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  1. #1

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    Two kids getting a VW bus and going on a ten month road trip from NY to California, and back. Any tips on how to make money/live on the minimum, etc?

    Hey everybody!
    My friend Travis and I are traveling across the USA in these states: Ohio, Kentucky, Tenessee, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. We'll be on the road from early September until late December, where we will finally settle down in California. We're equipped with a 1995 VW Eurovan, and have some necessities down, such as tents, sleeping bags, fishing poles. We're avid hikers and climbers, and definitely explorers. However, we've got only gas money on our side. If anyone has any ideas for how we can make our trip a) interesting. Where should we explore? b) on a budget. How can we get our essentials while on the road for EXTREMELY little to no cost? and c) what should we take with us before we go to make sure we're equipped, safe, and healthy?

    Where should we park to sleep (we plan on almost always sleeping in the van unless we have friends in those states who would give us a bed for a couple of days) Any answers would be greatly appreciated.

    -Skye
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 06-10-2009 at 07:27 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default start saving

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The best advice I can give you is to remind you that life isn't like what you see in movies or read in books. The real world has expenses that you have to prepare for. Traveling isn't cheap, maintaining a VW bus will certainly require some money, and put simply, living for 10 months requires a fair amount of cash just for the basics. If you are serious about doing a trip like this, you need to start saving your money, and save as much as you possibly can. That is going to be the first step to take this trip from a pipedream to reality.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default There's a Limit to Cheap

    Yes, we do offer tips on cheap RoadTripping, but the fact of the matter is that Michael is right. What you've said you want to do will cost a few tens of thousands of dollars, and you will have to have that money in hand before you set out.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Hostels

    Michael and Buck have basically told you exactly what you need to know. From my experience, travelling on a shoestring, it still takes more than $10K for just six months, and that is despite spending half my nights with family and friends. You are just going to have to save and build up a good bank balance before you anticipate embarking on this trip.

    As for working and living on the minimum.... many (but by no means most) hostels offer free accommodation in return for 20 or 30 hours per week working in the hostel, whether this be cleaning, reception, or whatever. So while you are frantically saving for this trip, take out some time to do the research and find out where these hostels are. You can get a good listing of hostels here.

    However, you cannot get away from the fact that you will need many thousands of dollars before you leave.

  5. Default

    He!
    I'm a filmmaker from amsterdam and i'm doing a roadtrip, while makin a short movie, from NY to Oregon in July. And i'd like to get in touch with some people who are sort of going the same way.

    Are you maybe interested?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Money, money!

    Quote Originally Posted by welcomeapollo View Post
    Hey everybody!
    My friend Travis and I are traveling across the USA in these states: Ohio, Kentucky, Tenessee, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. We'll be on the road from early September until late December, where we will finally settle down in California. We're equipped with a 1995 VW Eurovan, and have some necessities down, such as tents, sleeping bags, fishing poles. We're avid hikers and climbers, and definitely explorers. However, we've got only gas money on our side. If anyone has any ideas for how we can make our trip a) interesting. Where should we explore? b) on a budget. How can we get our essentials while on the road for EXTREMELY little to no cost? and c) what should we take with us before we go to make sure we're equipped, safe, and healthy?

    Where should we park to sleep (we plan on almost always sleeping in the van unless we have friends in those states who would give us a bed for a couple of days) Any answers would be greatly appreciated.

    -Skye

    [ Mod note]Merged with original post
    Welcome back,

    Although you have cut the travelling time down from 10 months to around 4 months the advice remains the same and just having enough money for gas isn't going to feed you or pay for anything else, like camping fees or truck stop showers, keeping your vehicle maintained and even things like entrance fees to National and state parks. [Although you can purchase an annual pass for $80 it does not include camping fees]
    With a VW van and a love of the outdoors you shouldn't have any problems making your trip interesting, as long as you find things that interest you that is ! You can find more tips on the forum such as the one Buck linked you to previously and here, but you can't live on fresh air alone I am afraid.
    It's certainly an exciting prospect but the reality is you either need to save more money or take a smaller trip. Perhaps a two week trip with the van would be a good place to start as a test run and to get a feel of the open road while saving for the "big one".

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Get your feet wet first

    Something of this magnitude shouldn't be taken on lightly. As others have stated, take a shorter trip to get a feel for what this effort will be like. Chances are you will discover a host of things that you either hadn't thought about or figured wouldn't apply to you. The nomadic lifestyle may seem romantic now, but I think you will find that there are many things you take for granted in your daily lives now that you would probably be ill prepared to do without.

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