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Thread: Budget

  1. Default Budget

    We are a Danish couple, considering a roadtrip from the east-west coast.
    The problem is, we dont know how much it is going to cost? We are planning to stay in 3 months, living on low-budget motels and eating cheap.

    Of cause, we are planning to see attractions on the way.
    Hope anybody has an idea of a good budget.

    Greets Alice

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default its never that simple

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Planning a roadtrip really is never as simple as listing out a one size fits all budget or list of attractions, and that's even more true when you've got a trip that is a major as a 3 month cross country trip.

    The biggest factor really will be car rental, as that will be a major cost and with the length and a one way drop fee, the prices you could see could vary rather substantially.

    Low cost motels will generally run you $50-60 a night, although you'll certainly pay more in major cities. Food is a bit more difficult, as "eating cheap" can mean a lot of different things, and if you are staying in motels, its going to be fairly difficult to cook your own means (and I'm sure you're not going to want to eat sandwiches and microwave meals for 3 months straight.). On the low end, I'd be figuring $30 a day for food for the 2 of you.

    Otherwise, your big expenses will be fuel (and dont forget over 3 months, a significant amount of your driving will be in town, not just your point to point cities), attractions, and other misc. spending for things like day to day items you'll need to pick up along the way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Varies by person

    A low-end starting point, without considering the rental car costs, would be $100 per day. This would put you at $9000. Add in the one-way rental and you're looking at a pretty significant budget to get going on this trip.

    Is the one-way trip imperative, or can you do a round trip? With three months, you'd have plenty of time to fit in two crossings of the United States.

  4. Default RV Rental?

    I'm not sure if this is feasible, but you might want to check out renting an RV.

    It seems that Cruise America often has 1/2 price specials or other deals for extended rentals. Currently, they are offering 1/2 price, up to 90 days, for rentals from Florida. You must return the unit to the same location.

    I've rented from them with no problem. Others have had issues. Each experience is different. My trip was from Phoenix to Seattle with their standard size motorhome. I averaged 8-10 mpg, depending if I was driving in the mountains and at what speed. Driving a 25 foot motorhome was similar to driving my Honda Odyssey van, except that I felt unsafe exceeding 60mph.

    They also offer a smaller motorhome at a slightly HIGHER cost. I believe it is diesel. If so, the much improved mileage would be worth it.

    A motorhome eliminates the cost of a hotel and car, but this is offset by fuel and campground fees. There are a lot of nice campgrounds for under $25 per night, although I've paid $100 in the Florida Keys.

    Another advantage of a motorhome is that you can save money on meals if desired. Even if money were not a factor, I found the convenience of not having to search all over for a restaurant in the middle of nowhere to be priceless.

    Again, I'm not sure how feasible this is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default There are advantages of RV's....

    There are many, many advantages of RV's.... for roadtrippin' but saving money is not one of them. The cost of a car rental + car camping + motels will always be less than the cost of a similar holiday in a RV, UNLESS THE RV IS PARKED most of the time. The advantage of a RV is that the cleanliness of bathrooms and showers is entirely up to to the traveler. Food expense and quality is often better since one can shop at grocery stores and RV's offer more flexibility in terms of places to stop for lunch or a nap. Some RV camping options are pretty great too. But, in general, the total cost of a RV holiday versus a car rental holiday is about 25% to 30% higher.


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