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  1. Default Total Distance?

    My cousin are going on a road trip in the middle of July for three weeks; however, we disagree about the total number of miles we will be able to comfortably travel while still being able to have an enjoyable time. We are both 18 years old, and have $1200 total which does not include the money for gas.

    I know this is a rather subjective question, but as a beginner to taking lengthy road trips, I am afraid that I do not know the answer at all. 10,000 miles would be the limit, with him wanting to go that amount and me wanting to go significantly less. Of course, I would rather go more, but I want this trip to be more about finding out what is outside of the car, not sitting inside of it.

    Thanks,
    ZiggyTaxi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default 500 miles per day

    Quote Originally Posted by ZiggyTaxi
    My cousin are going on a road trip in the middle of July for three weeks;
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! "A Maximum Distance" is pretty much relative to the scale of your mind. Generally suggest that new roadtrippers not try to cover more than 500 miles in a day. In recent weeks I have driven as much as 800 miles in one day, but that is really stretching the fabric of brain cells. 10,000 miles in three weeks would reguire that you average at least 476 miles every day. Depending upon where you are going, that may or may not be practical or even possible.
    but I want this trip to be more about finding out what is outside of the car, not sitting inside of it.
    That seems reasonable.

    Mark

  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply!

    My cousin's idea of a route is:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin
    florida to alabama to miss to lousiana to texas to new mexico to arizona to california... up cali to oregon to washington.... into idaho down into nevada over to utah and colorado up nebraska into south dakota... then over into minnisota down to iowa down missouri into tennessee into georgia down to florida I think
    This definitely covers a large portion, and could be quite enjoyable, I am just uncertain if we have the time for it. I estimated that to all be around 10,000 miles, but I am probably off on that as well. Does anyone think this would be a fun trip to do in three weeks or should it be scaled back?

    Thanks,
    ZiggyTaxi

  4. #4
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default 10,000 miles?

    Greetings, ZiggyTaxi, and welcome to the forum.

    First... where did you get 10,000 miles? Los Angeles to New York is roughly 2,800 (give or take depending on route). Unless you plan on zig-zagging across the US and Canada, or driving from Anchorage, Alaska to Key West, Florida, I'm not sure how you'd get to 10,000 miles.

    So, that leads me to my next question... what is your plan? Are you planning on zig-zagging across the US, or just seeing some sights?

    But, I would vote for a yes on less milage so far until we know more specifics.

    -Brad

    **It would appear that I was beaten to the punch... so I guess nevermind!

  5. #5
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    Default Explanation needed

    Quote Originally Posted by ZiggyTaxi
    My cousin's idea of a route is:
    Where is this other post being copied from? It is not from this Forum...

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Default I can easily see how it could get to 10,000 miles

    I plugged the following into MS Streets & Trips: Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Seattle, Winnemucca NV, Salt Lake City, Denver, Rapid City, St. Paul, Des Moines, St. Louis, Nashville, Atlanta, Jacksonville. This created a route that goes through the states that ZiggyTaxi detailed. The total miles comes to roughly 7750 miles. I can easily see where you can get close to 10,000 miles if you veer off the recommended route to do some exploring, etc.

    That's a LOT of miles in 3 weeks but do-able. I would try to shave off a few miles for more time to play along the way.

    I'm concerned about your budget. $1200 isn't going to go far unless you find a lot of camping in free campsites and eat virtually all your meals out of a cooler.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    Where is this other post being copied from? It is not from this Forum...

    Mark
    That came from an AIM conversation I had with him.

    As for the budget, we figure that is roughly 30 dollars a piece for the both of us per day. I know that I can live off of 30 per day. The large majority of our stays will hopefully be in campgrounds, and we dont expect to pay any more than 5-10 dollars in there. If need be, we could rearrange some things and sleep in the car. The budget is unfortunately fixed at that, because I am not all that sure my cousin would be able to get any more than $600 for his share.

    How much do you suggest shaving off?

    Thanks,
    ZiggyTaxi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Default Unrealistic Expectations?

