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Thread: new to it all

  1. Default new to it all

    My friend and i are thinking about a road trip across the U.S. and we are just at the very beg. stages of thinking about it. i guess we just are wondering what the average time is for a trip like this, we don't want to be gone to to long but don't want just a drive though. And as we are both fresh out of college money is kinda of a restraint. is this a too big of a thing for us? and are there other sites which might help us plan things?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Big Picture

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Just to give you some working numbers for your planning. If you're talking about a coast-to-coast trip and return that's not just a drive through, then you're looking at around three weeks minimum at a reasonable driving pace and taking some time to wander around. As far as costs go, I use a figure of $100/day to cover motels and meals. The cost of motels won't change with two people as long as you share a room, so call it $140/day for the two of you. You can use our Fuel Cost Calculator along with a knowledge of how many miles you plan to cover, your best guess at the cost of gas, and your own car's gas figure out how much you'll need for that aspect. Finally, you'll have to add in money for admissions, entertainment, night life and the like. These costs can of course be controlled somewhat - check this review of budgeting for a more thorough discussion, but a beginning round figure would be about $4500 for a two-man trip cross country and back over three weeks.


  3. Default Location/Budget/Interests

    3 very important things for us to know before we can really be of help to you:

    Where are you starting out from?
    What is the approximate budget you're allowing for the trip?
    What types of things are you looking for along the way?

    I generally agree with AZBuck's daily figures (assuming that you'll be staying in motels.) I have always used a range of $60-$100 each per day for a 2 person trip with lodging in motels. If you're camping, you can slice quite a bit off the budget, as you'll not only save on lodging costs, but food costs as well (camp food is significantly cheaper than restaurant food, even if you go the very unhealthy route of fast food.) $40 each per day is very reasonable if you're camping.

    Gas, comfort, and entertainment. Those are your three biggest costs. The first, unfortunately, is a constant. I'm in the Bay Area of California, and they're warning us about $4/gallon by the middle of summer. The other two are very flexible, depending on your preferences.

    Good hiking,


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Some more tips

    and are there other sites which might help us plan things?
    I wrote an article about spring break roadtrips which has some tips for reducing the costs on the road. It was really written in response to queries like yours. So take a look.


  5. Default

    thank you all for your help.

    we would either be starting from southern vt, or NJ. camping would def. be a big possibility, we would probably do the normal tourist stuff for out west, seeing's how we are east coast, like grand canyon, yellow stone, maybe as far down as carls bad caverns, and las vegas.


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