend are planning a two month long road trip in the states and have a number of questions, would really appreciate you guys' help!

We are both UK Citizens but he has a green card & his mum lives in Denver, CO.

We fly out to Miami on the 27th of July, and fly back from Las Vegas on 3rd September. Currently the only fixed date events we have is my friends brothers birthday on 22 July in Denver.

We have a rough and ready route we plan to take, created only by putting some waypoints of things to see on google maps and drawing the fastest line between them, it is by NO means a fixed route and we would really appreciate suggestions for deviations from the current plotted path.

https://drive.google.com/open…

We both know exceptionally little about US geography & about what places are good to see so your expertise will really be appreciated.

We are looking to do a bit of everything, from hiking to museums to BIG nights out. Any and all recommendations really really appreciated.

Current Questions:

Q1. Best way to buy and insure a car?

Q2. Best way to sort out money for the trip? We have £, whats the best way to get $ for the whole trip? Dont want to be carrying large amounts of cash

Q3. What travel insurance do we need / should we get?

Q4. What do we need to book for national park visits other than the $80 year pass?

Q5. What to do about a car and NYC, have heard its terrible to drive into the city.

Q6. Accomodation solutiosn - we want a variety of places, cheap gross motels to fancy hotels to picturesque camp sites.

Q7. Nice parts of the national parks to visit? Esp Yosemite. I love photography and would love to get snaps of some of the most beautiful parts.

More questions to come!

Thank you so so much in advance

Alex

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1. Re: 2 Month NA road trip - lots of questions

As extra details: we are 22 years old, don't care for amusement parks, love a good beach and love a good nightclub even more, and have a budget of ~~ £4k each including the money lost on car maintenance, insurance & any money we lose by paying more for the car than we sell it for at the end.

Penticton, Canada
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2. Re: 2 Month NA road trip - lots of questions

hi

as for buying a car one idea is to start in Denver so you can use the Mom's address for registration and insurance on the car. Any where else you will find it hard to buy a car as most states want a local address for registration. and you want to come back to Denver so you can sell it there to make it the least complicated. So a loop is the best way and with 2 months you can easily do that. I did a 2 month on a motorcycle that covered similar to what you have but doing a big loop back. You just need 3 or 4 very long days to get back to Denver from the east coast so you have most of 2 months to travel from one end to the other.

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3. Re: 2 Month NA road trip - lots of questions

Unfortunately we have already booked flights to Miami & back from Las Vegas! We were told by a friend that a US address is enough for registration & it wouldn't have to be local?

northeast
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4. Re: 2 Month NA road trip - lots of questions

Is there a specific reason why you don’t rent a car instead of buying? It may work out to be less money and if there are problems, they will usually give you another cari stead of having to find a repair shop and wait for repairs.

Another option is to have your friends mom purchase the car and add him to her insurance.

The one thing about the US is it is VAST. When you look on a map, it really doesn’t give you a true indication of distance and drive times. When you plan out a route, it would be a great idea to google how much time it ay take to drive where you want.

Have fun planning!

Lewes, United...
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5. Re: 2 Month NA road trip - lots of questions

Oh, dear. It's a huge shame you did not verify the info you got on buying a car, or try and find out more before buying your flight tickets.

I'm not sure 'the best way to buy a car' is actually open to you with your trip plan now.

Being under 25 will make car rental hugely expensive.

This companion with a green card. Which country issues their driving license? That may have relevance with other things.

The best way to sort out money is certainly to learn more before you fly. Essentially, it's easy (if not always good value) to chance UK currency into US$ in the UK. The moment you land on US soil, any cash not in US$ will be pretty useless, or can only be converted with great difficulty and at an awful rate. You have a lot to learn on this subject, and I'm not about to spell it all out. Please may I suggest you go find the MoneySavingExpert website,

I suggest you look for the travel money section of the same website and read up on what that says for travel to the USA. You will find the advice would be to get yourself a credit card and a debit card that has no fees and which also allows cash withdrawals with no fee. Which card varies. You will need a credit car to rent a car, if it comes to that, and to make hotel and other reservations, and it will be best way to pay for most things anyway. But bog standard UK bank based credit cards you may already have may not be good value owing to exchange rates and fees hidden in those exchange rates. Also, when using any card, always decline the offer to convert to £s. Let the credit card company do that.

