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Hello from Wales,UK need advice on Florida / USA
Old 03-10-2013, 11:28 AM   #1
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Hello from Wales,UK need advice on Florida / USA

hello All

2 years 9 months from retirement. Retiring at 55 having worked then for 39 hours. Both me and wife retiring at the same time.


Fed up with the weather in particular.


We are considering 4 options for start of retirement:


1. Buy a motorhome and travel Europe most of which we have never seen.


2.buy / rent a property in Spain initially for 6 months and see how things go, like the people, food, climate....


3. Rent in Florida poss Tampa area although I know it can only be for a max of 6 months at a time.


4. USA east to west over a 6 month period.


With regard to options 3/4...


When we have rented previously in orlando we have found car hire in particular very expensive when you add insurance requirements. I don't think 6 months there without a car is an option as we like exploring rather than sitting on a beach.


With travelling across USA basically is it safe as we would either rent a motorhome for the journey or stay as you go


Any advice gratefully received


Kerry
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:41 AM   #2
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Welcome Kerry!

I highly recommend the east to west trip! Even if it's one month. Did a trip from east to west for 6 weeks as a teen. It was one of the best experiences of my life. You can look at all the pictures you want of say, the Grand Canyon, but until you actually see it, there's no way to describe its awesome beauty.

Good luck in your move across the proverbial pond!
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:52 AM   #3
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Kerry:
I also would recommend the East to West trip in a motorhome. If you are capable of doing the drive and have the time, please do it. Don't be like us. We put it off and put it off so long that now we are not physically able to do it. Time has passed us by. Just like you being right there and never doing the European tour. In the US, I always wanted to do the northern route in the summer, down through California and the southern route in the fall. I've only seen most of this country from the air. Big mistake on my part.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:10 PM   #4
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Kezar, You can buy visitors pass on the train(Amtrak) and rent for local travel in the city -- it'll be cheaper. I've plans to do cross country drive with my family(2016/2017). I live in US so no rental charges for me. I would like to do Europe someday and thinking about either train or rent a car for three months. Amtrak - Plan - Planning & Booking - International Visitors

By the way..working for 39 hours and retiring at 55 would be awesome.. I know you meant 39 years.
>>>>Retiring at 55 having worked then for 39 hours
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:27 PM   #5
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Also agree the cross country trip (Route66?) is a great idea, see much more than any one area of the country. If you really like the RV approach then get one but it is a lifestyle choice not a cost saving. You could rent a smaller car and find some reasonable motels like Motel 6. And if you like national parks and camping get some camping gear, save money and see some great places that way.
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:57 PM   #6
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hello All

2 years 9 months from retirement. Retiring at 55 having worked then for 39 hours. Both me and wife retiring at the same time.

Fed up with the weather in particular.

We are considering 4 options for start of retirement:

1. Buy a motorhome and travel Europe most of which we have never seen.

2.buy / rent a property in Spain initially for 6 months and see how things go, like the people, food, climate....

3. Rent in Florida poss Tampa area although I know it can only be for a max of 6 months at a time.

4. USA east to west over a 6 month period.

With regard to options 3/4...

When we have rented previously in orlando we have found car hire in particular very expensive when you add insurance requirements. I don't think 6 months there without a car is an option as we like exploring rather than sitting on a beach.

With travelling across USA basically is it safe as we would either rent a motorhome for the journey or stay as you go

Any advice gratefully received

Kerry
39 hours I wish !!!! I can't even type Properly anymore, More like 50 hours per week for 39 years!

We would like to do something life changing at 55 whilst we are still young enough to enjoy it. My wife would love to see New England and i would love to visit new york so may need to fit those into our journey.

Not sure about the camping suggestion, as camping was great when we were younger but I like my comforts now and that's without mentioning the bears and snakes!!
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:11 PM   #7
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"
With travelling across USA basically is it safe as we would either rent a motorhome for the journey or stay as you go"

The further west you go the better we get. By the time you get to Oregon we are almost up to Canadian standards of civility. Really don't think safety should be much of a concern - for all the firearm toting gun-slinging noise on the tv you will find us pretty bucolic. Welcome!
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:29 PM   #8
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"
With travelling across USA basically is it safe as we would either rent a motorhome for the journey or stay as you go"

The further west you go the better we get. By the time you get to Oregon we are almost up to Canadian standards of civility. Really don't think safety should be much of a concern - for all the firearm toting gun-slinging noise on the tv you will find us pretty bucolic. Welcome!
Apologies If I sounded insulting I didn't mean to.

Been watching to much csi, body of proof, rizzoli and Isles
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:39 PM   #9
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No no, my apologies if I sounded snarky at all - I took you to have real concerns, just as I have about other foreign countries (like Mexico, though I'm sure most of the country is fine - still, our tv news would have me believe the whole place is a mass of murderous druglords. hmm. maybe like you with news of our inner city gangbangers?).
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
"
With travelling across USA basically is it safe as we would either rent a motorhome for the journey or stay as you go"

The further west you go the better we get. By the time you get to Oregon we are almost up to Canadian standards of civility. Really don't think safety should be much of a concern - for all the firearm toting gun-slinging noise on the tv you will find us pretty bucolic. Welcome!
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Apologies If I sounded insulting I didn't mean to.

