TRAVEL ADVICE FOR FUTURE ROAD TRIPPERS

MISCELLANEOUS

Feedback 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:

  • Risk minimization.
  • You will get a new car - and even if it breaks down you will get it fixed or get another one free of charge.
  • All paper work (insurance) is taken care of.
  • You can pick it up and drop it off at most major airports and cities.

Disadvantages

  • 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 axioms:

  • 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.
  • Don't consider sleeping in your vehicle unless you are in a supervised camping area - donít deviate from this - it is too dangerous.
  • Research your route in advance. The book Let's Go USA is an excellent source of ideas.
  • Interstates are boring - knowing when to take the scenic route is very important.
  • It will be more expensive than you think.
  • Remember to keep a detailed journal and take plenty of photos. Later on you will thank yourself.
Not happy? Send your question to The Man:

 

Our travel expenses (1996 prices)
Day-by-day expenditure.

 

 

 

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California or Bust (PDF)
The entire travelogue in a printer-friendly format.


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Floating cars and disgusting audio to lighten up your life.

More information
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