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  1. #1

    Default Florida to Colorado

    The two of us plan on driving to Colorado from Central Florida this July. We will be using a 4 year old hatchback and a Magellan GPS system. This will be our first road trip, advice for planning? There's so much information, much of it outdated and kind of disorganized, IMO... Where can I start?

    We want to drive 12 hours and stop in Chattanooga, TN. Next day: continue to Topeka, KS and stay with a friend for a day or two. Finally, complete the grind to Denver, CO. If there's any money left over, we'll use it for state parks or driving. Our goal is to do scenic driving, and no touristy stuff. We're already researching places to see, routing out scenic drives and such. We don't plan on getting hotels, eating out, doing anything over $20 if we can help it. We'll buy food at the grocery store and pack a cooler. We want to camp. We're researching and looking for boondocking areas/free sites. We estimated it could cost roughly $400 in gas alone, round trip. Our budget is $1100 right now. Is this possible? We're willing to rough it.

    Anyhow, I guess I'm looking for advice on how I can feel better prepared... Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Optimism Has Its Place

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    While it's good to take a 'can do' attitude into any adventure, including a RoadTrip, it has to be tempered with a fair amount of hard headed realism. In your case, I'm afraid the optimism has too strong an upper hand. Truth is, you're probably looking at something a lot closer to $600 rather than $400 for round trip gas costs. That only leaves you around $500 for two people for around ten days. That's $25 each for food and shelter. Since a campground will run you around $20 on average and even filling a cooler costs something, I think you'd be pressing you luck on that front. For some tips on traveling cheaply (but not for nothing) check here. You're also being a bit optimistic on your travel times, particularly if you want scenic routes. Just sticking to the shortest Interstate routes, some of your legs are stretching the limits of what's possible. For example, Chattanooga to Topeka is 650 miles - a good hundred miles more that is generally considered a full day's drive. You can do it, I suppose, since you have a couple of drivers and will pock up an hour on the time zone change, but you certainly can't go wandering off down scenic byways.

    Anyway, with those caveats in mind, poke around a bit in the Planning sections, and if you have any further questions, just speak up.


  3. #3


    Sorry, the current budget is actually $1300. While that only adds 200, it might help. I'd like to know the factors that contribute to $600 in driving. Does that include straight-through driving to CO plus estimated scenic drives? Using the debatable results of Google maps estimated mileage and RTA's fuel calc, I figured 400 for gas just getting to CO would be enough. Anyhow, I guess I could spend 500 in food for two weeks.. Leaving me 400 for camping and more driving... What other categories of expenses may I also be looking at spending on? By all means, I don't plan on leaving if I can't do this safely.

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