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  1. Default New Jersey to Tijuana and back(Any help)

    Hey guys,

    May 20th, just after college gets out, 4 friends and I are heading out of New Jersey to Tijuana and then back. We've rented a Chevy Uplander, booked all our camping and hotels, and I think I've pretty much thought of everything. I'm here to hope you guys can fill in any gaps or fix any lack of foresight. The trip shoudl cost us in camping, hotels, car rental and gas about 900$ since two of us are staying in Vegas and not returning. Just wanted to get your advice if we are missing anything great. thanks for any help u can give or tips.

    Total miles= 7700
    Total gas cost= 1100$
    Car rental= 1700$ with unlimited miles and insurance

    Day #1= Middletown, Nj to Norfolk , VA *camping in Cumberland
    Day #2= Norfolk, VA to Myrtle Beach, SC *hotel
    Day #3= Myrtle Beach, SC to Atlanta, Georgia *camping in Oakman
    Day #4= Atlanta, Georgia to Memphis, TN *hotel
    Sun studios and Graceland
    Day #5= Memphis, TN to New Orleans , LA *hotel
    Bourbon Street
    Day #6= New Orleans, LA to Dallas, TX *camping in Denison
    Deeley Plaza
    Day #7= Dallas , TX to Roswell, NM *hotel
    Alien Museum
    Day #8= Roswell, NM to Phoenix AZ *hotel
    Day #9= (4am start)Phoenix, AZ to Tijuana, MX(lunch) to San Diego to Death Valley National park drive through to Las Vegas *hotel
    I realize its about a 15 hour day and its cramped but its the only way to fit in Death valley and tijuana. Hence the early start. Is it possible with the three hours for Tijuana?
    Day #10= Las Vegas *hotel
    Day #11= Las Vegas, NV to Grand Canyon to Durango, CO *camping
    Day #12= Durango, CO to *Not sure Yet
    Rockies game
    Day #13= Denver, CO to Kansas City, MO *not sure Yet
    Day #14=Kansas City, MO to Chicago, IL *hotel
    Wrigley field and Deep dish pizza
    Day #15= Chicago, IL to Pittsburgh, PA *hotel
    Day #16= Pittsburgh, PA to Middletown, NJ

    So there it is our master plan. We will come close on spending money but after three trips to Europe in two years on college kid's money,roughing it shouldnt be a problem. Gas hotels, camping and rentals are all prepaid. Anything you guys can suggest to help out is very much appreciated. Especially with roadside attractions or things to see. thanks again.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Warning, Will Robinson

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Some potential trouble spots in your planning include:

    Your gas estimate is a little low. Gas prices are already headed fro the $4/gal vicinity in at least parts of the country, and by summer could easily average that much in most places. As heavily as you're going to be loading this vehicle, I'd be surprised if you can squeeze 20 mpg out of it. And I suspect that the mileage you have listed is straight line, place-to-place and doesn't include side trips. To be on the safe side, I'd budget at least $1500 for gas, and then still leave a little margin for unpleasant surprises.

    Have you included underage driving premiums in your rental estimate? Typically, this is $25/driver/day for every driver under 25, which in your case is probably all of you. If you all intend on driving, that's $2000 just for the surcharge! If only two of you do all the driving, that's still $800.

    Most of your day's drives are 300-400 miles which is a good low end range that will let you spend some time out of the car which, as I'll discuss later, will be a very good thing. However, New Orleans to Dallas is 525, Dallas to Roswell is 500, and Roswell to Phoenix is 575 so you're making the legs longer as you get more tired, and just before your big push. Probably not impossible given your youth and stamina, but a yellow flag.

    You have absolutely no chance of making Day #9 a reality. This is 950 miles, and 17 hours, of driving, and I presume you will also want to actually see something of the places you plan on visiting. In addition, I can almost guarantee that your rental contract will not allow you to take the car into Mexico. You could, in any event, spend three hours just clearing customs going in and coming out. If you budget another day for this leg, and understand that you'll have to walk across the border, then this becomes possible, but you will need another day and it will have to come from somewhere.

    Similarly, you are shortchanging the Grand Canyon. Yes you can drive the 600 miles from Las Vegas to Durango by way of the Grand Canyon in a day, but it will be a very long day and even so you will have little time other than for a drive by viewing of the canyon.

    And now the 500 pound gorilla. That is an awful lot of together time. There will be 5 of you cramped into what wouldn't even qualify as a small living room, day after day for a week and a half before you even get down to another week and a half of 3 of you living in the same small space. Trust me, because we've all been there, no matter how good of friends you all are now, you will get on each others' nerves eventually.

    I don't mean to say that your trip is impossible, wont be fun for the most part, won't be memorable, or won't be worth the time, money and effort, but it does have a few rough spots yet and will need to be entered with eyes wide open.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default time to see things

    I'm going to echo some of Phil's statements, you've got a few flat out impossible days. In addition to the TJ/DV day which just can't happen without bending time and space, the days you've got ballgames planed, you've also got significant drives. Remember, if you plan to see a game you'll have to be in your destination city sooner and you'll need at least 1 if not 2 extra hours to deal with traffic and parking.

    You really are taking your time along the east coast and then rushing across the west. I would think seriously about just trying to make time until you get at least to the Mississippi River. That will save you at least 2 if not more days and you'll be able to space out the rest of your trip a little more evenly.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the help, definatly taking some of your advice.

    As far as the gas goes that is my primary concern. I cant recall off the top of my head but I assumed that the mileage would be 2mpg less than the real world mileage i was able to obtain. I also added on several hundred miles for side trips, local trips, and if we happen to get lost.

    I did factor in the 25$ under age fee for one driver. I'm not going to pay for other drivers, just because its easier not to do so.

    I have completely eliminated the trip to Tijuana on your suggestions. It really was not realistic. We will just eat in San Diego, maybe hit the beach and then start the trip back.

    As far as the canyon goes this was also a concern but I didnt want to have to stay close to the canyon, due to high prices and the need to make soem travel distance. IT is definalty goignt o be a chore to set up camp at night in Durango. At this point in the trip thought here will only be three of us and tension should run lower.

    As far as spending time together goes, we are goign to fight. Its inevitable, but hopefully retreating into IPODs will be enough of a relief. Also the car has a Tv, so maybe that will provide tension relief. Definalt y a concern though.

    Everything is booked at this point and we will give it a try. Worst comes to worst no one is talking and we are broke. It wouldnt be so dissimilar to how things are once a year. thanks aagin everyone. Any more advice appreciated.

    Adding more time isnt possible due to medical and law school obligations. As far as the ballgames go the one we are catyching we have plenty of time because itsd a night game and a only a 6 hour drive. Wrigley field is more of a look and see as we miss the day game. thanks again guys

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default It Just Got Worse

    You are going to drive this entire trip yourself? That's OK for most days, but your Day #9 is close to suicidal for a solo driver. You have not changed the mileage you intend to drive. It is still 950 miles, nearly double what most people find safe and sane. If you do nothing else to make this trip enjoyable and survivable, either add a day to this segment at the expense of Las Vegas, or make your visit to Mexico at Nogales on your way to Phoenix.



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