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Thread: Roadtrip Newbie

  1. Default Roadtrip Newbie

    My boyfriend and I recently decided to take a trip around the country, basically starting in New York state and circling the country. Neither of us have done a roadtrip before and I need all the help I can get. For instance, how long would such a trip take, how much would it cost (approx), what are things to watch out for, and most importantly what can we not miss? Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Lots more questions for you!

    Quote Originally Posted by sepunkie
    My boyfriend and I recently decided to take a trip around the country,
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Costs are directly proportional to how far you go and how long it takes you (I know that doesn't seem like much a news flash). If you were to circle the country, it could take as little as twenty days and as much as twenty+ years. It really is difficult to narrow it down without more info from you. You really need to figure out how much time and money you have and then we can begin to ask slightly more intelligent questions and even share a tip or two.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  3. Default Clarification

    Sorry to be so vague! We have about month to do the trip and have pretty much planned on hitting the northern states, definitely spending time in Montana, Yellowstone, Washington, Oregon, and then going through California, and down through the Southwest hitting the Grand Canyon, and then through the South, up along the East coast until we're back in New York state. We're really into the spontaneity and freedom of roadtrips and are open for pretty much anything. We want to take as many scenic routes as possible, staying away from big cities, and pretty much do the stereotypical thing and discover the country. Hope that helps a bit!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default When will this be?

    Quote Originally Posted by sepunkie
    Sorry to be so vague! We have about month to do the trip and have pretty much planned on hitting the northern states, definitely spending time in Montana, Yellowstone, Washington, Oregon, and then going through California, and down through the Southwest hitting the Grand Canyon, and then through the South, up along the East coast until we're back in New York state.
    OK, that is much more helpful. Biggest cost will be food and fuel -- you can estimate your fuel cost here and here are some tips for saving money on the road. Plus we have an entire Forum on Discount Roadtrip Tips.

    You will be hard-pressed to complete such a trip in a month, unless your time in the states you have indicated is limited to a day or two at the most.

    This Forum has a couple thousand threads that address some, if not all, of such a trip. Happy Reading!

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Fuel will probably be the biggest expense

    FUEL: You will really need to spend some time estimating the total miles (and over-estimate to play it safe). Then you will need to know your MPG on your vehicle to figure your gas costs. Gas is higher in the West so plan for that. If you put over 5000 miles on your car (10k in some newer cars), you will need to plan for some road maintenance along the way like oil changes. And, of course, invest in a good tune-up or, at the very least, a once-over by a good mechanic before you leave. Change and/or top-off all fluids, check tires and get new ones if needed, etc.

    LODGING: 0-$$$$ per day. Budget hotels will run you about $40-80 per day depending on location....even more in major metro areas. Tent camping will be from $12-30/day. Figure $20 for an average.

    FOOD: If eating mostly out of a cooler, the two of you should be able to eat fairly well for about $10-15 per day. If you fill your cooler up at regular grocery stores, that is. Avoid mini-marts. Of course, eating in restaurants, even fast-food places, will increase this quickly.

    ENTERTAINMENT: If you're mainly doing natural wonders, get a National Park Pass for $50. You may get by with few other costs associated with your trip then. Of course, clubbing, theme parks, museums, etc. will raise the price of entertainment faster than anything else.

    MISC: Figure what you intend to spend on souveniers and other extras. This varies so much that only you can figure this out for yourselves.

    EMERGENCIES: Have room on a credit card or cash set aside for these. The likelihood you will have an emergency seems to happen most when one is the least prepared for it.

    These are really the major, customary expenses. Figure out what you plan to spend based on these parameters and add in anything that you know you want to do extra like, for example, white-water rafting trips, balloon rides, special expenses associated with places you want to visit, etc.

    There's an old saying you might want to keep in mind. I find it often is true. "Pack half as much as you think you will need and bring twice as much money."

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