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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bowie, Maryland
    Posts
    1

    Default All 50 states, 1 year: how to fund & arrange such a trip?

    Hello, road experts! I'm a newbie here & I hope I'm posting on the right forum. I really need input from as many of you as possible.

    I decided this year that I would no longer sit on the sidelines, but get out into the world. I'm 28 yrs. old & trying to forge a life for myself that isn't so conventional. I want to take a road trip this year that will cover as many of the 50 states as I can see (obviously Hawaii will need a flight of some sort, but you get the gist of it).

    Ideally, I'd like to spend a 5-7 days in each state, seeing as many of the sights as I can.

    What I need is your advice on how to arrange the logistics of such a massive undertaking.

    First of all, I have compiled a list of friends and relatives across the country. I'm hoping that these people would be willing to welcome me into their homes for the few days that I'm exploring their states. This potentially covers 15 states. But that doesn't mean I would be able to stay at their homes for the entire time I visit their state. For example, if I can stay with friends in Buffalo, that does me little good when I'm setting out to explore NYC.

    So this means that camping out, sleeping in my car, cheap hotels, and networking will have to be my other sources of shelter.

    But when I begin to estimate gas & food, I'm faced with the reality that I have to get a job. Relying on the charity of friends will only carry me so far. Unless I'm magically able to rely on the charity of strangers (networking on CL?), employment as I go will be a must. I'm not wealthy or even remotely well-off to even consider taking this adventure otherwise. But I have this fear that if I don't go now, I'll never go. So, of course, what is the best way of getting an income while I'm on the road? That is what I'm trying to determine.

    I saw the link posted on this site about working on the road & it was a good start. But honestly, those ideas didn't seem quite right for the unique thing I'm trying to do. Those links were geared more towards spending a summer working for x dollars & getting reduced lodging. But I don't want to spend a whole summer in one state. I want to be on the move.

    There are several options.
    a) I could make the cross-country trip for charity & have people sponsor me for every mile I travel. I could raise the money for cancer, AIDS, or impoverished children... There are tons of good causes that I'd be honored to help.
    b) I could try to work for a large chain that has branches across the United States. This would be something I'd have to negotiate with the corporate level, yes. But take a company like Wal-Mart or Barnes & Noble. Perhaps I could arrange that I spend a week working in one of their stores in every state. The jobs are similar & it's something I could do no matter where I was.
    c) I could try to pitch a book to a publisher about my trip. Or get hired to write a daily or weekly column for a newspaper about it. Would a publishing house or newspaper co. fund something like this? I don't know.
    d) I could try to make a documentary film about my trip in the hopes that some production company would fund this adventure.
    e) I could try to bartend as I go. Working this out seems improbable at best.
    f) I could become a driver of some sort, either hired by individuals to take them where I'm headed, or hired by a company to drive for them professionally in some capacity. But that might involve getting other licenses, etc.

    I'm not an RV-er, so workamping doesn't seem like it's for me. But I may be wrong. What are your suggestions for working out the logistics of this?
    I appreciate any & all feedback. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post. I look forward to hearing from you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,531

    Default The same challenge all of us face

    Quote Originally Posted by littleblvd View Post
    I decided this year that I would no longer sit on the sidelines, but get out into the world.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum. Hitting the road always sound dramatic and adventuresome -- I am not sure that an argument can be made that would suggest that living on the road is any more, or any less, of sitting on the sidelines than working a job in your hometown might be. But I digress...
    Ideally, I'd like to spend a 5-7 days in each state, seeing as many of the sights as I can.
    This is going to be an expensive venture as you have already considered.
    First of all, I have compiled a list of friends and relatives across the country. I'm hoping that these people would be willing to welcome me into their homes for the few days that I'm exploring their states.
    Excellent beginning -- also add to this list any organizations that you or your family and friends might belong to (clubs, churches, etc.) that might assist you in your travels.
    But I have this fear that if I don't go now, I'll never go.
    Not a very real fear. I didn't hit the road until I was 40 -- there is always time.
    But I don't want to spend a whole summer in one state. I want to be on the move.
    Promotional marketing firms hire folks to work campaigns around the country -- but free time to explore is minimal -- on our assignments our crews would typicially work 24 16-hour days and then sleep for 2-3 days and do it again. Pretty tough way to sight-see with that schedule.

