U.S. & Canada Trip May-September 2021

Old Sep 19th, 2020, 05:09 PM
  #61  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,396
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This personís experience may interest you.

https://www.travelinglifestyle.net/b...p-budget-tips/

These tips maybe helpful.

https://travel.stackexchange.com/que...-united-states

This isnít the right forum for more shoestring travel, try Lonely Planet.

Last edited by tom_mn; Sep 19th, 2020 at 05:11 PM.
tom_mn is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2020, 05:21 PM
  #62  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,353
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
"This isn’t the right forum for more shoestring travel, try Lonely Planet."

There won't be a lot of of help there since . . . the ThornTree/Lonely Planet forum is no more . . .
janisj is online now  
Old Sep 19th, 2020, 06:44 PM
  #63  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 94,514
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, skip Seattle. It's out of your way and I don't think it is all that amazing. I live here and LOVE it... but in the scope of your trip I think it's completely unnecessary. Now if you had a few extra weeks and wanted to explore the PNW area, including Washington, Oregon, the national parks, the coastal areas, mountains, etc. that would be different. But just to drop into the city of Seattle for a few days... just say no.

Yes, overall it is "too much". Tighten up the itinerary for a better experience.

Last comment... always the very easiest way to raise your budget without spending any more money... shorten the trip.
suze is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2020, 01:50 AM
  #64  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by janisj View Post
My post keep getting hung up in the spam filter so will try again. May end up with three identical posts

Yes -- there is a National Park pass -- getting that certainly helps stretch your budget a little. But that is a drop in the bucket. US$27,000 is very low to cover 4.5 months travel. Assuming your Transatlantic airfare isn't included in the $27,000, as I mentioned -- that is $200 per day for 135 days. (If the international airfare has to come out of the $27,000 - you'll have even less per day). Some things to consider: A simple low end motel in any popular/scenic area near a National Park will run from around $100 to $200 a day. A big city hostel - maybe $50-$70. Rental cars from $25 to over $100 per day depending on location / special discount codes you might find. B&B is not as typical at low cost properties as you might be used to in Europe, so you need to budget for 2 or 3 full meals a day. Regional and X-country flights will run from around $60 to several hundred $$. As you can see, $200 average per day will not go very far.

As I suggested -- perhaps cut the length / scope of your trip. Same budget over 2 months will net you $450 per day . . .
Haha, don't worry - I see you.
Man, I mean, you are right... I might even consider purchasing a car, idk...
I am on it - as for now I would like to focus on the route itself: destinations, attractions, NPs etc, and not on the budget.
Travelboy007 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2020, 01:53 AM
  #65  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tom_mn View Post
This personís experience may interest you.

https://www.travelinglifestyle.net/b...p-budget-tips/

These tips maybe helpful.

https://travel.stackexchange.com/que...-united-states

This isnít the right forum for more shoestring travel, try Lonely Planet.
I'm not planning a shoestring travel... My budget for this trip is pretty decent. I am merely figuring out my route as an initial step.
Travelboy007 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2020, 01:55 AM
  #66  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by suze View Post
Yes, skip Seattle. It's out of your way and I don't think it is all that amazing. I live here and LOVE it... but in the scope of your trip I think it's completely unnecessary. Now if you had a few extra weeks and wanted to explore the PNW area, including Washington, Oregon, the national parks, the coastal areas, mountains, etc. that would be different. But just to drop into the city of Seattle for a few days... just say no.

Yes, overall it is "too much". Tighten up the itinerary for a better experience.

Last comment... always the very easiest way to raise your budget without spending any more money... shorten the trip.
Thanks man, great advice
Travelboy007 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2020, 06:23 AM
  #67  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,396
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm not planning a shoestring travel.
But you could use some shoestring tips, especially related to transportation for young people. And also get closer to what your age group is doing. Are you planning to do this whole trip solo? I doubt many who give advice on this forum put a priority on meeting people as they go.

Seems Lonely Planet, Let’s Go, Rough Guide, even Bootsnall have all suspended or eliminated their forums. There must be a travel forum for young people.

Edit: In searching for a more youth oriented forum, I see that you have already posted this same question there.

Last edited by tom_mn; Sep 20th, 2020 at 06:44 AM.
tom_mn is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2020, 06:53 AM
  #68  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tom_mn View Post
But you could use some shoestring tips, especially related to transportation for young people. And also get closer to what your age group is doing. Are you planning to do this whole trip solo? I doubt many who give advice on this forum put a priority on meeting people as they go.

Seems Lonely Planet, Letís Go, Rough Guide, even Bootsnall have all suspended or eliminated their forums. There must be a travel forum for young people.

