Turn on thread page Beta

Travelling to the North America next summer... watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hey -

    I want to travel to North America next summer with a friend (possibly two) for a month to celebrate the end of A Levels and our last summer before university and although I realise it is quite early still I really need some help with planning because I've only been to America once (Orlando with family) and there is a LOT I'm not sure about.

    We were thinking of sticking to the East Coast and visit as many states and cities as possible, for example, houston, dallas, orlando, atlanta, jacsonville, miami, charleston, philidelphia, new york, washington, chicago, detroit, charlotte, richmond, birmingham, cincinatti, and pittsburgh . That may be a few too many, but you get the idea..

    We would stay in motels as much as possible, although I'm not entirely sure on what the age requirements are.. At least one of us will be 18, but also at least one will be 17 years old?

    Flights are also something I'm not too sure about. We were thinking of starting of in Houston but aren't sure when the best time to book tickets would be in order to get the best deal? We would be flying in mid July.

    Transport - we're both too young to rent cars and buying one would be too expensive so I think that our two options are the Greyhound (an unlimited month pass costs like $400 or an Amtrak train pass which is $600 for a month) but I'm not really sure which of these would be best?

    Those are just a few of my questions, and I'm sure I will have more over the next few months, but I'd really appreciate if anyone could help out. I haven't really travelled much up to now and this really would be an amazing experience, I just want to get it all planned properly!

    Thanks
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    First off a month will only really cover five or six cities if you really want to discover them. Then there's the getting between them. I'd recommend the bus because it's more articulate, there are more roads in the US than railways. Houston and Dallas are by no means at all east coast cities. They would certainly require a flight to Atlanta for example. I'd focus on one area, say if you really wanted to do New York, fly into JFK or Newark and work down to Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC.

    You should be okay with at least one over 18 in the party. Don't even think about alcohol consumption though.

    As for flights, iirc Continental hub at Houston and fly to Heathrow. BA fly as well but it's usually more expensive. You might be able to get Delta cheaper by changing at JFK.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by rockrunride)
    First off a month will only really cover five or six cities if you really want to discover them. Then there's the getting between them. I'd recommend the bus because it's more articulate, there are more roads in the US than railways. Houston and Dallas are by no means at all east coast cities. They would certainly require a flight to Atlanta for example. I'd focus on one area, say if you really wanted to do New York, fly into JFK or Newark and work down to Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC.

    You should be okay with at least one over 18 in the party. Don't even think about alcohol consumption though.

    As for flights, iirc Continental hub at Houston and fly to Heathrow. BA fly as well but it's usually more expensive. You might be able to get Delta cheaper by changing at JFK.
    Thanks I'll look into all of that.

    Is it okay to be just 18, or must someone be over 18?

    Flights - sorry not sure what you meant with 'iirc Continental hub...' but do you know roughly what I should be expecting to pay for a one-way flight to Houston from Heathrow? Current quotes are £700ish.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Shomm)
    Thanks I'll look into all of that.

    Is it okay to be just 18, or must someone be over 18?

    Flights - sorry not sure what you meant with 'iirc Continental hub...' but do you know roughly what I should be expecting to pay for a one-way flight to Houston from Heathrow? Current quotes are £700ish.
    "iirc" - if I remember correctly, "Continental hub at Houston" - Continental Airlines have a hub at Houston, and operate tons of domestic and international flights from there.

    Return flights between Europe and the United States are always cheaper than one-way flights. What you need is an open-jaw flight- one that allows you to fly from London to one city and return from another with the same airline, though I have no idea how to get a ticket like this.

    As for the motels, Motel 6 require you to be over 18 to stay unaccompanied by a family member. I'm certain that most youth hostels don't though - I certainly never got asked how old I was when I was in New York, nor was I asked to show ID anywhere other than the airport, and Macy's to get a discount voucher.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by rockrunride)
    "iirc" - if I remember correctly, "Continental hub at Houston" - Continental Airlines have a hub at Houston, and operate tons of domestic and international flights from there.

    Return flights between Europe and the United States are always cheaper than one-way flights. What you need is an open-jaw flight- one that allows you to fly from London to one city and return from another with the same airline, though I have no idea how to get a ticket like this.

    As for the motels, Motel 6 require you to be over 18 to stay unaccompanied by a family member. I'm certain that most youth hostels don't though - I certainly never got asked how old I was when I was in New York, nor was I asked to show ID anywhere other than the airport, and Macy's to get a discount voucher.
    Thanks again, and for the quick reply.

    Can I ask why you mentioned no alcohol consumption? I heard it's hard to get hold off without genuine ID, but would it be a problem if someone else legally bought it and we drank?
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Shomm)
    Thanks again, and for the quick reply.

    Can I ask why you mentioned no alcohol consumption? I heard it's hard to get hold off without genuine ID, but would it be a problem if someone else legally bought it and we drank?
    I think so. Under-21s are legally prohibited from alcohol consumption, I think, with dire repercussions. Silly law, but I've always noticed American convenience stores and supermarkets put less emphasis on the booze, and when I've been in youth hostels over there, none of the late night drinkers were American themselves. So I suppose the law works.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Shomm)
    Thanks again, and for the quick reply.

    Can I ask why you mentioned no alcohol consumption? I heard it's hard to get hold off without genuine ID, but would it be a problem if someone else legally bought it and we drank?
    Yes, you would get in quite a lot of trouble if someone else bought it and you drank it, if you were caught. Honestly, it's not something I would risk, as a lot of police in the US are huge sticklers on the alcohol law.