    Brain-storming is always a good idea -- a few thoughts regarding your ideas:
    a) I could make the cross-country trip for charity & have people sponsor me for every mile I travel.
    I have managed such events -- the reality is that the cost to produce such an event ALWAYS exceeds the income raised. The reason they still get done is the marketing and public relations tie-ins.
    b) I could try to work for a large chain that has branches across the United States. This would be something I'd have to negotiate with the corporate level, yes. But take a company like Wal-Mart or Barnes & Noble. Perhaps I could arrange that I spend a week working in one of their stores in every state. The jobs are similar & it's something I could do no matter where I was.
    Perhaps signing up with a national temp agency this would work -- but local chains are not going to be thrilled with a transitory employee like this.
    c) I could try to pitch a book to a publisher about my trip. Or get hired to write a daily or weekly column for a newspaper about it. Would a publishing house or newspaper co. fund something like this? I don't know.
    It is not impossible but extremely unlikely that you could obtain sufficient income to live on.
    d) I could try to make a documentary film about my trip in the hopes that some production company would fund this adventure.
    Again, it is not impossible but without a darn good reason, no one is likely to provide fund ing for such a project.
    e) I could try to bartend as I go. Working this out seems improbable at best.
    I agree it would be tough -- but there are other seasonal jobs -- the problem is that you will not be able to keep to your schedule.
    f) I could become a driver of some sort, either hired by individuals to take them where I'm headed, or hired by a company to drive for them professionally in some capacity. But that might involve getting other licenses, etc.
    There are several drive-away firms and companies that perform this function -- take a look at this thread for more ideas.

    The reality is that to undertake this level of roadtrip, in this time frame, you would need to start with a budget of ~ $22,000 and still be darn frugal. What is far more realistic is to save what money you can, hit the road, until you run out, get a job, save some money and then do it again, until it is time to do something else.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    11,010

    Default Work as you go

    e) I could try to bartend as I go. Working this out seems improbable at best.
    I would say this will be problematic, simply because of alcohol related laws from state to state. For example, in Wisconsin, you have to attend a class and get a license to be a bartender (although you can get your license at age 18!) and while I don't know the laws of other states, if there is red tape to serve drinks in a liquor loving state like Wisconsin, I'm sure you'd have plenty of hassles in more, shall we say, restrictive places.

    I think your best course of action will be to travel for a while, and then stop and work for a few weeks or months. It simply going to be hard to find work if you can't commit to at least a few weeks on the job. In terms of finding work, I'd say going with temp agencies, and looking for unskilled labor type jobs will be your best bet. Jobs like Roofing and Farm Help are often available on a seasonal or short term basis, and you could be hired just for being available.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    South FL for now, but in June 2007 - the Pacific NW!
    Posts
    23

    Default

    I think what you should do to earn money is this:

    Figure out how to finance your entire trip. Take your trip and then patent, sell, and write a book about your financing idea. The majority of us in this forum would dearly love to be able to travel all year long and get paid for it, so I am sure some of us would buy your book! ;)

    Seriously though, good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,531

    Default If the roadtrip is destination agnostic....

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernOracle View Post
    The majority of us in this forum would dearly love to be able to travel all year long and get paid for it,
    Actually, if a couple or a solo traveler really doesn't care where they go as long as they go somewhere -- working as driver for one of the drive-away firms or uShip.com is a great way to go. It is nearly impossible to use these services as way of paying for a particular trip, but it does allow a way to travel virtually the entire year. uShip is one of our commercial sponsors -- if you look at that previous link -- you can see what kinds of possible "rides" are available. I gotta tell you, it is almost tempting... but someone needs to be in the RTA office for now...

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia,PA
    Posts
    1

    Default 50 States

    I'm totally with ya on that one. I'd been fantasizing about doing something like that since I was like 18(35 now). I should have taken that cross country exploratory trip after high school like alot of kids do. Now it's sort of like trying to go back to college when you're 35,not enough time/money etc.
    I lived sort of a life like that though,when I worked in broadcasting in my early days. I found that I could basically get a job wherever I wanted in that field and tried to work traveling into that. I only lived in a few states but looking back it was great.
    I still have the itch to travel and have been looking for ways to once again work that into a job somehow. I did some research on the internet and found some good travel job sites,but unfortunately being newly married I cannot go far(for now,I'll figure something out;) But as of now the driving thing looks like a good direction. I got the RVing book from roadrat.com but the RV thing looks like will take some more looking into.

    Good luck. Keep me posted!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,531

    Default A lot of cool places in Pennsylvania!

    Quote Originally Posted by StuckinPA View Post
    I'm totally with ya on that one. I'd been fantasizing about doing something like that since I was like 18(35 now). I should have taken that cross country exploratory trip after high school like alot of kids do. Now it's sort of like trying to go back to college when you're 35,not enough time/money etc.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! The answer to your dilemna is that a great road trip doesn't have to be a major expense. We are big proponents of the 20 hour roadtrip around here. There are so many cool places in Pennsylvania that you could literally take hundreds of 20-hour road trips over the next few years.
    but unfortunately being newly married I cannot go far(for now,I'll figure something out;)
    There is always the two-hour roadtrip!

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    South FL for now, but in June 2007 - the Pacific NW!
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    It is nearly impossible to use these services as way of paying for a particular trip, but it does allow a way to travel virtually the entire year.
    I looked into one of these companies a while back (not uShip), and while the "on the road" factor is high, from what I saw you have little to no choice of where to go and what to see. The objective is to get the vehicle delivered as quickly as possible, so sightseeing and taking the slower back roads weren't an option.

    Is uShip different?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,531

    Default No, it is a job with perks!

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernOracle View Post
    Is uShip different?
    I think you have to consider such companies to be offering a job with some fun (road tripping) perks. There is no time for off-the-most-direct-route-sightseeing.

    Mark

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