I've been reading this forum extensively for the last few days or so, and have always wanted to take a somewhat epic road trip. In any case, I'm curious as to the feasibility of this 'tentative' tip.
Participants: Myself and my best friend (who lives in DC). We've lived together for about a year, and we've done several trips from Milwaukee to DC together. Unfortunately none of these trips have involved overnight stops.
This is just a *basic* outline of the trip. I haven't yet researched where exactly state parks are on the way out there (don't have too much of a desire to visit many), but anything close to that route is fair game.
That barebones route is a little over 5200 miles... I've figured add in 1000 miles or so for meandering/city driving and we're at about 6200. I drive a 2008 Hyundai Accent, which has averaged to about 35/36mpg highway, and I've figured an average of $3.50 per gallon, which ends up to about $620 for fuel.
Both of us have camped seperately, but never together. We're pretty damn adventurous, so camping several nights in a row wouldn't be a problem. Fresh out of college, we're trying to keep things low cost (and we're used to it), so camping for 4/5 nights followed by a stay in a motel isn't a problem. Oh-- also looking at a timeframe of about 21 days. We figure 4 nights in a hotel (average at $50 a night), and 17 at a campground ($20/night), our lodging cost would be $540.
Food-- eating cheaply at places (a lot of bread and other filling foods), sandwiches, and other cheap things. I have a burner that I'd bring, but mainly we're trying to keep this cheap.
We've both gone a month before on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ramen noodles, water and fruit-- so I'm thinking this shouldn't be too much of a problem. I've budgeted $30 a day for this, so $630.
Like I said, our main goal is just for the journey, and to spend some time vegging out in California (I used to live out there and absolutely loved it). The trip from Seattle to Milwaukee will likely be barebones entertainment wise, and primarily be focused on taking pictures, and enjoying the drive. I'm not anticipating a lot of entertainment money being spent out there. Our main entertainment will likely be stopping at local bars, drinking with local people, and trying to document it.... who knows, maybe we'll score some free nights with the local Cougars ;)
In any case, we plan on spending the majority of the trip in California. Don't really need to do a whole lot of touristy things out there-- but I know parking will cost quite a bit.
I'd like to see how people think we've budgeted at this point-- with both time and money. What do you think? So far, before entertainment costs we have:
$620 (fuel) + $540 (lodging) + $630 (food) = $1,790 / 2 people = $895 sans any 'entertainment costs'
... and that 'entertainment' budget is largely based on how much my raise is, how fast I pay off my credit, and if I have to pay rent for the month =)
Too ambitious? Too much trip? Please let me know what legs we could cut out! This is just the 'perfect' west coast trip, but if need be, it can be scaled back! I also have some friends and family out there in the area, so that may also bring the cost down a tad.
I'd appreciate any constructive criticism! (looking to make this trip in either November, or next March/April).