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  1. Default West coast to East coast

    Hello Everyone :)
    I just graduated college in Southern California and I'm determined to go on a road trip to the East Coast. I have a few interested friends and almost no money. I just really want to see different sites along the way and end up maybe in the Carolinas?? Washington DC?
    I really have no restrictions, I just want to go. Does anyone have any route suggestions or budgetting tips?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Define "No"

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you'll be best off defining what you mean when you say "almost no money."

    Roadtrips, even budget trips, cost money, and while you say you have no restrictions, not having enough cash can be a pretty big restriction.

    My advice is to think about how much money you can reasonably spend on this trip, and think about how long you want to be on the road, and start working on a budget from there.

  3. Default

    ok, I'm not really sure. I did the gas calculation and that will be almost $500....we want to be gone around a week and a half. I'm thinking total the whole trip will need to cost us under $600 each.
    Is that reasonable?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Now That You've Defined It: Why?

    Well... It turns out that "no restrictions" means you only have 10 days to get from coast to coast to coast. That's possible, but only if you don't really stop anywhere along the way, and turn around immediately on getting to the east coast - again without stopping to see anything.

    Costs may be another issue. I make your gas budget slightly over $600 minimum. If you eat all your meals out of a cooler, you might get by on $15/day/person. I'll assume that there will be three of you for these calculations. You haven't mentioned camping, which probably wouldn't be possible with your time constraints anyway, so I'll assume you plan to stay in motels. If you all stay in one room, and you get a cheap room at about $60, that's another $20/person/day. So... 3 people times $35/day times 10 days is $1050. Add in $650 for gas and you'll need $1700 of your $1800 budget for the most minimal trip you can imagine. No sight-seeing (no time), no good meals (no money), and not a moment spent doing anything but driving cooped up in a car or sleeping cooped up in a cinder block motel room. I suppose you could do this trip if you really want to, but why?

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    378

    Default One way or round trip

    Hi,

    If you are doing a round trip you are looking at about 6,000 miles, which is at least 10 days worth of driving 600 miles (11 hours) per day. So that pretty well defines what you'll be doing for all the daylight hours in a week and a half...driving.

    If you take I-15 to I-70 and cross the country, then come back on I-40 or I-20 you'll go by a lot of great places. And if you can squeeze in a couple of extra days you can even stop a visit a couple.

    By picnicing in the car and sharing sleeping accomodations at Motel 6 or camping you can probably eat and sleep for $30 - $40 per day per person. If your car averages 20mpg you'll pay about $900 for gas (30mpg works out to $600).

    If you are driving one way and flying home, cut all these figures in half. And you'll have a lot more time to see the sights along the way.

    So yeah, I'd say you can do it for $600 per person, assuming you are taking 3-4 people.

    Just remember to keep a smile on your face.

    Craig Sheumaker

    co-author of A Traveler's Guide: America's Living History - The Early Years

  6. #6

    Default hmmm...

    Reading these posts may be putting you off the idea entirely. Don't let it do that - you just need to reconsider your destination until you have more time and money to do the triip right. Why not consider a new destination, somewhere that you can reach comfortably in the time that you have available? What exactly is it that is drawing you to the east coast?

  7. Default thanks

    Thanks for all the info. I'm obviously completely unaware of what a roadtrip entails, although I think I am considering the essentials. This has helped me, but if I'm driving one way and flying another, what do I do about my car situation? I'm assuming I can maybe rent a car out here and leave it down there?
    I'm new at this....


    Quote Originally Posted by RedCorral View Post
    Hi,

    If you are doing a round trip you are looking at about 6,000 miles, which is at least 10 days worth of driving 600 miles (11 hours) per day. So that pretty well defines what you'll be doing for all the daylight hours in a week and a half...driving.

    If you take I-15 to I-70 and cross the country, then come back on I-40 or I-20 you'll go by a lot of great places. And if you can squeeze in a couple of extra days you can even stop a visit a couple.

    By picnicing in the car and sharing sleeping accomodations at Motel 6 or camping you can probably eat and sleep for $30 - $40 per day per person. If your car averages 20mpg you'll pay about $900 for gas (30mpg works out to $600).

    If you are driving one way and flying home, cut all these figures in half. And you'll have a lot more time to see the sights along the way.

    So yeah, I'd say you can do it for $600 per person, assuming you are taking 3-4 people.

    Just remember to keep a smile on your face.

    Craig Sheumaker

    co-author of A Traveler's Guide: America's Living History - The Early Years

  8. Default Thank You

    Quote Originally Posted by UKCraig View Post
    Reading these posts may be putting you off the idea entirely. Don't let it do that - you just need to reconsider your destination until you have more time and money to do the triip right. Why not consider a new destination, somewhere that you can reach comfortably in the time that you have available? What exactly is it that is drawing you to the east coast?


    Man....seriously, thanks for this post. I feel like I'm getting reamed for never having gone on a road trip. I really don't think my "restrictions" are that horrible. Are there people on here who don''t have a time constraint...? I figured that was a given.
    The reason I am asking these questions is because I have NO idea what I'm looking at here. I am flexible and willing to extend my time limit or change my destination....thats why I'm here asking questions!

    ...so anyway, thank you for acknowledging that.

    Anyhow...I was looking at the east coast because I went to SC one time (I NEVER leave california) and I fell in love with how different it was from here. Mostly that it was green and NOT a desert. Ever since I've been considering my limits I've been thinking about maybe just going north and ending in seattle...hitting campgrounds on the way up. It's green up there. Any suggestions? I have no restrictions...meaning I'm not opposed to changing my destination or considering other options....
    I just want to get away! I've got ALL summer...it's my friend's time constraints I'm trying to consider.

  9. Default Sounds great

    Hey! I think driving up to Seattle would be a great roadtrip! Especially if you don't have an unlimited time frame and want to get out of the desert of Southern Cali. Driving up the Cali coast along Route 1 is so beautiful. I love northern California and the Oregon coast because they remind me of the East coast. The small towns are really cool. In Northern Cali. you could stop in San Fran, Mendicino, see the Redwoods (which are magnificent). In Oregon there are so many great towns along the coast that I would recommend...Astoria, Cannon Beach, Lincoln City, Seaside, Portland...they all look like East Coast towns (except maybe Portland)...and if you're looking for green landscape then these are the places. And Seattle is a great place too. There is Pike Place Market, the Saun Juan Islands, Space Needle,etc. From L.A. Seattle is about 17 hrs driving...so it is definitely doable and there are tons of camping spots along the way.

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