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  1. Default suggestions, please.

    Me and three of my roommates are planning a cross-country roadtrip after graduation from college this coming May. We are from Southwestern Virginia, and are interested in traveling west. We really want to see some of the National Parks (definitely Yosimite, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon) along the way and would like to end up in California at the end of out western journey. We will only be able to spend a maximum of about 14 days for the trip (there and back), and are looking to do it as cheap as possible. We aren't too concerned with seeing a lot of the big cities along the way. I was wondering if anyone has made this type of trip before, and if so how much are we looking at spending, and are our goals realistic (time wise). I have already looked into the National Park Annual Pass, and think that would be the best bet. Also, we plan to camp in a tent at low rate/free campsites. Any info. would be great.

    Thanks,
    Brandon

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

    Default Lots of ideas here

    Quote Originally Posted by brandn03 View Post
    Me and three of my roommates are planning a cross-country roadtrip after graduation from college this coming May.
    Congratulations on the pending graduation and welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    We will only be able to spend a maximum of about 14 days for the trip (there and back), and are looking to do it as cheap as possible.
    Here is a link to a thread that you might find very helpful. The roatrippers in this thread are a little younger than you (easier for you actually) but the info is still appropriate for your journey.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Too Much

    We really want to see some of the National Parks (definitely Yosimite, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon) along the way and would like to end up in California at the end of out western journey. We will only be able to spend a maximum of about 14 days for the trip (there and back), and are looking to do it as cheap as possible.
    Sorry to say, I just don't think you will be able to fit all of that in during a 2 week trip. With the miles, you'd have to be driving all day, pretty much every day of your trip.

    If the only three places you visited were Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon, you would still be looking at a 6,000 mile trip. To cover that distance in 14 days, you'd have to drive 8 hours per day, every day. By the time you set up and tear down your camp, that barely will give you enough time to take a quick drive around each park, before you hit the road again.

    A big part of the problem is its 1600 miles, 3 long days, to Drive from Yellowstone to Grand Canyon, via Yosemite. Yellowstone is also a pretty long detour north, in fact eliminating it would save you a solid 600 miles.

    I'd say your best solution would be to add more travel days. If that simply is not possible, and you really want to see the wonders of the west, I'd leave off Yellowstone and instead go west through Colorado and Utah, exploring some of those areas instead. You will still need to keep moving, and you won't have much time to explore, but even that little bit of savings will help alot.

  4. Default

    First off, thanks for your replies. If I say anything out of the question, be sure to let me know, because I honestly have no knowledge of this subject. I am only here to learn from the seasoned veterans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Sorry to say, I just don't think you will be able to fit all of that in during a 2 week trip. With the miles, you'd have to be driving all day, pretty much every day of your trip.
    That's what I was afraid of. When we just talked about doing this it seems like two weeks would be plenty of time, but the more I research it on my own, the more I can see that that is just not realistic. It is going to be tough cut one of the parks off of our route, because we really want to see all of them, but it looks like we will have to, because extending the trip is not really a possibility. This is the kicker, we really can only spend from $500-700 each. I know this is not realistic for the original trip, but do any of you have any suggestions for another route that could get us to at least two of the parks, with one of them being either the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone (not both).

    Thanks again,
    Brandon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Mission Impossible

    I just don't know of a way for you to make this trip actually work within your budget.

    The fact is, even if you only visit 2 of the 3 parks, you are still going to be spending $800 on gas and another $500 on food. Thats assuming gas prices remain at $3, you drive a car with above average gas mileage, and you can eat frugally, with almost no restaurant meals.

    At that point, you barely have enough money left over to buy a National Parks pass, much less pay for campgrounds.

    The unfortuant fact is that traveling costs money, and even when trying to travel cheap, there are some expenses you just can't avoid. As of right now, you don't have enough cash to cover them.

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