Hello I've been reading these forums for a while, picking up ideas here and there for the trip that I'm planning this summer. While reading about other trips was fun, I finally decided I should see what others have to say about mine. Like the title says, this is my first road trip, and I'm planning on making it BIG.
The trip is going to be four guys all 18 & 19, and round trip about 10,000 or 11,000 miles. Starting the mid-June and arriving back home the first or second week of August. We'll be taking a mini-van that gets 20 mi/gal with the back seats taken out. We'll be camping in National Parks almost the entire time, accept a few roadside naps taken at truck stops. I planned on budgeting 20$/day on food per person.
A few questions:
Would having a car-carrier on the roof of the van make us stand out for theives? Or give us an treatment that would not be the "norm"?
How much would you except a trip like this to cost? My original estimates have been about $1500 per person, but that's why I'm asking the experts.
Should we make reservations in the larger parks, such as Yellowstone and Yosemite?
How much will gas cost this summer? I've been assuming $4.00/gal worst case scenario. I've heard very little about the future prices of gasoline.
What places would you suggest are MUST SEE? I feel like I've gotten a lot of the basics down, but I don't want to miss those things that would really make the trip special.
Are there any places that you would avoid in the dead of summer? Places that have reputations that far exceed what you actually get.
Is 6-8 weeks a good time frame? I've gotten a lot of people telling me the summer before college is not the time to blow all my money to go see the country, and that we could get the same experience in 4 weeks. What's your opinion?