Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1

    Default Camping cross country from WNY for $3,000...possible?

    My husband and I have been married for two years, but ever since college have wanted to take a cross country road trip. We are both teachers, so we have about a month in the summer to travel.

    We have a budget of about $3,000. We will be taking a Honda Civic that gets 35 mpg highway, camping, and preparing most of our own food. We plan on leaving June 20th from WNY, traveling to Cedar Point, spending a day or so there, then on to Chicago for a day. After that, we plan on driving to Colorado to see sights and friends there. Next, possibly travel up to Seattle, Washington, down through California on Rt. 1, then over to Texas, Florida, and end in NEPA. We have from June 20th through July 18th to make the trip- we want to see as much as we can on a budget...the goal is to have fun and make a ton of memories. Any tips or ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    The normal budget recommendation is $100 per day per person - so if you have $3000 for a month for both of you, you are going to have to do this on the cheap - camping and eating out of a cooler will help immensely. Don't forget admission fees to places, meals that you pretty much have to buy, etc. When your money is half gone, it's time to head home.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Go for it !

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A forums !

    With camping in mind and eating out of a cooler you should be in pretty good shape. If you are planning on visiting a few National parks then the annual pass will most likely help your budget at $80 for entrance to all parks for a year, this does not include camping fees. Have a look around the forums and road trip planning pages for loads of info and as you build your trip let us know how we can help you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default watching your cash

    I agree that this is certainly doable, but you'll have to watch your money. Taking a rough guess, you'd be looking at about $900 total for fuel. That leave you about $70 a day to live off of. I'd say you'll need about $50 a day for food and lodging if you camp and mostly cook yourself, so that leaves you about $20 a day to play around with. If you start going to lots of amusement parks, restaurants, or motels, that money will be eaten up very quickly, but if you budget things out you should be able to make it work.

    I'll also say that a month will fly by much faster than you think, so you might want to think about cutting out eastern destinations like Florida, that you could visit on a shorter trip at a later date.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Good responses so far!

    I totally agree with cutting out Florida and other points more nearby that you can try to visit on your break next summer.

    This post might help you narrow down your budget a bit more.

    I don't think you'll need as much as $50/day for camping/food. I'm thinking more like $40/max, unless you stay in some premier, expensive campgrounds. To keep costs down, my major recommendations are to generously pack your car with items from your pantry before leaving, and then to replenish at regular grocery stores, not mini-marts, along the way. Pick up a sale flier at the store's entrance and try to plan your menus around sale items, if possible. Buy cases of water and other beverages at the grocery store, too. Keeping hydrated can get expensive. Enjoy your campground coffee and avoid the latte/espresso stands. With planning, and if you're willing to keep it up during the whole month, you should be able to keep those food costs low in order to have more money for fun stuff. Splurge once in awhile on a good meal, hopefully someplace known for excellent local cuisine, but consider that part of your entertainment budget, not your food budget.

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

    Default

    Having spent just six days on the road (so far), my expenses are nowhere near $100 per day. And a solo traveller has to pay the same for motel and campground fees as two people do.

    Including fuel, my expenses for the days I have spent on the road have been less than $50 per day, and that includes eating half my meals in cafes / restaurants, and the rest out of the cooler. (I am a very small eater by American standards.)

    There are lots of ways of enjoying a roadtrip without it costing a great deal. My allowance for 5 months is only twice yours for the month. If I had accepted the $100 per day, I would still be sitting at home watching Days of our Lives. :)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default rational

    When I'm figuring $50 a day, I'm figuring $25 a night for camping and $25 a day for 2 people. Certainly, you can get below that especially from time to time, but if you figure $20 a night for an average campsite and throw in a few dollars for firewood, bugspray, and the other little things to make camping more comfortable, I'd say $25 is a good number for an average, especially considering I'd rather budget a little more than not enough. I've also been seeing more and more places sharply raise their camping fees, particularly at state parks which are my staple. For example, I was going to camp in Georgia this spring, and they wanted $26 a night just for a basic site.

    Lifey, if I remember correctly, you've spent a couple nights at truck stops. When your lodging costs are zero for a couple days of a 6 night trip, that's going to bring your average costs way down. Sleeping in your car as a solo traveler is a lot easier than trying to sleep with 2 people, especially when the car in question is a compact sedan. I think you'd have a very hard time keeping your costs under $50 a day if you were using motels, since that will usually run you $50 a night on average right there. I will also say that I believe that GLCs estimate of $100 a day is more accurate if you are including rental car costs, which doesn't apply in this case.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Lifey, if I remember correctly, you've spent a couple nights at truck stops. When your lodging costs are zero for a couple days of a 6 night trip, that's going to bring your average costs way down.
    Quite right, Michael. A hearty truckers dinner at night, breakfast in the morning and a shower, all for less than $25. (I keep my fuel budget separately... but it was around $25 per day, as well.)

    I think you'd have a very hard time keeping your costs under $50 a day if you were using motels, since that will usually run you $50 a night on average right there. I will also say that I believe that GLCs estimate of $100 a day is more accurate if you are including rental car costs, which doesn't apply in this case.
    I truly dislike hotels / motels most of all. When you are in the car on your own all day, the last thing you want is to sit in a room with a TV, at night. For me they are a last resort!

    The motel on my first night was $35 including tax. Found that with the help of the lovely lady at the welcome centre. That night was a microwave meal from the supermarket - Healthy Choice if I remember correctly - and a breakfast of cereal with cold milk, yoghurt and fruit out of the cooler.

    I have paid as much as $37 for a basic tent site in Virgin UT and also in NJ. Checking out the internet over the last few days it seems extremely hard to get a tent site under $20 - more if you want to recharge your computer, camera and phone. Maybe prices are going up because of all the 'special' deals and half price offers through clubs and websites. Checked out some of the ones from links on this site, but unfortunately, not many are in areas where I plan to travel.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Fuel costs are going up now - gas is 20 cents more this week than it was last week. I can burn through 50 bucks worth of gas in one day - add a $50 hotel room to that, kiss that $100 bill goodbye, and I haven't even eaten yet.

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

    Default It's all relative I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Fuel costs are going up now - gas is 20 cents more this week than it was last week. I can burn through 50 bucks worth of gas in one day
    I was burning nearly $100 some day's in the RV but in a Honda returning 35mpg you would have to clock up about 800 miles in a day to spend $50, so most day's the upper limit would be around $30.

    Doing a quick calculation on the suggested $900 for gas @ $2.5 per gallon would cover 12,600 miles so it's quite conservative anyway.

Similar Threads

  1. Cross Country nov 1st, West to East, camping and general help needed
    By crosscountry in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-26-2008, 02:48 PM
  2. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-30-2007, 02:29 PM
  3. cross country camping?
    By toure in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 10-22-2005, 06:57 PM
  4. cross country camping
    By flaco2 in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-09-2005, 03:50 PM
  5. car camping cross country
    By Mick in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-17-2004, 01:06 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES