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el duder
6th June 2007, 12:11
Hey,

Has anyone had any experience of self-fly drives in the U.S?

Particulary West Coast?

Any advice, or recommendations?

Cheers

Moose423956
6th June 2007, 12:18
Has anyone had any experience of self-fly drives in the U.S?


Do you mean you fly yourself? I didn't know you could do that!

Newby
6th June 2007, 12:25
I did a road trip two years ago, started in San Fran, finished in L.A. after a short visit to Mexico and San Diego. I wont bore you with all the details, but what specifics do you want to know?

Swamp Thing
6th June 2007, 12:29
Sooo, taking anyone with you, Duder?

el duder
6th June 2007, 12:30
I did a road trip two years ago, started in San Fran, finished in L.A. after a short visit to Mexico and San Diego. I wont bore you with all the details, but what specifics do you want to know?

Do you have to pre-book accommodation? Or can you play it by ear?

How long did it take you?

How much did you spend?

Car hire / cost?

el duder
6th June 2007, 12:31
Sooo, taking anyone with you, Duder?

I wish!

Just a lads trip this one. I ****ed it up with the girl i was seeing and have decided this dating malarky is far to much hard work to be worryign about anymore.

sasguru
6th June 2007, 12:47
I wish!

Just a lads trip this one. I ****ed it up with the girl i was seeing and have decided this dating malarky is far to much hard work to be worryign about anymore.

Actually Duder, picking up in the US is much easier than here. They dig the accent. Good move.

Alternatively just go to Thailand and be done with it.

tim123
6th June 2007, 13:03
I've always travelled off peak so you need a pinch of salt with this info.

With a few exceptions I've just left it to the day to find accomodation, but I always arrive early (before 16:00) just in case I have to move onto the next town. Even at the few places that I pre-booked it turned out not to be necessary. Booking ahead before you arrive is usually possible by popping into a motel in the same chain. I don't know whether internet booking has changed any of this, it wasn't available last time I went.

You should get reasonable accomodation for 50 dollars per night in most locations. Food is cheap, book the car hire before you go for the best rate, make sure that you get all insurances included. Check the docket to make sure that they haven't charged you for an upgrade and not told you. Don't get the return empty rate (unless you are a really lazy git) take the car back full.

tim

Numptycorner
6th June 2007, 13:06
Hey,

Has anyone had any experience of self-fly drives in the U.S?

Particulary West Coast?

Any advice, or recommendations?

Cheers

budget.com pay in dollars (do not use budget.co.uk or you will get a focus for the price of sports car)

Moose423956
6th June 2007, 13:06
Do you have to pre-book accommodation? Or can you play it by ear?

I don't think they'll let you in if you don't have accommodation. It's an anti-terrorist measure. :ohwell

Newby
6th June 2007, 13:50
Do you have to pre-book accommodation? Or can you play it by ear?

You can definitely play it by ear. I would book at least one night for the day/night you arrive, and the same for the other end of your trip. I went with the misses and found accomodation to be quite reasonable, sea views in some of the hotels/motels in some of the smaller towns, stayed in the ritz carlton at half moon bay which cost the same amount for 1 night and a massage as the accomodation for the rest of the trip

How long did it take you?
15 days, but we spent 3 days in Vegas, 2 in LA, 3 in San Fran. There are millions of books on the Route 1 road trip and we certainly didnt rush the trip but you could do it quicker than that.

How much did you spend?
It cost alot more for flights, but all in all about £6500 - £7500 between two.

Car hire / cost?

The misses hired a sebring, and it was alright apart from luggage capacity. If I do a similar trip I would go for a gas guzzling 4x4! It was really cheap as we booked it with the flights, around £300 for 15 days.

Any more questions?

tim123
6th June 2007, 14:22
How much did you spend?
It cost alot more for flights, but all in all about £6500 - £7500 between two.



Blooming 'eck, what did you do? I do this sort of trip because it can be cheap, 400 (GBP) for a flight, 300 for the car, 50 dollars a day for the motel, 10-20 pp for food, and then petrol and 'entrance' fees.

I reckon on getting change out of 1500 GBP pp.

If I'm spending 3-4000 pp I'd expect someone to do all the planning and escort me as well.

tim

Numptycorner
6th June 2007, 14:25
Blooming 'eck, what did you do? I do this sort of trip because it can be cheap, 400 (GBP) for a flight, 300 for the car, 50 dollars a day for the motel, 10-20 pp for food, and then petrol and 'entrance' fees.

I reckon on getting change out of 1500 GBP pp.

If I'm spending 3-4000 pp I'd expect someone to do all the planning and escort me as well.

tim

Agree, Did 11 days in 2002 with convertible sports car, 2000 mile trip change from 1500 pp exchange rate then circa 1.55 so probably change from 1200 now

LGDT
6th June 2007, 14:34
Done 15 fly-drives to various parts over the last 18 years.

Echo much of what has been said. You will need an address to put on your immigration form – used to be able to put “Fly Drive” but that all changed post-9/11.

Book a car this side using the US site. Go for at least a full-size (Ford Taurus etc) or above. You’ll appreciate the extra comfort on the long drives.

