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Travel and Moving Whether you're going somewhere new for a few days or packing up your bags to relocate permanently, gain insight on various parts of the world from other users who have been there before!

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Amélie Offline
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Travel across USA. need advice and suggestions - June 27th 2009, 07:14 PM

I wasnt sure where to put this.. so I hope here is fine.

My friend and I want to travel across America. We are from Canada and so I have a few questions.

*How long would it take to "somewhat leisurly" drive across from west coast to east coast?
*Any recommended destinations are appreciated!

We live on the west coast and plan to go down to California first for symbiosis music festival (near yosemite park). thats from sept 17-21.
Then the rest of the time we will travel across to the east coast and then up into canada (probably to montreal or something).
We hope to be back by the end of november so basically we need to get from the west coast to the east coast within about 2 months.

but heres the catch.
we dont have a car.
I only have my learners right now, but hopefully I will get my N by the time we leave, and my friend has her N. But I dont think they allow people our age to rent cars, and we couldnt afford it anyways (or I couldnt at least)

So suggestions on sites and towns and places to visit, AND suggestions for way to travel across the US without a car.

we were thinking train or bus or something, and maybe hitching a bit too. But we want to be able to take our time and stop where we want which might be hard on a bus or train.
We will probably sleep in hostels or camp.

What are your guys thoughts?

I know that was long (sorry) but I really really appreciate ANY input and ideas or suggestoins or hints or.. anything.

Thank you!

ps. my budget is about $2000. I could spend more, but I dont want to spend all my money on this trip.


"Farewells can be shattering, but returns are surely worse. Solid flesh can never live up to the bright shadow cast by its absense."
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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
Em... Offline
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Re: Travel across USA. need advice and suggestions - June 27th 2009, 07:34 PM

wow, so what my advice to you will probably be useless but...

I think it would be so AWESOME if you backpacked across the country.

though i think i will take longer than 2 months. =\ which is the only problem. but still it would be an awesome idea.

I really wish you and your friend the best of luck. take care.
   
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Travel across USA. need advice and suggestions - June 29th 2009, 07:14 AM

Well, since I'm from the US and traveled to Canada a lot, let me just warn you on how strict the border is nowadays. You NEED a passport, if you didn't know that, you have to be able to show sufficient funds. Like either cash on you, or if you have a bank card, a recent receipt showing how much money you have there. They always ask you what you do for work. They'll also obviously ask you how long you're staying, and where you are staying, and will check up on it. I'm sure you know what you're allowed to bring across the border and what you can't. Going from Canada to the US, I've noticed that they check your bags and even have a dog sniff them, unlike they do when you travel from the US to Canada. Umm that's all I can think about with the whole border crap and how long and irritating it is. Extremely time consuming. Also, if you've never gone to the US before, they will bring you inside their office and do a background check on you. Just enter your name into their computer and what not. Also, if you've been arrested or had any trouble with the law, that will decrease your chances of being let in, into the country, just to forewarn you if you didn't know. I never knew any of this until I started traveling to Canada to see my boyfriend and he came to the US. I just don't want you to be naive going into the situation.

Also, I remember being on a bus and two guys were traveling together, and they were just going to stay at random people's houses and camps and what not, and they didn't let them through because they were a risk. Just an fyi since you mentioned where you'd be staying.

I've also noticed that the US border patrol is a lot more stricter than the Canadian one. Like, I got hassled a little bit traveling to Canada, but my boyfriend whenever he'd come see me, got asked a lot more questions and pretty much got treated like he was a criminal, so just beware of that. Another tip, be nice. Be polite when you get asked questions. Don't have smartass remarks. Treat them like they're gods, seriously, or you'll never be let in the country ever again. You also know that the limit you can stay in another country is 6 months, but that should be no problem since you mentioned you'd only be gone for about 2 months.

I would reccommend a bus, but only because I've never been on a train, and always done traveling with Acadian bus lines, same with my boyfriend. They're usually really nice, and will allow extra time if needed, and will answer any questions that you have.

As for places to visit, honestly, I can't think of any. I'm originally from Maine, and know places there to visit... But other than that, unfortunately I can't be any help in that area, haha.

