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Thread: Heading West~

  1. #1

    Default Heading West~

    Hello to everyone on the board! I'm new here and find the threads very informing and helpful. I am a college student from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and enjoy exploring the backwoods of Appalachia, and have my entire life.

    My boyfriend and I have been discussing a cross-country trip which prompted me to find this site in the first place. (Good ole' Google).. We wanted to start saving now, to have enough money to do it next summer (2008)..

    Here is our brainstormed destinations~

    Depart: Harrisburg, PA
    West Virginia
    Kentucky
    Tennessee (Stop for Bonnaroo Festival)
    Missouri
    Kansas
    Colorado (Have friends to stay with in Breckenridge)
    Arizona (Want to do Grand Canyon, Have friends in Tuscon)
    California (anything & everything, but especially Redwood Forest)
    Oregon
    Washington
    British Columbia (2 or so days in Vancouver)
    Montana (Yellowstone & Glacier Parks)
    Wyoming (Yellowstone)
    Colorado (back to our friends in Breckenridge)
    & then back the way we came

    so it's basically PA-CO, than a big west coast loop through Cali & B.C. - back to Colorado, then back to PA. We intend to jump from campground to campground the entire way, with the exceptions of a few friends we have scattered about. Don't mind using a 10$ a day budget on food. Limited souveniers (I'm an avid photographer, the pictures are all I need). All attractions we want to see are National Parks and spectacular views. 1000$ included for gas.

    30 day time frame.

    After considering the above + more, we came to a figure of about 3,000$ for the entire trip. Is this anywhere near correct? I can't help but feel there is more that I should be including. I know if we would bring more we would be living more comfortably, but I'm thinking economical. The experience and sights are what really matters.

    Any help at all would be appreciated, this is my first BIG roadtrip & it's kind of difficult to figure out where to begin! haha.

    And another thing, is that National Park Pass that i've been seeing linked include camping fees in the parks???

    Thanks to anyone with information =)

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

    Default Budget seems OK in 2007 (??? in 2008)

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman Around View Post
    My boyfriend and I have been discussing a cross-country trip
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    Here is our brainstormed destinations~
    The destinations look fine and the budget seems reasonable -- but it is a little hard to predict fuel prices 12 months in advance.
    so it's basically PA-CO, than a big west coast loop through Cali & B.C. - back to Colorado, then back to PA. We intend to jump from campground to campground the entire way, with the exceptions of a few friends we have scattered about.
    An excellent way to save money.

    Here are some more budgeting tips.
    Any help at all would be appreciated, this is my first BIG roadtrip & it's kind of difficult to figure out where to begin! haha.
    Sounds to me like, you are well on your way to planning this adventure.
    And another thing, is that National Park Pass that i've been seeing linked include camping fees in the parks???
    No, this is just for the entry fees.

    Mark

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

    Default Fun, fun, FUN!

    This looks like a wonderful time. I'm a bit concerned with you having time to do much hiking or other exploring in just 30 days. You should be able to squeeze some in but possibly not as much as you'd really like. I suggest that you keep your planning loose. If you stop someplace that seriously enchants you and you want to stay a few extra days, do it. If you have to cut a few places off your trip because you lingered too long in places you truly loved, no big loss. You sound young enough to make many more roadtrips in your life and see those places later.

    In other words, meander, explore, enjoy serendipitous discoveries, and don't be a slave to any schedule.

    I am also a bit concerned with your food budget. $10/day is do-able if you're very frugal, eat all your meals from your cooler, re-stock at grocery stores, and shop wisely. Because of how frugal you will have to be, I think it might get a bit boring. I often only eat in a restaurant every 2 days or so. And, when I do, I try to pick places that look like they have excellent local cuisine or something unique. Even if you choose to cook all your meals, it would be nice to stretch the budget once in awhile for something a bit special. If you can, I suggest you double your budget here, or even triple it. Sometimes you'll just be too tired or in a hurry to get someplace to cook all your meals.

    Since your parks pass doesn't cover camping fees, you will need to add in campground fees to your budget. $20-25/night is typical. You will sometimes find places that are less and, if you enjoy roughing it, you might be able to do some free, disbursed camping in national forests (NOT national parks). But it's good to budget for spending that every night if you don't find the cheaper or free spots.

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