Been watching to much csi, body of proof, rizzoli and Isles
I have traveled by car all over the US and never felt unsafe except in a few inner city locations. Even in inner cities the dangers are probably over-hyped. In both Chicago and DC (I lived in both for decades) I frequented and worked in areas most considered unsafe with no problems. Notwithstanding that reality, it can still be scary to be in a run down area of a city you don't know. On a cross the US tourist trip, those areas would be easy to avoid. As for the TV shows, ask any American police officer how many times they have been involved in a shootout -- zero. We have some high numbers for gun violence but the rates portrayed on the silver screen are a few orders of magnitude out of sync with reality. Makes for some entertaining shows.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:04 PM   #11
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No no, my apologies if I sounded snarky at all - I took you to have real concerns, just as I have about other foreign countries (like Mexico, though I'm sure most of the country is fine - still, our tv news would have me believe the whole place is a mass of murderous druglords. hmm. maybe like you with news of our inner city gangbangers?).
Ha... you wish Yankee :-)

Kezar, if you make it this far north, Croeso i Canada ! It's also a fine destination (8 or 9 months a year !) Still I've spent colder nights in the Brecon Beacons lol
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:06 PM   #12
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Ha... you wish Yankee :-)

Kezar, if you make it this far north, Croeso i Canada ! It's also a fine destination (8 or 9 months a year !) Still I've spent colder nights in the Brecon Beacons lol
Hmm, weird. It grabbed the wrong camloki quote. Now I just sound disgruntled instead of funny-ish... :-(
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:28 PM   #13
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A hybrid trip? I'm wondering if it might make sense to put together an itinerary that involved staying in the big cities/areas you want to see like NY (no car needed), New England (renting a car) and then rent an RV when your out west to see the national parks. Besides NYC and New England what are the highlights for you on a US trip?
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:41 PM   #14
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I think all four options sound like fun, just comes down to personal choice. I've traveled all over the states and traveled/lived in Europe and Asia. I've never really felt unsafe most places. You probably know all this:
  • Really bad areas are usually pretty self evident and when in doubt, leave.
  • Use local knowledge, ask locals about the area when you're in stores, restaurants, bars, hotel staff, etc.
  • It's wise to stay alert and try not to look like a lost tourist.
  • Safety in numbers too, I always try to stay where there are plenty of other people around if I'm in an unfamiliar area.
  • I wouldn't go exploring at night, IOW stay in known safe areas at night, and explore during the daylight hours.
I lived near Tampa for 3 years. Certainly not the worst place in the world, but I can think of at least a dozen cities in the US I'd rather spend 6 months, even others in FL if pressed. Maybe you have relatives/arrangements there or just a burning desire to see the Tampa area, nothing wrong with that.

Not sure where you mean in terms of crossing the US from east to west. But know that the central US, affectionately known as "flyover country" by some east & west coasters, can be brutally boring driving. There are literally areas where you can go 200-600 miles without seeing anything of much interest, so you'd want to consider the route carefully. The populations of the great states of WY, ND, SD, MT, ID, WV, KY, AL, NE, NV, KS, AK, MS, IA, OK, LA, MO & IN are less than the population of New York City proper. See below, red = people, white = not so much.

I've never traveled in an RV (or had the desire), so I'll leave that to others with experience.
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File Type: png US_Population_Map.png (203.3 KB, 13 views)
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:03 PM   #15
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I lived near Tampa for 3 years. Certainly not the worst place in the world, but I can think of at least a dozen cities in the US I'd rather spend 6 months, even others in FL if pressed. Maybe you have relatives/arrangements there or just a burning desire to see the Tampa area, nothing wrong with that.

Not sure where you mean in terms of crossing the US from east to west. But know that the central US, affectionately known as "flyover country" by some east & west coasters, can be brutally boring driving. There are literally areas where you can go 200-600 miles without seeing anything of much interest, so you'd want to consider the route carefully. The populations of the great states of WY, ND, SD, MT, ID, WV, KY, AL, NE, NV, KS, AK, MS, IA, OK, LA, MO & IN are less than the population of New York City proper. See below, red = people, white = not so much.

I've never traveled in an RV (or had the desire), so I'll leave that to others with experience.
Almost hurts my feelings the way the big city people look down on us "flyover" country bumkins. But at least that attitude does keep the riff-raff out of our state. If your looking to cruise the USA, the flyover states have a lot to offer. If you stay south or cross up north, it will be dramatically different. I'm a northern boy, so I appreciate the clear views of Lake Superior and the beauty of the badlands.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:40 AM   #16
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But know that the central US, affectionately known as "flyover country" by some east & west coasters, can be brutally boring driving. There are literally areas where you can go 200-600 miles without seeing anything of much interest, so you'd want to consider the route carefully.
Read Bill Bryson, The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America (1989), before you commit.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:14 AM   #17
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Read Bill Bryson, The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America (1989), before you commit.
Read anything by Bill Bryson. He is a brilliant, funny author. One of my all time favorites!
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:38 AM   #18
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I-10 will take you from coast to coast. I made this trip a few times (usually a month at a time) over the years and plan to do it again. There are so many places yet see and places I would like to visit again. It starts in Jacksonville, Fl. You can Google Earth to see the interesting places to visit. There are dozens of side trips off the interstate to visit famous cities, National Parks, etc. Before you leave there is a nice coastal road, A1A, from Jacksonville that takes you along the coast south through St. Augustine, Daytona, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, all the way to Key West if you have a mind to. The northern beaches in Florida are very nice too and not as crowded as you find in the southern part of the state.

Cheers!
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:07 PM   #19
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I don't have much advice regarding your trip, but just wanted to welcome you to the forum.
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