Edit: In searching for a more youth oriented forum, I see that you have already posted this same question there.
I am traveling with a friend of mine. We will be 2. This isnít a trip for ďyoung peopleĒ... It really isnít.
Travelboy007 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2020, 01:40 PM
  #69  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,353
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
" I might even consider purchasing a car, idk..."

Not at all realistic I'm afraid. Just a basic/minimally reliable old car will cost $3500-$5000+. Then getting insurance might be totally impossible -- not just because of your age but because you will not have a permanent US address. Depending on the State, getting a car registered might be difficult. Plus the hassle of selling the car at the end of your trip . . . in a different state than where it was purchased no less . . .

"We will be 2. This isn’t a trip for “young people”"

It may not be a trip geared to 'young interests' but you are young so you will face some 'young travelers issues' . . . Like renting or buying a car. With two of you that will help a little with the budget since you can split the cost of accommodations . . . but most of the other costs (meals, admissions charges, flights, etc) will still take a big chunk of money.

I know you say you are now only looking for suggestions for itinerary / sites / sights . . . but you have a lot of bigger issues to address first.
janisj is online now  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 12:20 AM
  #70  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by janisj View Post
" I might even consider purchasing a car, idk..."

Not at all realistic I'm afraid. Just a basic/minimally reliable old car will cost $3500-$5000+. Then getting insurance might be totally impossible -- not just because of your age but because you will not have a permanent US address. Depending on the State, getting a car registered might be difficult. Plus the hassle of selling the car at the end of your trip . . . in a different state than where it was purchased no less . . .

"We will be 2. This isnít a trip for ďyoung peopleĒ"

It may not be a trip geared to 'young interests' but you are young so you will face some 'young travelers issues' . . . Like renting or buying a car. With two of you that will help a little with the budget since you can split the cost of accommodations . . . but most of the other costs (meals, admissions charges, flights, etc) will still take a big chunk of money.

I know you say you are now only looking for suggestions for itinerary / sites / sights . . . but you have a lot of bigger issues to address first.
We have a pretty decent budget.
In terms of the car, we have family in the states who can help us with purchasing a car. The way I see it, selling it at the end of the trip shouldnít be a problem. Finding a local car dealer will do the job. If I find that renting is actually more lucrative, I will rent a car.
We made a rough calculation (intentionally exaggerating with the expenses), considering all the costs, and it more or less meets our budget.
Travelboy007 is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 06:38 AM
  #71  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,877
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I know you've said that you want to see both large cities and nature. This is a big country, and those are enormously broad categories. Which is why, I suspect, we have all focused on details of budget and logistics.

So if you would - think a bit about what specifically you are interested in. For example, we are a country of varied and wonderful natural features, but some probably you've seen elsewhere and may not be interested in - perhaps desert scenery or vast farmland. Same for big cities - what is the draw to these? We can be more helpful to you if you throw in some of those details.

You mentioned Denver and the Rockies - you can pair big city and Rockies quite well with those two. As well, this could put you on a path taking you to Mesa Verde, the Great Sand Dunes, farther west to Arches and Utah's other national parks. Certainly Yellowstone would be a "don't miss" - no big cities close by, but depending on your interests, a northern loop could include many other places in addition to Yellowstone.

Let us hear your interests.
sludick is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 07:47 AM
  #72  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by sludick View Post
I know you've said that you want to see both large cities and nature. This is a big country, and those are enormously broad categories. Which is why, I suspect, we have all focused on details of budget and logistics.

So if you would - think a bit about what specifically you are interested in. For example, we are a country of varied and wonderful natural features, but some probably you've seen elsewhere and may not be interested in - perhaps desert scenery or vast farmland. Same for big cities - what is the draw to these? We can be more helpful to you if you throw in some of those details.

You mentioned Denver and the Rockies - you can pair big city and Rockies quite well with those two. As well, this could put you on a path taking you to Mesa Verde, the Great Sand Dunes, farther west to Arches and Utah's other national parks. Certainly Yellowstone would be a "don't miss" - no big cities close by, but depending on your interests, a northern loop could include many other places in addition to Yellowstone.

Let us hear your interests.
Thanks for your comment.
I actually did a decent amount of research since I opened this thread more then a week ago. Combining the research with your helpful comments here, I created an initial more feasible itinerary. Assuming I will have a car (I do have a family in the states that can help me with the procedure of purchasing one), pretending that all the logistics are planned, it will be more or less the following:
San Francisco and Surroundings

Yosemite.

Sequoia National Park (?).

California 1 Highway (lots of scenery and small sites/stops: Monterey, Elkhorn Slough at Moss Landing, Point Lobos, Bixby Bridge, Big Sur Station, Pfeiffer Beach, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Limekiln Creek Falls & Limekiln State Park, Point Piedras Blancas, Hearst Castle, Moro Bay, Montana de oro state park, Pismo Beach. Solvang, Santa Barbara).
*I am quite disappointed though because I cannot see a way to include Oregon Coast in the trip, which I heard and read is extremely beautiful (I want to hit Seattle on July/August, when the weather is good. Since I start my trip in SF on May I'm afraid I will have to pass Oregon Coast, which is on the way to Seattle from SF).

