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  1. Default First time planning a road trip!

    Hello all!
    I'm in the midst of planning a road trip across Canada, leaving from Toronto and heading to Vancouver taking the Trans Canada Highway. From there I would like to take the Route 101 down the pacific coast to Santa Monica and picking up historic Route 66 all the way to Chicago.
    I'm hoping this can be accomplished in three months. With some lingering at certain places, I would like to leave around June 1 and be back in Toronto by Aug 30.
    I will be traveling with a friend, and getting around in a van, with the idea of camping (or sleeping in the van), staying in hostels or perhaps the side of the road some nights!
    I'm looking to save about $3500 with my friend saving the same amount, we're hoping this will be enough for gas, food, camping fees, so on and so forth.
    That main idea is to do this the cheapest way and enjoy being on the road, nothing fancy.
    Feedback would be greatly appreciated as I have never really attempted anything like this before! Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I can get you started - you are looking at a 6600 mile point to point trip. This should help you with fuel cost calculations. Add about 20% to that mileage figure for wandering off the beaten track - so I'd use 8000 miles. It's hard to predict what fuel will cost next summer, so figure high, probably $1 a liter in Canada and $4 a gallon here to be safe.

    I'd recommend that you use the stretches of California 1 that are accessible instead of 101. That's the true coast highway. This would be from Leggett to just north of San Francisco, then from just south of SF down to San Luis Obispo, then from Oxnard down to Santa Monica.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Emergency fund.

    Wow, lucky you !

    Hello and welcome to R.T.A.

    Three months will give you plenty of time to meander through Canada and around the States, it's how long I can only dream of at the moment [maybe one day] ;-) so no problems there.

    It's hard to work out a budget so far in advance, not knowing the cost of gas in advance and not knowing the M.P.G you expect from your van I have just come up with a "ball park" figure of $1500 that leaves you $5500 in the kitty. It looks healthy enough untill you divide it by 90 days and that gives you $61 a day for two of you. With just the basics I would have thought you could get by but it will be tight and you really should consider having some sort of emergency fund for such things as mechanical breakdowns, tyres [in case of a blow out] and even a service [at least an oil change] while on the road as well as having a full service and check over prior to leaving.

    Here are a couple of links that may help Budgeting, / Eating on the road and a list of links Regarding camping/ packing

    That should get you started but have a good look around the forums and in the road trip planning pages [in the green tool bar at top of page] and don't hesitate to ask for more info.

    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 12-06-2008 at 02:57 AM. Reason: Typo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    It's also going to be difficult to predict what the US/CA dollar exchange rate is going to be then. That $1500 figure could actually be low. On a 8000 mile trip, 15 miles per US gallon at $3 US per gallon is $1600 US. With any luck, the exchange rate will be close to parity and oil will not be $140 a barrel next summer.

  5. Default

    Thank you all very much for the feedback, I really appreciate it, and I am really looking forward to this road trip. It should be exciting! If anyone can think of anymore advice that would be great! Thanks again

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Daily allowance

    A good rule of thumb would be to expect to spend $100/day, all-inclusive, so you're looking at a $9000 tab. Of course, you don't have to travel every day, so you can cut fuel expenditures, but you do have to eat and with some exceptions (such as truck stops), you will be facing a daily charge for lodging.

    Within the first week or two of this trip, you'll have a good idea of what things are going to cost and you'll be able to modify your plans accordingly.

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