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  1. Default Wanting to take a roadtrip after graduation...

    I'm a high school student, just starting out my senior year and I've wanted on and off for a while to go on a road trip, either alone or with a good friend (who I already know who it would be).
    Mostly, I've gotten positive results. Everyone I've told about it has said that would be really cool and that I should do it. Even my mother, which is a huge surprise (I still think she's only saying this because she's pretty sure it's another phase that I'm going through). I've never even been out of the state alone, so I am a little bit nervous about the idea but I think it would be good for me.
    Mostly, I'm looking for advice on how much money I would need to save (especially since I probably won't be able to go right after graduating from High school due to some sort of funky things with my school that will have me graduating in December of next year and starting college in the spring. That way, I'll have a lot of time.).
    I want it to be an open-ended trip that spans at least 2 or 3 months...just sort of getting up in the morning, looking at a map and a collection of cool site-seeing places that I'm interested in, and deciding where I want to go. While I know that sounds sort of unreasonable for a first-time roadtripper, I think I'd get stressed or bored if I had to set an itinerary and stay in reserved motel rooms all the time.

    So, just any advice or thoughts on how to go about this would be great! Also, just encouragement. I've been known to think and even obsess about things for months, but then lose all interest. I do this a lot, but I really think this would be something I wouldn't regret.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Important Numbers

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are all kinds of rules-of-thumb that are handy for back of the envelope calculations when planning RoadTrips, but the most important number in your case is, I think, going to be 18. That's how old you'll need to be before you should really set out on your own. That's not an arbitrary number on my part. It's how old you must be before you can enter into legal contracts (including renting motel rooms) or authorizing your own medical care in case of illness or accident. If you and your possible companion both meet that criterion, then a couple of other numbers to keep in mind are roughly $100/150 per day for room and board (motels and meals) with the $100 covering one person and $150 covering two. You can get by on less if you camp and prepare your own meals, and of course there really is no upper limit to how much you can spend, but I've found those to be pretty good working numbers. Another is 500 miles per day for a really serious day of mostly driving with requisite food, fuel and bio breaks. Gas is in addition to your other costs and depends on how far you travel, what kind of mileage your vehicle gets, and the price of fuel at the time of your drive. Those numbers should let you get a pretty good grip on what you need for an extended RoadTrip and serve as a reality check for you.


  3. Default

    Okay, that alone helps a lot! I'm one of the people who can go to the store for a drink but take 5 dollars plus a card just because I'm paranoid about not having enough money, so having some sort of idea what to expect will give me a baseline to start at...and add a few thousand dollars to.
    I definitely don't plan to stay in a motel every night, so some camping/car sleeping will be involved. And we will both be 18 by the time we graduate, since I hit 18 in just a few months and she's only a half-year younger or so than me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    One thing I would strongly recommend is that you start traveling long before you embark on a major 2-3 month trip. Take at least a couple weekend trips to get a feel for what you like and don't like, what things you need and what things can stay at home, and of course if you are traveling with another person, what things you'll agree on while on the road and the areas that you will have some disagreements. Much like getting your feet wet in the shallow end before jumping off the high dive, short little fun trips where you travel a couple hundred miles and are gone for a couple days will really be invaluable towards having a good time on a major multi-month journey.

  5. Default

    Yeah, I've already started working on trying to figure out things like that to do.
    The friend I plan to take is really easy to spend days at a time with - she comes on vacation with my family a lot and we don't fight or anything. The only problem? We don't agree on music at all. xD So I think it's going to be a thing of whoever is driving gets to pick the music and shotgun just has to get over it.

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