Planning a little trip

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Dagless, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #1
    I've had a pretty sheltered life over the years. I'm 20 years old and have no need for a job, though I might be working at my cousins pub soon :) everythings gone ok and cool and that. Which is why I'm thinking about doing something that will change my life. Make me see other sides, broaden horizons and that.

    I'm thinking about popping over to America and just drive from one end to the other. I wanted to drive around in a Triumph Spitfire but the cost of buying one and shipping it over there wouldn't be justified.

    I plan on funding the trip by doing odd jobs along the way. work in a bar or do whatever for a few bob until I drive off again. Most likely with a mate too.

    Anyone done anything like this before? Just decided on a big adventure and had a great time doing it? or a bad time perhaps?
    Also after tips. Things to do, people to meet, things to avoid (I don't want to end up getting shot or anything!). How much are plane tickets, or what's a good site to look at in general?
    thinking about doing this perhaps in the next few months. After I finish this year of university. I need to do something big, the boredom is boring!
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    You'll need to study up on the visa requirements (if any from the UK, I don't know), time limits of your stay, and the legalities of working on a tourist visa.

    A Triumph Spitfire may be hell to keep repaired on the road. Consider substituting a Mazda Miata... or something, anyway.
     
  3. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #3
    That's quite an adventure you've got planned - you might want to scale it down a bit - the US is a huge country.

    What kind of budget are you going to work with? Ideally, a car would be the best bet - but logistically difficult. You would have to license and insure it, involving a bunch of logistical details I am not sure of.

    A rental would be a little easier - but pretty expensive. Otherwise you have either Greyhound or Amtrack - both of which are *****.

    What do you have in mind to see? Do you want to see National Parks/beautiful scenery or some great city life?

    Fill us in a bit, will ya?

    Oh, I would also wait until you are 21 - you can check out nightlife easier and insurance and car rentals would be cheaper.

    A tourist visa will probably not allow you to work here - unless under-the-table, which can be hard to come by...
     
  4. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #4
    I drove from the east coast to the west coast last June over 3 days. That's around 3000 miles/4800 km. It was too quick but there are plenty of things to see in the U.S.A. It's so vast but flying doesn't do it justice. Going on the older roads are better than the interstate highways, too--well, when it's flat. Going through the mountains on older roads probably isn't a good idea.
     
  5. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #5
    I was under the impression that you're not able to rent any car until you're 25...
     
  6. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #6
    No. It just costs more to rent one the younger you are. I think it is next to impossible to do so if you are under 21, however.
     
  7. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #7
    as far as i know it is also impossible to get a job at a bar when you are under 21 also.

    not trying to rain on your parade or anything but this is a huge plan and will need a great deal of preparation to pull off. your age might seriously limit you if you plan on doing this before you are 21. it's good to think and dream big but you have to be realistic too.
     
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #8
    I say do it. Each year I take a road trip. It's about me and my camera. I do have a full time job and I am in grad school so real life has to set back in once I get back home,but still. I think you should do it. But know this, you won't be driving without a license and for that you need a social security number. To get that you must apply...it's a long story. Your best bet is to take the 90 day visa and just play around. Forget working. It sounds like you don't need to work so why bother? I think if you want to spend any more time around here you need to seek a lawyer. My boyfriend is from Liestechire (I totally spelled that wrong) and the first time we tried to get everything together without a lawyer, the second time we got a lawyer. It took 1/2 the time and we weren't denied residency for him.
     
  9. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #9
    How about a road trip through Europe? That sounds more appealing to me. Plus you won't have to contend with all the visa/working issues (as long as you stay in the EU).
     
  10. cycocelica macrumors 68000

    cycocelica

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    #10
    Sounds like a major project for you. Personally, it sounds like there are too many problems and it would just be hard to plan. I would say fly to the major cities. Yes it is not the same as driving but you will still be getting the American "feel". If you have the money that is your best bet. Visit Boston, NYC, Miami, St. Louis, Dallas, LA, Seattle, etc. Major cities basically.
     
  11. Johnny Rico macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    #11
    A lot of bars will hire 18+, mostly its DOE so if you have enough serving experience in high school its not that hard.
     
  12. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #12
    Not necessarily true - depends on the state. In some you cannot be a minor anywhere in a "bar" establishment, others you can serve alcohol, but not pour it, and still others you can do it all (except drink it).

    Your general points, however, remain valid - as always.
     
  13. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Location:
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #13
    They have bus tours for foreign students where they cart you all over the US for a few weeks - why don't you take one of those? You'll meet lots of other people.

    BTW the US is boring and expensive - you should be backpacking across Asia.
     
  14. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #14
    RJ, do you know anyone in the States? that might make things much easier for you.

    I do know that many here at MR would happily show you a good time in their respective neck-of-the-woods. We have people everywhere.

    I think that might be a good organizing principle if people here are game. I know if you are in Austin - I'll show you round...
     
  15. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    #15
    Having been stuck on the East coast most of my life, I've always wanted to drive across the US. Never had the time and money at the same time, though.

    What exactly do you mean when you say

    There are so many ways to do that ... what about volunteering in a school that's in bad shape, or working with advocates for the dispossessed, or working as a literacy volunteer with "at risk" kids? There is such a call for social justice and so few volunteers.

    Those are thin suggestions. But I know that working in an urban school (where poverty is far more prevalent than motivation) really opened my eyes to social inequalities and what one person (and one voice) really can do in the face of those inequalities.

    Anyway, here's my favorite book about traveling across the US ...
     