One of these with a/c, cruise control etc will set you back about £270 for 14 days.

You’ll need CDW and SLI insurance. I buy an annual policy for this in the UK which works out cheaper than using the one the car hire firm offers you . Details here:

http://www.insurance4carhire.com/index.asp?curID=1&langID=1&refID=553&pID=64

As regards accommodation – safe enough to go on spec and turn up in your destination town about 4pm each night. I would make sure that you have your Friday/Saturday nights booked up in advance though. We’ve sometimes been sat in reception waiting for the cancellations to come through and it can be a bit nerve-wracking.

We use Super 8 motels – www.super8.com – usually on an interstate junction on the main drag of the town you’re staying in. They come in at around £30 a night and are as good as you’ll need if you’re moving on every day or so.

Save money on these then if you fancy a night without driving to dinner you can stay downtown and pay a bit more.

If you belong to the AA/RAC or any motoring organisation you can get free AAA tour books and maps for the states you are going to. The tour books are brilliant – they have page after page of accommodations and restaurants for each town and loads of suggestions for places to visit etc.

http://www.aaa.com/PPInternational/International.html

AAA will even send them across the pond standard mail for you if you ask nicely – despite what it says on the website. We’ve just done a trip down through DC, Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia and they gave us stuff for the lot.

Costs - we can generally get 2 weeks out there for about £850 each (flights, accommodation, car hire).

el duder
6th June 2007, 14:42
Done 15 fly-drives to various parts over the last 18 years.

Echo much of what has been said. You will need an address to put on your immigration form – used to be able to put “Fly Drive” but that all changed post-9/11.

Book a car this side using the US site. Go for at least a full-size (Ford Taurus etc) or above. You’ll appreciate the extra comfort on the long drives.

One of these with a/c, cruise control etc will set you back about £270 for 14 days.

You’ll need CDW and SLI insurance. I buy an annual policy for this in the UK which works out cheaper than using the one the car hire firm offers you . Details here:

http://www.insurance4carhire.com/index.asp?curID=1&langID=1&refID=553&pID=64

As regards accommodation – safe enough to go on spec and turn up in your destination town about 4pm each night. I would make sure that you have your Friday/Saturday nights booked up in advance though. We’ve sometimes been sat in reception waiting for the cancellations to come through and it can be a bit nerve-wracking.

We use Super 8 motels – www.super8.com – usually on an interstate junction on the main drag of the town you’re staying in. They come in at around £30 a night and are as good as you’ll need if you’re moving on every day or so.

Save money on these then if you fancy a night without driving to dinner you can stay downtown and pay a bit more.

If you belong to the AA/RAC or any motoring organisation you can get free AAA tour books and maps for the states you are going to. The tour books are brilliant – they have page after page of accommodations and restaurants for each town and loads of suggestions for places to visit etc.

http://www.aaa.com/PPInternational/International.html

AAA will even send them across the pond standard mail for you if you ask nicely – despite what it says on the website. We’ve just done a trip down through DC, Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia and they gave us stuff for the lot.

Costs - we can generally get 2 weeks out there for about £850 each (flights, accommodation, car hire).

Ok thanks for all the info.....

Some interesting prices being shouted about, i am planning on going in August. Already have been quoted £2,500 - 3000 but stayin in nice places.

My budget would be more on the £1000-£1500 mark though.

Euro-commuter
6th June 2007, 14:55
You’ll need CDW and SLI insurance. I buy an annual policy for this in the UK which works out cheaper than using the one the car hire firm offers you . Details here:

http://www.insurance4carhire.com/index.asp?curID=1&langID=1&refID=553&pID=64
This is no joke, the Collision Damage Waiver bought on the spot can be almost as much as the car rental! Americans don't care because it is usually covered by their credit cards. If you come from a European country, it is usually not covered by ordinary credit cards but is covered by Gold Visa Cards and upwards - except for one EU country, none of whose cards cover it: guess which country?

rootsnall
6th June 2007, 15:04
Ok thanks for all the info.....

Some interesting prices being shouted about, i am planning on going in August. Already have been quoted £2,500 - 3000 but stayin in nice places.

My budget would be more on the £1000-£1500 mark though.

I think August is probably still the Yank holiday season, I'd maybe delay a while !? I was there in spring/early summer one time and accomo wasn't a problem but then suddenly everything was booked up as the locals started their summer hols.

Newby
6th June 2007, 15:10
I stayed in nice recommended hotels, I worked for a US company at the time and they gave me some good tips.

The cost was elevated by going to Vegas for 3 nights at the MGM Grand with helicopter trips etc etc. Ritz Carlton hotel (one night) about 900 dollars including beautiful meal and massage. Napa and Sonoma valley lashed for a couple of nights, ate at one of the top five restaurants in the world. So if you include good accomodation, good meals, vegas then it is easy to rack up decent sized bill.

I didnt scrimp on anything (although getting a convertible car that didnt have much luggage space was probably the worst decision I made)

I would estimate that for 2 weeks you wouldnt get any change from £1500-£2000.