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  1. Default Road trip circle! Need advice!

    Hi everyone,
    I am new to this thread and I plan on taking a road trip next summer 2011 in a circle around Utah. I'm from Southern California and this is my first road trip, so any advice would be great. I plan on taking a few months off for this, but here is a rough draft of my stops:
    Starting from my home in Riverside, CA to Santa Barbara
    Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo
    San Luis Obispo to San Fransisco
    San Fransisco to Tahoe
    Tahoe to Reno
    Reno to Blackfoot
    Blackfoot to Yellowstone
    Yellowstone to Grant Teton
    Grand Teton to Rocky Mountains
    Rocky Mountains to Denver
    Denver to Colorado Springs
    Colorado Springs to Taos, NM
    Taos to Santa Fe, NM
    Santa Fe to Gila National Forest
    Gila National Forest to Sedona, AZ
    Sedona to the Grand Canyon
    Grand Canyon to Tempe
    Tempe to Joshua Tree
    Joshua tree to home, in Riverside.

    I would be taking the whole summer off for this trip so any advice/anecdotes/ideas would really help me out! Thanks!

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

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You've got a nice outline of great places to see, and with 3 months available for your trip that's a great amount of time to really dig into some of these areas.

    My only concerns would center around this being your first time trip. This is a very major undertaking for a first time trip and that does bring up the thoughts of how much you'll really like spending that much time away from home. The other big factor is the budget - a trip like this will take quite a large amount of money, so I'm curious how much you think you'll have saved away for funds.

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

    Default

    How can you take a trip like this and go around Utah? To me, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Capitol Reef, and Monument Valley are must-sees!

  4. Default

    Thanks for the reply guys!
    I have started saving already and hope to have about three grand saved up. Two or three of the spots I will be able to stay with friends, and a few of them just pitch up a tent and stay there, and the rest I hope to find hostels to make my stay cheaper. I'm not exactly sure if that's enough though, I'm having trouble figuring out an estimate of what that trip will come out to.
    I didn't really look into Utah, but now you are making me reconsider! I definitely will look into those places and see if I can fit them in because I'd like to see as much as I can, although I do have to be back in time for fall quarter to start at my school.
    Thanks again! Keep it coming!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Save, save and save some more !

    The longer you are on the road the further your budget is going to be stretched, so I would start cutting back [if possible] on every day "small treats" now and try and increase the budget. Every Dollar saved will slowly add up over the next year and could make a huge difference. If you are on the road for 3 month's and your budget works out to $250 a week [3 grand] it's gonna be tight. Camping or Hostels for 5 nights a week [depending on how long staying at friends houses] I would allow $100 a week. Depending on your vehicle [I presume you have your own road trip vehicle ?] I would allow $50 a week for gas which only leaves around $15 a day for food and everything else ! You could possibly camp for $70 a week but only adds $5 a day to your budget. You will need to get your vehicle checked and serviced before heading out and have an emergency fund for any breakdowns, which could be anything from a puncture to a water pump or more.

    You can save some money by purchasing the National parks annual pass for $80 but my advice would be to save, save, save !

    Any sacrifices now will be worth it, what a great trip !!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    $50 worth of gas doesn't get you very far!

    That budget is only $35 a day. I don't see how that's going to sustain you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Per week.

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    $50 worth of gas doesn't get you very far!
    Over a period of 12 weeks that is $600, I would estimate the OP's journey to be around 3500/3600 miles long. It's a ball park figure but at $3 a gallon and a return of 18mpg it comes back to $50 a week. Of course there is a significant risk of clocking up many more miles with just small detours.

    That budget is only $35 a day. I don't see how that's going to sustain you.
    Agreed.

  8. Default

    I failed to mention my sister is coming with me, and she is also planning to save the same amount. I was thinking we could pack some canned foods and such for the first few weeks to try and save money on food. This is extremely helpful!

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

    Default

    I'm used to putting $50 a day in my truck when I'm on the road - and that only gets me about 300 miles!

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

    Default Big difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaevaC View Post
    I failed to mention my sister is coming with me, and she is also planning to save the same amount. I was thinking we could pack some canned foods and such for the first few weeks to try and save money on food. This is extremely helpful!
    With 2 of you travelling and sharing gas and camping costs and a budget of $3000 each, it will make a huge difference.

    Posted by glc] I'm used to putting $50 a day in my truck when I'm on the road - and that only gets me about 300 miles!
    I think the point has got lost somewhere. The OP has to travel 300 miles a week over 12 weeks to roughly cover the mileage, and is not a trip that requires covering 300 miles and $50 a day.

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