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  1. Default Roundtrip Cross Country Trip

    I'd first like to thank this site for all of the tips and advice that it offers!

    My friend and I are planning a trip from Annapolis, MD to Portland, OR down the West coast and then back to Maryland; we're picking up a friend in Portland so the second half of our trip will be three people in the car.

    Our basic plan so far is to go first to Chicago, then Lincoln, NE, Yellowstone in WY, MT. Rushmore, to Portland. Then we hope to go down the coast hitting the Redwood forest, SF, LA, some wine country, Death Valley, possibly go down to Tijuana, then make our way over to the Grand Canyon. After the Canyon we are visiting a friend in Boulder, CO then heading home (we have hopes to go south to New Orleans on our way back but that may be too much).

    We are planning on mostly camping in National Forests and National Parks, or staying with friends. We've looked into hostels in Chicago and are willing to occasionally splurge on a motel. All of us have been camping together before and the idea is that (1) we will save money by camping and (2) being in the parks/forests should be a great way to see the country!

    We are leaving MD at the end of August and are planning on spending all of September doing this trip. As recent unemployed college grads we have the time flexibility to lengthen the trip into October- that depends on how much money we'll have left.

    So my questions are these:
    Firstly, is a month simply not enough time? We're aware that by only spending a couple of nights in places like Yellowstone, Grand Canyon etc. that it'll be a bit rushed. We're just hoping to get a real feel for these amazing places!

    Would it be worth the investment to get a national park pass?

    Is a budget of roughly $1,200-1,500 per person reasonable? (We'll be mostly eating from grocery stores out of a cooler and with our camping stove)

    Also, any general thoughts as to 'must see' places would be really appreciated! Any tips and insight would be great!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by me6061 View Post
    I'd first like to thank this site for all of the tips and advice that it offers!
    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Without heading to New Orleans, the trip is well over 7000 miles. You'd have to average about 4-5 hours on the road every day for the duration.

    New Orleans adds in approximately another 800 miles.

    Firstly, is a month simply not enough time?
    A month is a good amount of time to make it around the country.

    Would it be worth the investment to get a national park pass?
    If you plan on visiting several parks, then yes. Keep in mind this covers entrance fees and not camping fees.

    Is a budget of roughly $1,200-1,500 per person reasonable? (We'll be mostly eating from grocery stores out of a cooler and with our camping stove)
    Is this for all three of you, or just the two of you heading out?

  3. Default

    Thank you for your response Mass Tim; its encouraging to hea that we seem to be on the right track with our planning! Both myself and my friend heading to Portland are budgeting roughly $1,200; I'm not sure how much our friend who we're picking up in Portland is setting aside. From what I've read it looks like this is a reasonable amount for a roughly month lond trip with camping, preparing our own food etc; am I right?

    From Colorado, the Boulder area, heading back to Maryland are there any ideas of good routes that come to mind?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Costs.

    On the left hand side of every page is the RTA fuel cost calculator that will help work out the cost of gas for your vehicle, which after all is a major expense on a trip of this length. Here, you will find more budgeting tips to help you work out your expenses. You should also invest in making sure your vehicle is fully serviced and completely checked over before the trip as well as having some kind of emergency fund for unexpected repairs while on the road.
    Use the search button to explore the forums and you will find loads of useful info to help you get started. I am not sure that Tijuana is worth such a big detour especially with the troubles near the border I keep hearing about.

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