I wish you the best of luck, though.
I hope I helped with the information I provided you. =D
xx






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  (#4 (permalink)) Old
Amélie Offline
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Re: Travel across USA. need advice and suggestions - July 1st 2009, 01:02 AM

Thanks for the replies

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoLLiFer View Post
Well, since I'm from the US and traveled to Canada a lot, let me just warn you on how strict the border is nowadays. You NEED a passport, if you didn't know that, you have to be able to show sufficient funds. Like either cash on you, or if you have a bank card, a recent receipt showing how much money you have there. They always ask you what you do for work. They'll also obviously ask you how long you're staying, and where you are staying, and will check up on it. I'm sure you know what you're allowed to bring across the border and what you can't. Going from Canada to the US, I've noticed that they check your bags and even have a dog sniff them, unlike they do when you travel from the US to Canada. Umm that's all I can think about with the whole border crap and how long and irritating it is. Extremely time consuming. Also, if you've never gone to the US before, they will bring you inside their office and do a background check on you. Just enter your name into their computer and what not. Also, if you've been arrested or had any trouble with the law, that will decrease your chances of being let in, into the country, just to forewarn you if you didn't know. I never knew any of this until I started traveling to Canada to see my boyfriend and he came to the US. I just don't want you to be naive going into the situation.

Also, I remember being on a bus and two guys were traveling together, and they were just going to stay at random people's houses and camps and what not, and they didn't let them through because they were a risk. Just an fyi since you mentioned where you'd be staying.

I've also noticed that the US border patrol is a lot more stricter than the Canadian one. Like, I got hassled a little bit traveling to Canada, but my boyfriend whenever he'd come see me, got asked a lot more questions and pretty much got treated like he was a criminal, so just beware of that. Another tip, be nice. Be polite when you get asked questions. Don't have smartass remarks. Treat them like they're gods, seriously, or you'll never be let in the country ever again. You also know that the limit you can stay in another country is 6 months, but that should be no problem since you mentioned you'd only be gone for about 2 months.

I would reccommend a bus, but only because I've never been on a train, and always done traveling with Acadian bus lines, same with my boyfriend. They're usually really nice, and will allow extra time if needed, and will answer any questions that you have.

As for places to visit, honestly, I can't think of any. I'm originally from Maine, and know places there to visit... But other than that, unfortunately I can't be any help in that area, haha.

I wish you the best of luck, though.
I hope I helped with the information I provided you. =D
xx

Thanks for the border info. (that kind of scared me abot the two guys not being let in. it would really suck if that ended up happening to us after spending time and money planning)
I actually live pretty close to the border (a few hours away) so I have crossed it quite a bit. I think that here in the west they are less strict than in the east, because I have never even seen a police dog at the border crossing we go to.
But it is really good that you told me that, because if we decide to cross back into canada when we are on the east coast, that is good stuff to know.

I was thinking bus as well, simply because it goes more places. The train is much comfier, but also more expensive.
Acadian bus lines are only in the east (from what i can see on their website), but I found that the greyhound bus has a discovery pass that allows you to use it unlimmited for two months in both usa and canada. so that looks like our best bet for transportation.

Hopefully the greyhounds in the US arent much more sketchy than the ones in Canada.


"Farewells can be shattering, but returns are surely worse. Solid flesh can never live up to the bright shadow cast by its absense."
-Margaret Atwood
   
  (#5 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Travel across USA. need advice and suggestions - July 1st 2009, 01:27 AM

I'd wait until I have a car.

I'm from California, and I don't think I've ever heard of that music festival. If you're coming through, I'd stop in Angels Camp/Calaveras/Murphys. It's one of the most beautiful places, a childhood memory. I think It's where Mark Twain wrote that one story about the frog. I heard they hold frog jumping contests. You can go to Mercer or Moaning caves that's close around to the area.

San Francisco is a must. The Goldengate Bridge, Chinatown, and much more. It's by the ocean too. Go to Alcatraz, the old prison where they used to keep dangerous criminals. You take a ferry out there, and I don't think It's very expensive at all.

I live in the Sacramento Region/Roseville. There's not much to do here, we're just a suburb.

San Diego is gorgeous as well. Those are just some of the places I can think of you going right now. In Cali.


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Re: Travel across USA. need advice and suggestions - July 1st 2009, 01:59 AM

If anything, taking the train will be allot more relaxing than the bus(or it could just be I have something personal against buses). I think they do rent out cars to people at 18, but it might cost a bit more for someone older(25+).

I know just straight driving from California to Florida is about two days non-stop(no taking any breaks). So, maybe a week taking your time? It will also differ depending on if you take the bus or train.
As was said before, I would advice renting a car or buying a cheap one. It will just be easier in the long run. But if it will cost to much, then trains are fine. If you want to look up prices the main bus line is Greyhound and the train is Amtrak. Not sure about car rentals, there are allot.


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  (#7 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Travel across USA. need advice and suggestions - July 1st 2009, 02:11 PM

In all honesy, the Greyhound isn't sketchy at all. I used to visit my ex every weekend, and always rode on the Greyhound and felt completely comfortable. The bus drivers are really nice and friendly, just like the Acadian ones. I wouldn't worry about them being sketchy by any means.




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