    Also: you are planning waaaaaay too many cities for a month. Going by bus between them will take ages: think 6 to 8 hours for a lot of it. Just the travel will eat up your time. I'd suggested four or five cities that are close to each other, and explore those.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by rockrunride)
    I think so. Under-21s are legally prohibited from alcohol consumption, I think, with dire repercussions. Silly law, but I've always noticed American convenience stores and supermarkets put less emphasis on the booze, and when I've been in youth hostels over there, none of the late night drinkers were American themselves. So I suppose the law works.
    Thanks. Bloody hell, I can get an open-jaw from London to Houston, then New York to London for £540 for July 2010! I really expected it to be much more.. I want to return in August but they don't have tickets for then at the moment, but hopefully it won't go up too much.

    Do you think that is a reasonable price, or could I expect to pay less?

    Rainfaery - regarding cities, we don't want to spend time in all of them, but just go through them really. Ideally we'd like to spend a few days in NY, Houston, Orlando and DC, and a couple others we haven't decided about.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Shomm)
    Thanks. Bloody hell, I can get an open-jaw from London to Houston, then New York to London for £540 for July 2010! I really expected it to be much more.. I want to return in August but they don't have tickets for then at the moment, but hopefully it won't go up too much.

    Do you think that is a reasonable price, or could I expect to pay less?

    Rainfaery - regarding cities, we don't want to spend time in all of them, but just go through them really. Ideally we'd like to spend a few days in NY, Houston, Orlando and DC, and a couple others we haven't decided about.
    I've never done open jaw. I'm kicking myself now because it seems like a no-brainer when you get over there and meet people that are there for months on end, but before I went I was just obsessed with going to New York. So as for price, I'm not sure how it compares.

    As for the cities, if you're dead set on Houston and New York you will have to fly for at least part of your travelling. I'd personally recommend flying from Houston to Atlanta and start working your way up from there.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by rockrunride)
    I've never done open jaw. I'm kicking myself now because it seems like a no-brainer when you get over there and meet people that are there for months on end, but before I went I was just obsessed with going to New York. So as for price, I'm not sure how it compares.

    As for the cities, if you're dead set on Houston and New York you will have to fly for at least part of your travelling. I'd personally recommend flying from Houston to Atlanta and start working your way up from there.
    Well we wanted to end at NY. Wouldn't the Greyhound suffice?
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Shomm)
    Well we wanted to end at NY. Wouldn't the Greyhound suffice?
    Houston to Atlanta is nearly 800 miles by road, which is about 12 hours, and to Orlando it's nearly 1000 miles (15 hours). If you do this between each city it's going to take chunks out of your time spent enjoying the US, not to mention the amount of red eye.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by rockrunride)
    Houston to Atlanta is nearly 800 miles by road, which is about 12 hours, and to Orlando it's nearly 1000 miles (15 hours). If you do this between each city it's going to take chunks out of your time spent enjoying the US, not to mention the amount of red eye.
    I guess you are right about that. i'll definitely have to look into that more. Thanks again
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    OP may I ask why you are so dead set about going to Houston? It is so far away from the East Coast it's not even funny. Like almost-in-Mexico far away. I think that you might be underestimating the size of the USA (I don't mean that in a condescending way. Many, many people underestimate the size of this country). However, I do like your idea of sticking with the East Coast.

    Chicago and Detroit are also waaaaaaaaay far away from the East Coast. It takes 11-12 hours to drive from D.C./Baltimore to Chicago.

    Finally, if you come to Baltimore/D.C. you can come visit me All kidding aside, I just re-read my post and it kind of seems like I'm trashing your ideas. I don't mean to do that. I think you actually have a decent plan to start with. You just need to fine tune it.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I've been looking at open jaw flights to new york/coming back from houston on kayak for march and they're about £348, so keep checking flight prices!
    I think aslong as you just hit the cities you want to just between the two you should be able to do it in a month, although I would suggest atleast one internal flight (they can be pretty cheap so don't worry).
    I just got back from california and trust me, make sure you have a big enough budget. It's so easy to spend money just on food and drinks, it soon adds up.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by gingham_pirate)
    I just got back from california and trust me, make sure you have a big enough budget. It's so easy to spend money just on food and drinks, it soon adds up.
    THIS.

    Sorry for the size, but it's so important.

    You say you've already been to Orlando before (I've been several times, amazing city, can't wait to see more of America (LA and Las Vegas ) next year) so I'm guessing you already have some idea.

    I seriously WTFWTFWTFWTFWTFed when I heard my mam say how much we spent on food/drink while we were there for 3 weeks last time.

    Just make sure you have more than enough for a good time, and also for emergenceys.

    Also, as others have said, you've strayed too far from the East coast with alot of your cities.
    Have you thought about jumping about the US to a few select cities? Though the price of flights may be too expensive.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Do a trek america (www.trekamerica.com)

    Excellent value for money, a lot of fun and you get to see things you wouldn't otherwise see.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Oven)
    Do a trek america (www.trekamerica.com)

    Excellent value for money, a lot of fun and you get to see things you wouldn't otherwise see.
    Sorry, but I really don't get the point of trekamerica. The United States is an english speaking country with extensive transport and hospitality industries. Why do you need someone to guide you around taking you to just the obvious tourist attractions? Especially if you're on a budget, the company obviously has to make money somewhere.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    You Brits would get that sweet exchange rate, though.:p: :yes:
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Check it out on google. There's a few sites on road tripping the USA.

    I hope yours goes well, cos my plans to do something similar failed massively.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thanks everyone, I do have to look into this in more detail, we only just decided that we'd like to go a couple of days ago, but want to start planning early.

    Someone else mentioned to me that a group of 17/18 year olds traveling around US could be a problem with the immigration there? Does anyone else agree? We are all British citizens but a couple of Asian descent.

    Thanks
 
 
 
The home of Results and Clearing

1,693

people online now

1,567,000

students helped last year
Poll
How are you feeling about GCSE results day?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.