I live in Kamloops British Columbia, Canada and I'm planning on going on a trip to a few states: Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, possibly. I'm thinking about getting some maps and just winging it making my way as I go. Time's not really an issueŚcould be a few days to a few weeks. But I don't want to end up spending a lot of money. I was thinking about staying at camp sites (although I've heard you need reservations for most?) or just staying in the back of my van off the side of the road or something (is this against any laws? I heard safety was the main issue, but that doesn't really bother me).
I have $1500, but only want to spend a little over $500. This would probably mean packing nutritionally balanced meals consisting of bread and peanut butter (I can hardly wait) and other cheap snacks. Gas will be my main expense, for sure.
My main concern is crossing the border from Canada into the US. At the moment I don't have a passport and I was wondering if it is essential (I've heard you can make way with a birth certificate and photo ID and the like, but I'm not sure). If not, is getting a passport a time consuming procedure? Also, I'm only 19 and I'm not sure if there are any age restrictions when border crossing or anything. Also, would I need to exchange most of my money for American currency before crossing the border, or should I just convert a bit of it (what amount would you recommend?) and use a bank card for other things? Sorry, I'm a little inexperienced in all this stuff.
Does this trip sound possible?
EDIT: I'm not planning on driving day in and day out. That'd probably end up costing too much for gas. I plan to bring a few books with me to pass time and just camping out.