Arriving in San Diego

(Maybe maybe) Santa Fe - I have been told a visit in this city is a must. I have a decent amount of time (4.5 months), and assuming we will have a car, I might will add it to the itinerary.

The Canyons, Page and More

Grand Canyon.

Bryce Canyon.

Zion NP.

Antelope Canyon.

Mesa Verde NP.

Horseshoe Bend.

Arches NP.

Canyonlands NP.

Monument Valley.

Glen Canyon Dam.

Lake Powell.

Maybe add Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, San Juan National Forest and Great Sand Dunes (?) before arriving in Denver.

5. Denver/SLC - have not decided yet (advices are welcomed).
6. Yellostone
7. Bozeman (maybe just for a stop)
8. Glacier NP
9. Banff
10. Vancouver
11. Seattle (assuming we sell the car there and flying to Toronto)
12. Toronto
13. Montreal
14. Niagara Falls
15. Boston
16. Philadelphia
17. Washington D.C.
*I have not yet planned anything in the East Coast, but I do know that I want to visit these destinations and that transportation is not a problem there.

What y'all think?
Travelboy007 is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 11:31 AM
  #73  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,085
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't forget the other costs of owning a car in the US if you decide to buy (a major PITA and time waster) one here. You will need registration which is not cheap in California. My 12 year old Dodge Charger registration for this year cost me $150, down from about $185 in 2019. Then there is insurance, and since you have no US driving record and are a young driver, expect to pay a very high premium for insurance. Your family cannot help you here, if they lie and put the insurance in their name, and you get in an accident and the police find this out, you can be charged with insurance fraud, to say nothing of consequences to your family.
Lastly, do NOT under any circumstances buy a car off of Craigslist. It works OK for some but the site just has way too many scammers, people selling a car with a salvage title, or a car that they do not own the title, etc.
I still think your itinerary is too ambitous and you are underestimating distances.
jamie99 is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 12:19 PM
  #74  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 133
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think you have a fantastic trip planned now. If you decide not to buy a car, look into the cost of renting a car in San Francisco and doing the western sites then dropping it in Denver or Bozeman and flying to Vancouver and renting a car in Canada for those sites, maybe drop the car in Toronto and fly to Boston. There will probably be a drop fee for not renting and returning in the same city, but some folks from abroad have been able to avoid those.

Boston, Washington and New York City are all easier/ cheaper without a car and there is train, bus and air service between them.
oldemalloy is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 09:29 PM
  #75  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jamie99 View Post
Don't forget the other costs of owning a car in the US if you decide to buy (a major PITA and time waster) one here. You will need registration which is not cheap in California. My 12 year old Dodge Charger registration for this year cost me $150, down from about $185 in 2019. Then there is insurance, and since you have no US driving record and are a young driver, expect to pay a very high premium for insurance. Your family cannot help you here, if they lie and put the insurance in their name, and you get in an accident and the police find this out, you can be charged with insurance fraud, to say nothing of consequences to your family.
Lastly, do NOT under any circumstances buy a car off of Craigslist. It works OK for some but the site just has way too many scammers, people selling a car with a salvage title, or a car that they do not own the title, etc.
I still think your itinerary is too ambitous and you are underestimating distances.
Thanks for the advice on Craigslist.
About the car, I just checked several sites and it seems that buying isnít necessarily cheaper than renting. I might even rent idk... I will decide in the near future
Travelboy007 is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2020, 09:30 PM
  #76  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by oldemalloy View Post
I think you have a fantastic trip planned now. If you decide not to buy a car, look into the cost of renting a car in San Francisco and doing the western sites then dropping it in Denver or Bozeman and flying to Vancouver and renting a car in Canada for those sites, maybe drop the car in Toronto and fly to Boston. There will probably be a drop fee for not renting and returning in the same city, but some folks from abroad have been able to avoid those.

