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  1. Default 7,500 mile, one month long road trip

    Hey all you guys, im new to this stuff, and me and my cousins are planning a road trip. We've saved up 1,500 dollars for gas even though our car gets 32 miles to the gallon, in case we get an inspiration and decide to go somewhere else. We have budgeted 50 dollars a night for cheap hotels/campsites. Three of us that live in a small town in Wyoming are going to leave from a small town in Wyoming and drive 600 miles to our cousin's house in Sioux Falls, SD. From there, the four of us will go to the Mall Of America in Mineapolis and spend a day there. After that, we plan to hit Green Bay, Chicago, Cleveland, maybe Pittsburg, then D.C., and from there we'll head to Virginia Beach, Virgina to pick up our other cousin. After a short stay at my aunt's we'll head over to Nashville, then to Dallas, on to Albuquerque, then we hit Vegas! After that we'll head to Salt Lake City, UT, over to Boise, ID, up to Helena, MT. Then, we meander up to Calgary, Canada. Then we'll hop on over to Regina, over to Winnepeg, and then back down to Sioux falls to drop one of my cousins back off. And then, finally, we go back to our small town in Wyoming, where the cousin for Virginia meets up with his family and catches a plane back home. Of course, this is not strict at all, just a basic outline, and we won't go straight from one city to another, just kinda mosy on down the road. Like i said, we plan on this taking a month, and we figured out that we have average less than 300 miles a day (Around 280) which is about 5 hours of driving per day if we average only 60 mph, leaving us lots of time to do stuff. The only thing we haven't figured out is how much to budget for food. We plan on buying food and ice at grocery stores to put in coolers, and eat at resturaunts every once in a while. If you guys could help us out, it would be great. Also, if you know any good places to visit in any of these cities, or in the area of these cities, it would be cool if you let us know. Thanks, and Happy Road Tripping everyone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Good Foundation

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    It looks like you've got a good foundation and a nice basic outline for your trip. Your budget so far seems to be on target and it doesn't seem on the surface like you are trying to do too much. I will remind you that while driving 300ish miles a day alone isn't a big deal, those distances can grow if you start spending a few days at each place you are planning to visit.

    As far as food goes, eating out of a cooler should cost you about the same as eating at home. I'd say $10-20 per day per person might be enough, but remember just one restaurant meal could eat up an entire days budget.

    Here's a thread you might want to look at that takes a look at how much you need to spend on a low budget trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Ambitious Trip!

    A few more comments and tips:

    Sounds like a great trip with lots of variety already built in. However, 5 cousins packed into a car that gets 32 mpg may be a bit much, especially when you add in all the luggage and the stuff everyone's going to want to have in the cabin with them, plus a cooler for drinks and snacks. Also, you are going to be in this sardine configuration for a couple of weeks at least, so be sure to all take the RoadTrip Compatibility Quiz, and plan every few days to spend some serious alone time at some stop. The Mall of America is a good example in your current plan, stops at various aunt's and uncles' along the way are another, but be sure to pencil some in the south and west as well.

    As for budgeting, have a good look at this post by Judy which lays out most of the things you'll have to worry about and approximate costs for each. Be sure to pick up a National Parks Pass at the first national park you come to. This $80 will cover all your entrance fees to all national parks on your trip, but not camping therein, unfortunately. That's extra.

    There have been a ton of suggestions for things to do in and around most of the cities you mention. For a first pass, use the "Search" function at the right of the second green toolbar at the top of this page, enter the city your interested in, and press "Go" and you'll be shown to many previous discussions of that city. You've also got enough individuals involved that if each of you picked just 3-4 things you wanted to see along the trip, you'd soon have a dozen or more ideas. Also plan on getting a good large-scale atlas for your trip and pay attention to some of the smaller attractions noted beside whatever road you'll be travelling. And remember, state parks and national wildlife refuges are great, very underutilized places to just get out and take a hike or swim in beautiful natural settings.


  4. Default A couple of suggestions

    Cooler with ice is good for drinks, maybe sandwiches. Pack some dry snack foods--nuts, crackers, fruit, etc. for variety. Grocery store salad bars can be a nice change of pace and often include soup/stew/chili at a reasonable price.

    While in the DC/Virginia area, consider the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel. Also possibly Assateague Island/Chincoteague, VA (did you ever read the children's books "Misty" and "Stormy: Misty's Foal"??).

    Check out Sandia Crest's tram ride while in Albuquerque. Awesome views. Also Petroglyph National Monument. San Antonio's Riverwalk is worth a visit while in TX.

    Easy on packing clothes. That's what an hour at the laundramat is for. And, as a previous poster said, you're not going to have much room with five people.

    Have fun!

  5. Default All good concerns... And Great Advice!

    Thanks for all the advice everyone. And I agree with your concerns, AZBuck, and Marcia, but the car we are traveling in is actually pretty roomy. It's a 2006 Chevy HHR, so theres plenty of cargo space, and the interior is very specious, despite deceiveing outer apearances, and we've all been great freinds since we were like 8. And as you suggested, we are planning on packing light, so I don't think it's going to be a problem, or at least I hope not... Click here for photos of an HHR.

    As for the traveling 300 miles per day, we'll probably end up scrapping the trip up to Canada, because one of us doesn't have a passport yet, and like you said we'll probably a little short on time. So from Helena, we'll just head back to Sioux Falls, cutting about 1,000 miles off of our journey. Maybe we'll hide the one without the passport in the back and still try and get up to see part of Canada... Just kidding.

    I read back over my original post and I realize that it does seem like we aren't doing very much, but trust me, we are going to cram as many activities/sites/recreational activites as we can before we have to be back. Don't get me wrong, we aren't going to just rush through them, but we are going to try and hurry.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Passport

    When is this trip for?

    As long as it is in 2007 you don't have to worry about a passport to travel to Canada. The requirement doesn't take affect until January 2008 at the earliest, and it looks like even that will be delayed until next summer if not 2009 because the State Department can't keep up with the number of people applying for a passport.

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