That same website has lots of good advice on travel insurance. Make sure it covers your trip duration, if you don't buy an annual one, with a few days of leeway, and get that ASAP as the flights are already booked, so you have already paid out money. Make sure it has coverage at high enough values for each category for US travel and no exclusions of that nature. Also, if you plan on doing some adventure sports, check if you are insured for that. Most will not cover that as standard.

No other bookings required to visit national parks other than the pass, unless you plan to stay inside them in any kind of lodging there.

I strongly advise you to go nowhere near NYC with a car, for all sorts of reasons. Pity you did not consider starting the trip there, so you only needed to worry about the car after visiting there. As July onwards it's stinking hot in the city, if you will be back another day, perhaps skip there this trip.

Nobody can answer such a vague accommodation question. It depends on where you are and what's available. In cities, you'd stay in motels or self catering options, or where it's legal maybe Airbandb. In rural area camping and cabins may be a good option. You will need to set a budget per night, but it would need to be an average, some cities are very expensive, some rural areas and smaller towns cheaper - except those near national parks and major tourist sites.

Frankly, I think you have a lot to learn. While we on this forum are happy to help, you need to help yourself by doing a lot more research and reading guidebooks, etc. Try looking at the Lonely Planet USA on a shoestring as it's aimed at young travellers.

SWT

Baltimore
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6. Re: 2 Month NA road trip - lots of questions

If your friend has a green card and can claim a permanent address in Colorado, he can buy a car in another state as an out of state buyer. It will really be to his advantage to purchase his car from an established dealer and important to consider any Colorado requirements, such as emission standards, so as to be confident he can register the car on arriving in Colorado. Further, as a onetime Colorado resident having brought cars in to the state from out of state, I recall the inspection standards almost guaranteed paying some inspection dealer some bucks to get an inspection sticker. That was a long time ago. Maybe Colorado has changed.

https:/…buying-out-of-state.php

Penticton, Canada
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7. Re: 2 Month NA road trip - lots of questions

for your research on buying a car look at a cheap flight to Denver one way from Miami if it does not pan out that you can buy a car in Florida.

the other thing if you do get a car; skipping New York City might be an option or find a place to stay outside the city and take the trains in to NYC could be another option.

Baltimore
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8. Re: 2 Month NA road trip - lots of questions

No one needs a car in NYC. I actually get a kick driving around the City, Manhattan and all, but mostly I take the train in. It isn't only the driving. Parking in expensive, time consuming, and not always convenient. If you don't know the City, surely you don't want a car there.

Dubois, Wyoming
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9. Re: 2 Month NA road trip - lots of questions

Ditto. I lived in NYC all my adult life until now. Do not take a car into the city.

If you buy a car, park it in nearby New Jersey and take public transit into the city.

You do not want a car in New York. Taxis are abundant, public transit is quite safe and goes everywhere, and besides it's a great city to walk. I personally think the reason that obesity is not particularly prevalent in NYC is that everyone walks so much. Walk if only because the people-watching is so much fun.

Tacoma, Washington
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10. Re: 2 Month NA road trip - lots of questions

You could fly to Colorado and use mums address and register it. Can’t do this in Florida.

You saw 2 months....this is more like 5 weeks.

Given your route you would be better off doing....

Day 1-3 Miami

Day 4 fly to dc

Day 5-6 dc

Day 7 to nyc by train

Day 8-10 nyc

Dat 11 train to Boston

Dat 12-13 Boston

Day 14 fly to Denver

Day 15-17 denver

Day 18 to Yellowstone

Day 19-21 yellowstone

Day 22-23 Grand Teton

Day 24-25 to Yosemite

Day 25-26 Yosemite

Day 27 to bishop

Day 28 To vegas

Day 29 to Grand Canyon

Day 30 Grand Canyon

Day 31 to Moab

Day 32-33 Moab

Day 34 back to Denver

Day 35 fly to vegas

Rest of time in Vegas then fly home.

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