Boston, Washington and New York City are all easier/ cheaper without a car and there is train, bus and air service between them.
Thanks a lot man
Travelboy007 is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2020, 04:50 AM
  #77  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,490
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
This is probably not what you want to hear, but I'd spend the entire time west of Colorado (and even that I think is too much territory for the time you have). Just the PCH (Highway 1) drive in CA can consume the better part of a month if you slow down and really savor it, stopping and spending time experiencing places along the way and various side trips off Hwy 1 rather than just ticking the boxes and zipping from place to place (which is what the itinerary reads like to people who've done these routes). I've spent 6+ weeks over several trips driving various parts of Hwy 1 and still haven't seen all it has to offer. You're already regretting places you want to see but have to nix in order to cram it all in. I'd also sit down with a map and some distance calculators and really think about it once you plot how far apart all these are. Throwing Santa Fe in was another clue that you're not really aware of the distance between a lot of these states and cities. I think adding the east coast in would make a poorly conceived idea worse. You're young, the US will be here for the rest of your life and you can come back and hit the east coast "next time".
amyb is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2020, 05:08 AM
  #78  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by amyb View Post
This is probably not what you want to hear, but I'd spend the entire time west of Colorado (and even that I think is too much territory for the time you have). Just the PCH (Highway 1) drive in CA can consume the better part of a month if you slow down and really savor it, stopping and spending time experiencing places along the way and various side trips off Hwy 1 rather than just ticking the boxes and zipping from place to place (which is what the itinerary reads like to people who've done these routes). I've spent 6+ weeks over several trips driving various parts of Hwy 1 and still haven't seen all it has to offer. You're already regretting places you want to see but have to nix in order to cram it all in. I'd also sit down with a map and some distance calculators and really think about it once you plot how far apart all these are. Throwing Santa Fe in was another clue that you're not really aware of the distance between a lot of these states and cities. I think adding the east coast in would make a poorly conceived idea worse. You're young, the US will be here for the rest of your life and you can come back and hit the east coast "next time".
I mean, 4.5 months is pretty much a lot of time, and I think I will be able to savor all my destinations, taking the time, without rushing and ticking boxes.
I donít think time is the problem, nor my budget, thus assuming I will have a car I would love to try and visit Santa Fe.
Yes, the US has a lot to offer and I know I wonít be able to cover even a bit of it in a mere hit. However, I do want to try and create a feasible and broad itinerary covering a nice portion of what this gigantic state has to offer. And I think I managed to do it. This obviously isnít the finished plan, it will face numerous number of changes, but this is my general vision of this trip.
Travelboy007 is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2020, 07:34 AM
  #79  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,353
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
"I mean, 4.5 months is pretty much a lot of time, and I think I will be able to savor all my destinations, taking the time, without rushing and ticking boxes."

It is not a 'lot' of time but it is certainly doable. BUT unless there is something you haven't mentioned you do not have NEARLY enough money to travel around these two countries for 4.5 months. When factoring in rental cars, flights, some very expensive destinations, . . . something has to give.

" I do want to try and create a feasible and broad itinerary covering a nice portion of what this gigantic state has to offer."

Assuming by 'State' you mean the whole United States - there is no way you can cover what you hope to unless you do resort to at least some box ticking. You could easily spend a month just in California and still miss a lot of 'musts'. The north coast/Redwoods, SF, Highway 1/Monterey/Big Sur, Yosemite, Sequoia, LA, San Diego, Death Valley would take a minimum 3 weeks and a month would be better. That is just one state.

All the many SW National parks you mention plus Santa Fe is another month

But you don't seem to understand the vastness of the country, especially out west, and have answers to every warning re the costs - so I don't think you are open to changing/modifying the scope of your trip,
janisj is online now  
Old Sep 22nd, 2020, 07:47 AM
  #80  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by janisj View Post
"I mean, 4.5 months is pretty much a lot of time, and I think I will be able to savor all my destinations, taking the time, without rushing and ticking boxes."

It is not a 'lot' of time but it is certainly doable. BUT unless there is something you haven't mentioned you do not have NEARLY enough money to travel around these two countries for 4.5 months. When factoring in rental cars, flights, some very expensive destinations, . . . something has to give.

" I do want to try and create a feasible and broad itinerary covering a nice portion of what this gigantic state has to offer."

Assuming by 'State' you mean the whole United States - there is no way you can cover what you hope to unless you do resort to at least some box ticking. You could easily spend a month just in California and still miss a lot of 'musts'. The north coast/Redwoods, SF, Highway 1/Monterey/Big Sur, Yosemite, Sequoia, LA, San Diego, Death Valley would take a minimum 3 weeks and a month would be better. That is just one state.

All the many SW National parks you mention plus Santa Fe is another month

But you don't seem to understand the vastness of the country, especially out west, and have answers to every warning re the costs - so I don't think you are open to changing/modifying the scope of your trip,
Ok,
What kind of modification do you think I need to make? Iím certainly open to changing my route, otherwise I wouldnít have opened this thread. I want to hear from you: what do you think I should exclude, what am I missing here (in terms of sites to see), where should I start, what I must not miss etc. The reason I started this thread is to hear from you guys. My answers to every warning is merely in order to create a robust conversation around the topic, which in the end should help me understand things I didnít realize before.
Your advices are extremely appreciated
Travelboy007 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information