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  1. Default 1 country,1 year,1 soul,1 campmobile, and $10,000

    starting from Florida, and making my way "literaly all the way across country". anyone for Tips and Ideas..... Anything...... I would appreciate it.

    intersted in experiencing nature before it disapears, meeting down to earth,free spirits like me to share a bit of life with.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default One Good Luck!

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    My first impression is severely bipolar! I love that you're setting out on such an adventure and envy you your freedom, but at the same time I cringe at your budget which will not even allow of a campsite and a couple of fast food meals a day, let alone gas. Still, you can always just go until the money runs out....

    The forums are a wealth of information on various places and times across the country, I'd almost just start by entering each state name that you 'plan' to visit into the search field above and see what other people have found interesting in their journeys. But your trip sounds to be quite unlike most structured road trips. Here is one idea that seems to fit your philosophy a bit more and which I have used a few times to good effect. Since you're starting out from Florida, you're pretty much going to be headed northwest, so do just that. Get off the Interstates and start picking state highways more or less at random as long as they say they are going north or west. You won't get far fast, but you will get to places you had no idea existed.

    AZBuck

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

    Default You're living my dream...

    But I agree that $10k isn't going to cut it.

    You're looking at a minimum of 10,000 if you do a circuit of the country's perimeter (and nothing in the middle). So, to see things in the middle of the country, I would double that. If you average 25mpg and gas averages $2.50/gallon, you're looking at close to $2,000 just for gas.

    If you're very frugal and eat each and every meal out of your cooler, and do it for $5/day, you're looking at $1825 for food. (And $5/day is going to be very hard to do regularly, you will have to just buy good staples and no snacks, pop, etc. to do that.)

    If you plan on sleeping for free at places like truck stops most nights, then you won't have any lodging costs. However, I'm thinking that you will want to get a campsite or hotel at least twice a week. $20 x 104 = $2080.

    2000 + 1825 + 2080 = $5905

    This is bare bones and probably not really feasible, especially the food budget. And we haven't even figured out money for entertainment, entrance fees, parking, emergencies/medical, vehicle maintenance/repairs, etc.

    I hope you prove me wrong and you can last for a year on that. I sure hope you will be keeping an online journal someplace or will come here and share a roadtrip report when you get a chance.

    I think you should determine any places that you consider must-sees to determine your general route. If you have something planned, please feel free to run it past us for our suggestions. But you should also plan on heading home once you have spent about $5000 of your bank. Don't be surprised if this turns out to be much less than 1 year. I predict closer to 6 months. But, hey, 6 months on the road is still pretty great!

  4. Default I'm new at this

    well do you have anysuggestions on how I should plan to get the most out of my money and areas......

    appreciate the comments

    Frostie

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Cheap car camping

    well do you have anysuggestions on how I should plan to get the most out of my money and areas......
    I agree with the others, I don't think 10 000$ is enough for a whole year but as Judy stated, you could consider cutting down on the lodging/campsites costs or making your trip shorter.

    Sleeping at truck stops won't cost you a dime but I guess you will still want to take a shower every once in a while. In big chains like Flying J or TA, you can take a hot shower for 10$ or less and they are usually very clean too. You could also stop by campgrounds like KOA and ask them to let you take a shower. Some of them may charge you a small fee or let you use their pay showers or just say no. How will you know if you don't try.

    Other cheap or free options may be : BLM campgrounds, National Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Wal-Mart, K-Mart parking lots or any other large store parking lot (with the agreement of the manager only), and check out the links provided in this thread.

    As for the food, well it's no secret : you need to shop at the grocery store and farmers markets and eat out of your cooler most of the time. Use a camp stove for hot meals and avoid restaurants as much as possible.

    Good luck!
    Gen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Cost of Survival

    I'm in agreement that I don't know if there is a way to cut your costs enough to live for a year on $10k.

    Just to put that in perspective about how little money you are talking about. $10k is even less than what someone working full time in a minimum wage job would make in a year.

    Another thing to keep in mind, $10k to live on for a year means you can only spend 27 dollars a day on everything - including gas, food, and shelter.

    That means if you drive 200 miles in a day, you've maxed out your budget for the day. If you stay at a private campground, same thing. 2 meals at family restaurant and you've blown your budget again. If you have any sort of a car repair problem, you could easily burn through several weeks of your budget in a single day.

    There are plenty of things you can do to cut costs, you can eat only the cheapest products from the grocery story, keep your actual traveling days to a minimum, and try camping and sleeping in free spots like dispersed National Forest lands as much as possible.

    ultimately, if you absolutly had to, you could survive on 10k, but I think it will be much closer to an excersize in hobo survival than it will be an enjoyable vacation.

    If you can raise more money, I think you'll have a better time. If $10k is all you can spend, I think you'll have a much better time by watching what you spend, and then turning around and heading for home when you've spent half of your funds, even if that means being on the road for less time than a year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Stay "parked" more

    Quote Originally Posted by frostiedreams View Post
    well do you have anysuggestions on how I should plan to get the most out of my money and areas......
    I lived on the road for 6.5 years (while creating RTA) and the easiest way to save money is... not to drive as much. Wear and tear and fuel costs will eat you alive if you are not careful. With limited exception I have found that it costs as much to live on the road as it does to live in a town. There is a superb book about finding employment on the road -- it was written for RV'ers, but the info works for everyone. Here is our review of Jaimie's book.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default What kind of hints are more important?

    Hints about how to save money so you can stretch it out for a year?

    Or hints about how to have a great trip and see a good representation of things in the US even if that means your trip will be much shorter than a year based on your funds?

    You've already heard about how to save money. Eat out of your cooler and replenish at grocery stores. Avoid restaurants. Camp for free when possible doing disbursed camping on National Forest Service lands, relative cheap BLM campgrounds, etc. And limit your miles so you're not spending a lot on gas.

    If you want hints on what to see, where to go, what to do, give us some idea of what you want to see and the types of things that interest you.

  9. Default i have family in iowa

    well..... one of my main stops would be Iowa.....I have family and friends there to visit.... what I love is Nature... so I was thinking about seeing some choice National Parks. but there's so many... also I'm an aspiring arborist.... so I will want to take inventory of trees while i'm out.... I'm still collecting that information..... So I guess if i won't make it for a year.... I still... want to see what's out there before I settle down for school..... I guess it's a one last frolic before I plung myself into 5 + years of career development.
    I love to ruff it.... but also somewhat a newcomer... with no one to show me the way... just learn as you go type.

    Thanks So

    Frostie

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Hope these tips help...

    Start out at the International Visitors page here for some good tips and information. Yeah, there are tons of national parks. But they do have a great website that should help with your planning. Check it out. If you're going to visit more than 3-4 national parks, you will save money by getting a National Parks Pass.

    If you're into trees, you're going to see a huge variety of them here in the US. Each area is different.

    If you're unsure how long your trip will end up becing, just make sure to monitor your budget and head back to wherever you will fly out of when you're reaching the half-way point.

    Please continuing asking questions. The more specific the better.

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