  16. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #16
    Come down here and do it where you money's worth even more!! A whole lot more!!!

    You could easily pick up a car somewhere with a mate for a few hundered bucks (make sure you get something decent - don't want to get stuck on the Nullabor) but it would be a great driving trip.

    Only problem is that whilst the US has cities all over the place, we're all just in a little strip round the coast. Once you clear the hills west of Sydney you're pretty much on your own till Adelaide a couple of days later. Then once you're out of Adelaide you're on your own till Perth which is even further.

    If you did a coastal drive you'd see more, like from Brisbane to Sydney to Melbourne to Adelaide (keep driving) then on to Perth. Awesome countryside.
     
  17. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #17
    I guess everyone is different, but I can't think of anything more unappealing than guided tours. I know when I travel I prefer to guide myself visiting the places I want to visit, rather than being herded around with a bunch of sheep seeing what people tell me to see.
    I think it's great that you want to come and see the US. Just plan carefully so your great trip doesn't turn into a nightmare. If you want to see some real cowboy country stop by and see us in southern Arizona!
     
  18. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #18
    I'd vote backpacking thru Asia too. Cheap and delicious.

    although this book made me determined to "do" the US some day.
     
  19. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #19
    Wolfcreek! :eek:
     
  20. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #20
    I agree with you completely!
    You learn a lot more about the place getting lost, trying to find you way back to the hotel than on a guided tour of things.
    "This is the cotton mill that George Washington spit at when he was angry about losing the war" and "look at this monument."
    Yeah, they're nice to go to, but do it on your own!

    and... ARIZONA?

    ...Come to Houston if anything!
    Mini-MR meet up! It'll be fun! I'll introduce you to bubble tea and tofu sammiches that are out of this world. :D
     
  21. ibook30 macrumors 6502a

    ibook30

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    2,000 light years from home
    #21
    I say go for it- To your question :

    I have and it is worth it. I didn't go as big as you - another continent - but the bigger the better. A couple of quick things- America is more hospitable at 21 - If you have an accent you will kill in the states, people will be drawn to you ;), Have a couple of goals - wether it's to see South Fork Ranch from 'Dallas' or Yellowstone, see something genuinely American.

    Definitely do this while you can, and have fun!
     
  22. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #22
    Oh yeah, backpacking through Asia would be sweet!!

    I forget about Asia as a destination, I used to live in Singapore and I guess I tend to take it for granted a bit. Can't think of many places that would give you such a great trip for your money than Asia, my mates went through Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia a while back and had the time of their lives for next to nothing. I forget cause it's so close to us, we normally head off to Europe for our backpacking adventures and it will be my next holiday destination but I'd love to get back to Asia further down the road.

    Wolfcreek would be a great place to visit. Don't worry about any of the locals, they're all harmless.
     
  23. rendezvouscp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Long Beach, California
    #23
    This sounds like the kind of trip you'd read about! I definitely think that this would be an awesome trip to go on. I don't have many suggestions, but I've traveled (by car) across America a few times, so here's what I've got:

    If you can, go in the spring. I'm unsure about what the rest of America thinks, but I think that traveling in the spring is better weather-wise than going at any other time. The summer can get hot, while fall and winter can bring snow/hot weather depending on where you are.

    If you want it to be a long trip, then definitely make sure that you take both the northern and southern "roads" across the U.S. I'd probably take the southern first and come back by the northern; you can travel across the coasts before you change direction. There's two major interstate highways; the name escapes me. Perhaps you won't want to take those, but they're a nice ride across and you can get to some nice cities via those roads.

    One of the best car trips I've ever made was going from here (southern California) to Anchorage, Alaska. My family (and, when I say that, discard any typical "family trip" ideas you might have) took the 101 up the west coast, and then ventured into B.B.C. (just had to throw the "beautiful" in there) and the Yukon, before making our way into Alaska and down to Anchorage. It's a really fantastic trip; I know you didn't mention it, but you might want to consider it if you wanted to see some of western Canada. Cities, and jobs, are few and far between up there, but it'd be a real experience.

    What ibook30 said is really right: if you've got an accent (which I would venture a guess and say you do), people will really like you. Or hate you, depending on where you are. ;) As for places not to get shot, I'd say stay out of any of our ghettos, generally marked by dirtier streets, a general "gray" feeling, and "gangsters." A white boy like you can get into trouble if you're not weary of your surroundings.

    We don't have anything like Ryan Air here, and I don't know "the good airlines" that you should take coming over here; someone else will have to help with that.

    There are plenty of things to do over here, and I have to suggest that you not only visit the regular "sight-seeer" territory, but look for some of the lesser-known areas too. You'll have to be specific about where you're going to get any really good ones, but America is riddled with good places to go that no one really knows about.

    I'm sure you're probably already thinking this, but definitely make sure that you plan everything out. Everything. That way, should you face any problems, you can at least find your way back to your plan. Once you've got a general idea, definitely post here and the "residential experts" can fill you in on specifics that you'll want to know.

    Above all, have a really great time planning the trip and actually going on it. Getting there is half the fun! ;)
    -Chasen
     
  24. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #24
    I drove halfway across the country (St Louis to NYC) and you couldn't pay me enough to do it again. But it might be different from a tourist's point of view.
     
  25. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #25
    that's a pretty sound idea. get a feel for the whole concept without all the risk and hassle. have you thought of that jimmi? europe is an amazing place with a lot of variety. here i am in america and i wish i could go trekking/driving all over europe. :p
     

Share This Page