budget and approximate route
getting out of the military and wanting to do a honeymoon/first trip together before starting new jobs and starting to pay rent again.
St. John IN to Sterling Co 895/13 hours= day 1
Sterling CO to Salt Lake UT 571/8.5 hours= day 2
Salt Lake UT to West Sacramento CA 656/9.5 house= 3-7 with family
West Sacramento CA to Yosemite CA 177/3.5 hours= day 8
Yosemite CA to Las Vegas NV (through death valley)421/9.5 hours = day 9
Las Vegas to Hoover Dam and Grand canyon 268/7.5 hours= day 10
Grand Canyon tp Petrified Forest 395/9.5 hours = day 11
Petrified Forest to Colorado Springs (Through Albuquerque) 588/8.5 hours= day 12
Colorado Springs CO to Fort Riley KS 467/7.5 hours= day 13-14 with family
Fort Riley Barlow KY to 546/8.5 hours= day 15-16 with family
Barlow KY to St John IN 474/8 hours
Gas honda fit 33mpg/2.10/gallon 349
Hotel 1200- planning on shortening those rough driving days, adding four more to our trip. at 100/night 8 with family
Car maintenance (oil change) 50
National parks entry fee 80
What do you experienced road trippers think of this? My main goal is to have fun, see family, and ensure that we have a good time with out killing each other! this will be our first road trip as adults and he has never taken one. thanks!
Welcome to the RTA Forum!
I think you've fallen into the very common trap of believing time estimates from computer programs.
Starting with your first day, 900 miles is far more than we recommend for traveling in one day, and unless you can traveling at or above the speed limit, without ever stopping for gas, food, or rest breaks, there is absolutely no way that you'll cover that distance in 13 hours. 17 hours is far more likely, and that's a killer day on the road.
We generally recommend that people limit their long driving days to the 500-600 mile range. That's still a solid 8-10 hours on the road, but leaves some time in the day for short stops to get out and move. Keeping with that, I'd strongly recommend adding another day traveling out to Sacramento.
Coming back your plans look more reasonable, but you're still pretty rushed. You don't have quite the killer days, but trying to drive Tioga Pass, visit Death Valley, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon over just 2 days means you're just not going to have much time to stop and enjoy the amazing sites you'll be driving by. I think you'd have more fun if you'd give yourself another day here.
I think your budget looks basically ok, but your gas price guess could be a little low. If you are traveling this summer, I think I'd be estimating at least $2.50 a gallon, and remember, you'll need to add about 20% to your point to point distances when you factor in driving around towns, within parks, etc. However, $100 a night for motels should be plenty of money even if you stay in mid-level places. You also shouldn't see very many tolls at all, however I'd have at least $100, if not a little more, just for other extra entertainment or unexpected expenses.