My GF and I are going to the USA in Sept/Oct 2011. We like natural scenery, and our plan is to fly into LA, rent a car and make our way to Los Vegas via as many National Parks as we can fit in. We will be in USA for about 6 weeks.
We do a lot of backpacking and camping here in Australia, and want to rent a station wagon big enough for the 2 of us to sleep in. We will be using hostels and hotels as well. We will not have much stuff- basically a back-pack each.
We have looked at renting RV’s and campers, but we really want to keep it simple, and they look over priced, especially as they seem to come with mileage costs.
The vehicle I was thinking of was a Kia Sedona (they call them Kia Carnival here). Or maybe a Chev Lumina/Omega wagon. Are these vehicles big enough to sleep in with the rear seats folded down? Any other vehicle recommendations? Can they be rented? Any suggestions on rental companies?
All help will be most appreciated!
Whenever I need to rent a car in USA, usually book with http://www.usacarsrental.com as they have vast variety of cars to select from and the prices are very reasonable. You may check out with them if they have any good options for you.
Thanks Lexie. The site looks OK, although no wagons...
Just rent a Suv that the front seats fold down fairly level on. Should be much cheaper to rent and better on gas, and usually rent with unlimited milage. Make sure to get the Collision Damage Waiver as they always find damage on the care when you return it if you don't.
Also if you wish to overnight park free in a SuperWalmart Parking lot, casino parking lot, National Forest, or rest area the vehicle will be inconspicuous and you can sleep in the drivers seat with the key in the ignition. I do it all the time and have traveled from Coast to Coast and North to South in the US.
[Edited: 2013 Jul 06 15:03 - Sojourner1208:178197 ]
Hi, i am pretty sure wiked campers from aust have a US site which might be worthwhile as they are pretty informal and often a combi van or panel van.
Or, when we lived in the US we bought a 20yo car for my hubby for $1000 and sold it 1 year later for $1000. So might be a cheaper option?
Hi Wazza and welcome to travel blog
You've got a great plan.
In the U.S. most rental companies will require you to be 25 years of age or older to rent a car. A rental will cost about $300 week. Because you will rent for an extended time you may be able to get a deal. I would do some internet checking prior to arrival to make certain they hold the kind of vehicle you need.
William's suggestion to rent an SUV and put the seats down is a good one.
The vehicles you mentioned would work also.
You'll save money by purchasing a National Parks Pass at the first park you go to. It is usually cheaper to purchase the annual pass for $80
You'll find a lot of parks in California, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona. That will keep you busy for 6 weeks. Too bad you can't stay longer. That time of year my favorite parks are Glacier National Park in Montana, Yellowstone in Wyoming (animals) and The Grand Tetons.
You will have a fantastic time ....no matter which parks you go to!
Can't wait to read your blogs.
Mr. William's opinion is nice and right, i also prefer for a rent car SUV.