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  1. Default 3 Months and 48 states

    Well im 18 and i have my summer before college coming up and I have not had the chance to go on vacation much only been out of the state once my famly is kinda poor so i have decided to make up for it i want to hit 48 states in 3 months its in the early stages of planning im doing it alone and i was was hopeing for some advice on planing and cost i want to be as froogle as possable ill up date u as i flush the plan out more

    i live in IL and will likely start in springfield as it is my home town an iwill likely go west from there
    Last edited by clloud7us; 01-05-2008 at 05:51 PM. Reason: forgot info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Dreams and Reality

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Many of us, myself included, have had that same dream of touring all 48 contiguous states in one fell swoop. But it usually comes crashing up against reality at some point. Here are a few things you'll need to keep in mind as you try to determine if such a trip is going to be doable or not.

    Such a trip would require a minimum of around 12,000 miles. If your car gets 20 mpg and gas costs $3/gal, then gas alone is going to cost you $1,800. If you camp out every night in a state park (as cheap as it gets) and only take a shower every third day, you're looking at around another $1,200 or so. Minimum food to keep body and soul together: $2,500. Oil change every 3000 miles, National Parks Pass, and $10 per day for incidentals: $1,500. So at least $7,000 in your pocket before you leave your front door. I don't know too many 18 year olds with that much disposable cash the summer before they head off to college. So the reality may have to be a bit smaller. Since you've never done a trip anything like this before, you may find out it's not even really your cup of tea. There are plenty of places and great drives within a few days of Illinois including the Great Lakes, Atlantic Coast, Appalachian Mountains, and even the Rockies. Pick one. Try a trip of a couple of weeks. Enjoy it. There will be plenty of time for longer and more adventurous trips later. Life has hardly passed you by already.

    AZBuck

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

    Default Yup, it's pricey to travel!

    And I think AZBuck's gas price estimate is low. I would guesstimate gas prices to be closer to $4 per gallon this coming summer.

    If you want to estimate costs yourself, this post gives you tips on how to do that. And while it sounds like quite an adventure to travel cheaply, and it can really be a lot of fun, it would get very old on a trip of the magnitude you're considering. You will definitely find things along the way that you really want to splurge on. Just entry fees to a few fun spots along the way can blow a tight budget.

    So I agree that doing a shorter trip closer to home might be your best bet this time around.

    Of course, while you say your family hasn't been able to afford to travel, for all we know you have come into some windfall and have more money to spend on this than we're assuming. If so, as a mom, I still think you should save some of that toward school and do a shorter trip with a longer 48-state trip maybe as a way to celebrate graduating from college. That would give you time to save for that. Of course, I'm not your mom so you're free to make your own decision.

    If you decide to go for it anyway, you might check out the website of Quest-4. Here's a map of their itinerary. It's one of the best thought out routes for doing a 48-state trip that I know of.

    Let us know if you need anymore advise.

  4. Default well when u put it that way

    i gusse ur right but i want to do something i got 3 month and some spare cash i can probly get some friends to chip in for gas and come 2 any suggestions i want it to be a little distance away so its an adventure

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default make it your adventure

    You absolutely can make a nice trip, and time is never a bad thing to have when planning a road trip.

    Since you likely are going to be under some tight financial restraints, its worth noting that it costs more to travel from place to place than it does to go somewhere and enjoy it. So you might be best off finding a few places that look interesting to you, and then hang out there for a while.

    What I would suggest is that you start looking at 2 things: places that are most interesting to you and your friends, and how much money you realistically have to work with. From there, start figuring out what is really within your reach. You might find that you can spend all 3 months hitting all of the places you want, or you might find that you can only afford to be on the road for a week or two, but in either situation, you should be able to have a great time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default A way to extend your trip cheaply

    If you like camping, you might consider looking for national forests in areas that interest you. Most national forests allow disbursed camping. You can search for these by state here. You will need to do some research as each national forest has it's own rules. Some allow it, not don't. Some only allow it in certain areas, etc. But, since it's generally free, it would really extend your trip dollars. Most have limits on number of nights you can stay (usually 7 or 14). But just think how much fun you could have if you just went to a series of these forests, usually in beautiful settings, and camped/hiked/played for week or two before continuing on. I think it sounds like a terrific summer and, since you're not driving as much, your fuel costs would be far lower. Food might be your biggest expense if you travelled this way. Just a suggestion.

  7. Default

    I talked it over with some friends and we where thinking a 2-3 week trip to the west coast would be better any suggestions on stops and what not we where thinking of also going as far north as seattle but that was just talk at the present cali for sure though

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default keep talking

    That sounds reasonable considering your situation, and now the key is to keep talking. There are so many possibilities on a trip from IL to California that there is nowhere to even begin suggesting individual things to see.

    What I would suggest is that you and your friends discuss what sorts of things you'll want to see and spend most of your time at, be it natural wonders, interesting cities, or just roadside oddities, then start looking for the can't miss highlights that would be considered musts for each of you. From there you can start filling in the blanks with other less obvious ideas.

    And of course, you'll want to keep talking about your budget and figure out how much you're going to need and how you will be dividing up the costs.

  9. Default

    Hmm i was thinking about it and i think takeing route 66 would be auwsome i have this program microsoft streets and trips is there a file for the route i can just load into that
    -

  10. Default

    I herd some where that walmart lets people sleep in there parking lot in there cars at night

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