Saturday, March 27, 2010

Road Trip -- Under-25s?

Dear Mr. Jensen,

My boyfriend and I are planning a road trip in June. We bought your book and are very happy. It helps us to form our trip from a mere dream to an actual possibility.

We are planning to drive from New York City to Key West, then to New Orleans and then over Chicago back to New York City. Do you think 6 weeks is an appropriate time for a trip like this?

My other question concerns car rentals. Since we come from Germany we have no car in the US, but renting one is very expensive or not even possible, because we are only 18.
Now we are thinking about buying a used car and reselling it before we leave. Me being a US citizen would make this a little easier, though I still think this would be very complicated.

Since you probably know a lot of road trippers, I wanted to ask you if you know someone with similar problems, who wants to sell a car he bought only for his road trip, or if you have any other solutions?

Thank you very much for your help!




Dear Sandra --

Thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA -- I hope I can help with your travel planning. Renting a car is indeed awkward when you are under 25 -- but not impossible -- and buying one is also complicated (because you need to arrange insurance and other legal details). And alas, I do not know of anyone who has in car in New York they need to sell...

To buy one, look at websites like , and keep on mind that your trip will be much happier if you can get a vehicle that already is legal (licensed & registered with the state authorities).

Another thing comes to mind -- have you looked into "Auto Driveaway" services, where you would drive someone else's car for them?? You need to be more flexible, but there is usually little cost (apart from gasoline)... It's pretty adventurous -- check out this website:

Another thing you can try is renting a car for shorter times, doing a local loop trip rather than a one way. You could fly to Atlanta, for example, and drive for 2 or 3 weeks down to Key West and New Orleans, then do the same thing in Chicago.

You don't need a car to enjoy NYC or Chicago, so this might let you combine the best of both worlds (cities and road trips!)

Don't despair -- the US is a great place to travel, and I am sure you will have a fantastic trip!

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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