March 16, 2015 Wander-lust

USA Roadtrip » Part 1

It’s probably everyones dream: USA Road trip West Coast! Last October we finally made the dream a reality, packing up a RV and hitting the road in what would become a 1600-mile journey from LA to San Francisco via Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Death Valley & High Way 1. A few years ago my roomie exchanged Amsterdam for LA and last year two other dear friends moved to the US.
Together with my close friends we decided to visit them and it became one of the best trips ever.
In here you will find the preparations of this trip: Part 1 – USA Road trip – what to prepare!

Transport
Many people travel from San Francisco via High Way One to Los Angeles, but we did it the other way around by RV.

The reason why we’ve chosen an RV is that your home goes with you, you can cook, you have transportation, no need to rent a car, no packing and unpacking every day.
And more importantly, it was so much fun to do it with my dear friends that I’ve known for over 10 years..

Road trips are one of the best ways to really get to know a country!

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To do first:
1. Check which period is the best to travel around
2. Check which period in the cheapest/most convenient for you
3. Write down which countries you don’t want to miss
4. Set your route » From San Fran to LA or the other way around
5. Check which stops you want to visit in between
6. Check how to get from A-B
7. See how you would like to travel
8. Determine Motel – Hotel – RV
9. See if you need extra transport
10. Download Hotel Tonight App https://itunes.apple.com/nl/app/hotel-tonight/id407690035?mt=8> Hand-selected hotels at great prices on your mobile device
11. Download the Air BNB App https://www.airbnb.nl/mobile » Rent unique accommodations from local hosts for great prices

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Our Route
Together with my two friends we flew from Amsterdam to Los Angeles. My lovely friend from Pittsburgh – that we didn’t see for a few months – traveled with us. We rented a car and stayed for two days where we did some great things together with my Dutch friend that lives in LA.
After two lovely days, we picked up our RV – that we’ve booked online – and drove to Las Vegas. After 2 nights of gambling and partying we went via route66 & Death Valley to Salines & San Jose – High Way 1. From there we went up to San Francisco. We dropped off the RV in San Francisco and rented an apartment via Air BNB. After 4 unforgettable days we flew to Pittsburgh where we dropped off my friend and stayed for a few days. Ended our trip for 5 days in the best of the best; New York – where we visited my last Dutch friend.

What do you need?
» Car Rental in LA & San Francisco
» Tom Tom for the RV
» Camper Rental – Tip! Take the one of 6 persons and listen carefully to the instruction lady when explaining http://www.apollorv.com/rv_rentals_vehicles.aspx
» Campsite availability »  http://www.recreation.gov/
» (I phone) string for your play list
» USB cable for mobile phone > also acts as charger
» Apartment in LA, San Francisco, Pittsburgh & New York – Tip! Air BNB

The costs:
Budgeting goes hand-in-hand with planning, as the budget is probably the most important part of any road trip.
Do plan to spend more than you budgeted.
Hereby what I’ve spent: (keep in mind that we shared RV, Hotels etc with 4 persons)
» 1100 euro tickets
» 360 euro RV
» 300 euro Apartments
» 900 euro Food
» 300 euro Drinks
» 200 euro Car Rental
» 200 euro Other (festivals, places of interest)
Total : 3369 euro’s for 3 weeks

And believe me, it was all worth it!
Can you do it for less? sure! You can always spent less, depending on how much you want to spend on food, drinks & shopping. After reading my different travel stories about the USA, you will find your way and you will know where to cut.

In my next blogpost you will find my personal story about LA & Las Vegas including some of the best tips & tricks. You will also find out how 4 girls experience this classic American road trip.

Love,

Sarah

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