    The large majority of our stays will hopefully be in campgrounds, and we dont expect to pay any more than 5-10 dollars in there.
    I you are going to need to rethink this expectation. Out west, there are places you can camp for free, where you have no services and pack everything in and out. However, I have found very few developed campgrounds that cost less than $10, and many of them are closer to $20. And that is for public sites like state parks, private campgrounds will generally cost more. For budgeting purposes, I also always plan to spend at least one night in a motel per week, because of either bad weather or other unforseen problems.

    Some other questions regarding your budget, how are you paying for gas if that is not a part of your $1200, and your traveling companion can't save more than $600? If you take a 10k mile trip, you will likely be spending nearly $1200 on gas alone. And have you made plans for unexpected expenses, should you need to make a car repair or something similar?

    How much do you suggest shaving off?
    That's a question only you can answer. As has already been explained, a 10k trip in 3 weeks will require almost 500 miles of travel a day. That would require about 8 hours per day in the car, and you've said you don't want to spend all of your time in a car, so I would think you'd want to shave quite a bit off.

    Personally, I'd probably start with shaving off any state north of Colorado and then see how many miles the trip is left with. You can figure 53-57 mph is about the fastest you'll be able to travel when you factor in stops for gas and the like. Even that might be too much, or you might decide you want to push things farther, again, that's going to depend upon how much time you want to spend in the car during your trip.

  9. #9
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    Default I'm old, you're young

    You will be hard-pressed to find many campgrounds in the $5-10 range. $20 is probably closer to what you'll average in a commercial campground. Unless, of course, you find free camping places. Look for national forests along your route. Some national forests allow disbursed camping...meaning, that you can pull off on side roads and hike in and camp without paying a fee. Just be very sure that you respect the environment and clean up after yourself. Other government agencies also control some land that you might want to check into. The Recreation.Gov website might be worth investigating.

    The $57 per day you'll have is do-able since that doesn't appear to include your gas budget. But it won't leave a lot extra for playing with or for eating many meals out. As long as you eat out of a cooler for a lot of your meals, replenish at full-size grocery stores instead of mini-marts, don't spend too much playing, and keep a watch on your budget, you should be OK. I've done trips that cheaply myself but it does take discipline. There are a lot of things on the road that can lure you to spend extra money. I really enjoy the TTT's (tacky tourist traps). $5 here, $10 there can really add up. Add in a few nicer meals and playing at some kind of park (like 6 Flags, etc.), and it's pretty easy to blow your budget.

    You might want to invest in a National Parks Pass before you leave if you plan on visiting more than a 3 or 4 national parkis on your trip. That would be a big money-saver right there.

    As for what to shave off? I can't say. I can drive for 12-13 hours in a day, as long as I can rest the next. If you are going to be driving 4-500 miles per day to make this trip, you are looking at quite a few days with a full 8 hours of driving. I could do this several days in a row, but then I'd need to rest for a few days in one spot before going on. But, then again, I'm getting on the old side. You and your cousin are young and probably have more energy than I do.

    What you might want to do is decide on target dates to be in certain places. If you are finding that you are behind the target, you might want to have alternative routes. Meaning...you are only to Sacramento when you should be to Seattle, then maybe start back east from Sacramento and skip the Pacific NW for this trip. That type of thing. Be flexible. And don't rule out totally changing your plans. Some of the best roadtrips are when people don't have any specific plans in mind. Simply meandering wherever your whimsy takes you. Something to consider.

    Take care.



    Quote Originally Posted by ZiggyTaxi
    As for the budget, we figure that is roughly 30 dollars a piece for the both of us per day. I know that I can live off of 30 per day. The large majority of our stays will hopefully be in campgrounds, and we dont expect to pay any more than 5-10 dollars in there. If need be, we could rearrange some things and sleep in the car. The budget is unfortunately fixed at that, because I am not all that sure my cousin would be able to get any more than $600 for his share.

    How much do you suggest shaving off?

    Thanks,
    ZiggyTaxi

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Not so old

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    I'm getting on the old side.
    Don't believe this! She will outrun and out-drive anyone in their early 20's!

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