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  1. Default Budget for the first roadtrip in the States

    Hi there,

    Great forum!!
    My friend and I are planning our 19 days road trip. The rough itenary:
    Seattle ( a few days ), Portland, other parts of Oregon ( a few days )
    LA ( Hollywood, Universal Studio etc, a day or 2 ) and then Arizona ( a few days )
    Return: we might take route 101 and go through San Francisco.
    We also want to see some national parks, like Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon if possible.

    We have places to stay in Seattle and Arizona. We want to camp out a few times and then stay at cheap hotels/ motels for the other days.
    My budget will be around 1000 US dollars exclude the airfares. Is it too tight?

    Thanks in advance!

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

    Default double it

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Since you're talking about airfare, I assume you'll be renting a car, and if that is the case, I think your budget will be way too low. A car rental alone for 3 weeks will almost certainly cost at least $500. That's quite frankly probably a best case, with an economy car and assuming you are over 25. If you are 21-24 years old, you'll also be looking at an underage driver fee, which at $20-25 per day, would destroy your budget.

    Even if you didn't have to worry about a rental car, $1000 would still likely be too little. In fact, you could quite easily spend nearly $500 on gasoline alone! You'll also likely need at least $500 for your lodging, figuring a mix of cheap motels and camping for about 2 weeks of your trip. Remember, you'll still need money on top of those things for food, entertainment, admission fees, and other various expenses during your trip.

    I really don't think it will be possible for you to realistically do this trip unless you have at least $2000, and again, that's using some best case numbers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    A rule of thumb for touring the US is at least $100 a day per person. The only "cheap hotels" in large cities are either in very questionable areas, run down, or both - the only real option to save money are hostels.

  4. Default

    Thank you for the replies. My friend has a car, so we don't have to rent one. I forgot to say that I put 500 dollars aside extra for the gasoline. So $1000 is for the lodging, food, entertainment etc. I will have to save a bit more, I guess. The places we want to visit are pretty far away. ( from Seattle to Arizona )Do you think this roadtrip will be too stressful?

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mauebee View Post
    Thank you for the replies. My friend has a car, so we don't have to rent one. I forgot to say that I put 500 dollars aside extra for the gasoline. So $1000 is for the lodging, food, entertainment etc. I will have to save a bit more, I guess. The places we want to visit are pretty far away. ( from Seattle to Arizona )Do you think this roadtrip will be too stressful?
    Hi you didn't say but are you & your friend going to be sharing expenses?
    If you are sharing expenses & each of you have $1000 you should be able to make it if you budget the trip closely. If you are doing a lot camping and eating out of your car that would help cut down on expenses. Personally I would budget at least $100 a day per person as glg suggested if you will be staying in hotels & motels.

    billy bob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Stress and the roadtripper

    Quote Originally Posted by mauebee View Post
    Do you think this roadtrip will be too stressful?
    If you are trying to fit the whole trip in under $1500, then yes, it will be very difficult to do that for 19 days on the road. In my experience, it is almost always food and lodging that take up the bulk of the expenses. Fuel and entertainment are usually much smaller costs. So, look at the types of places that you expect to be staying and plan accordingly in your budget.

    Some campgrounds can actually be quite expensive, relative to what you are actually getting. $25/night is not uncommon, and fairly reasonable, but in some popular areas the cost can be twice that for a simple tent site. You will see this type of thing more often in private campgrounds than in, for instance, state parks.

    Even keeping the costs low by camping more often, I would still second the $100/day rule of thumb.

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