and comments on this website are highly appreciated. Often
the crew behind CaliBust receive questions from people around
the world, wanting to set up their own US road trip. Here
are a few answers to the most common questions.
Non-US based road trippers
There is an easy and a hard way. Easy is spelled r-e-n-t-a-l.
Check the large car rental companies for good deals. The
alternative is buying your own vehicle. However, this is
a time consuming process. And when the trip is over the
car has to be sold again, quite possibly within a very tight
schedule. This is bound to influence the selling price -
donít expect to recover your initial investment. The advantages
of going rental include:
will get a new car - and even if it breaks down you will
get it fixed or get another one free of charge.
paper work (insurance) is taken care of.
can pick it up and drop it off at most major airports
Doing 8,000 miles in a 'sensible' Japanese rental car
may kill some of the adventure. Maybe you should buy some
old $600 gas-guzzler - now there's adventure for you!
Some rental agencies operate with a minimum age restriction
(e.g. for Hertz it is generally 25 but the limit fluctuates
from state to state).
Rather pricey: Buying your own car might ultimately save
you money but it is a really a game of chance. If you
want to be sure of your expenses - keeping within a budget
- the only safe solution is rental.
Life on the road - general advice
There is not much to it, actually. Just remember these simple
American motels are generally quite good. You can find
excellent rates if you stray away from city centers and
Interstates. It doesn't hurt doing some planning before
setting off. You don't want to spend too much time looking
for a place to crash. Make a shortlist of 3 or 4 motel
chains but don't start making reservations because keeping
too tight a schedule limits your options.
consider sleeping in your vehicle unless you are in a
supervised camping area - donít deviate from this - it
is too dangerous.
your route in advance. The book Let's Go USA
is an excellent source of ideas.
are boring - knowing when to take the scenic route is
will be more expensive than you think.
to keep a detailed journal and take plenty of photos.
Later on you will thank yourself.
happy? Send your question to The Man:
travel expenses (1996 prices)