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  1. Default Trying to plan road trip from NE to west coast and back.

    My boyfriend and I are looking to move to the west coast, but decided we cannot blindly do so and are now trying to take a road trip out there and back first. We would go in the spring time, I think. our goal is to over estimate everything, be as simple as possible during the actual trip, and hopefully not use most of the money we set aside. We decided on the time frame of a month, since once we get out to the west coast we will need time to explore and get a feel for where we may want to settle down. Food, we completely over estimated at 30 a day (15 each) but plan to bring a grill and eat sandwiches and soup and cheap grocery store food 90% of the time. Ends up being 900 for a month of that. Sleep, we plan 100 a day worst case, but will bring things to camp with and hopefully will not even spend half of that, we love camping and will whenever we get a chance. That comes to 3000. fuel cost calculators told me a little over a thousand for there and back, we are driving an acura 3.0cl. we also planned to set aside like an extra thousand emergency money. I am looking for any advice at all. We are 19 and have never attempted a road trip, so I may be completely off and not even know it, I need help please! All appreciated! anything that could help, things we have planned completely wrong, maybe something I didn't even think of. With a month and like six thousand, could we have a good trip there and back with time to explore the west coast a little?

  2. Default

    thing I was most worried about... the acura is great and reliable, but has 200,000 miles on it...can a car with so many miles even stand a trip like that??

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default looking good

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you've got an excellent budget that should leave you a nice amount of cushion. Don't forget that you will need some money for entertainment and misc expenses that come up along the way, but you should be able to sleep for well under $100 a night most of the time, especially if you are camping.

    A car with 200,000 miles can certainly be worthy of a roadtrip, if it has been well cared for. My roadtrip vehicle has 240,000 on it. However, when driving a car with that many miles, it is more important to have a very good inspection to find things before you are on the road. It is also important to have an extra large emergency fund (and/or a credit card) just in case you have a major breakdown along the way.

  4. Default

    thank you! we are over estimating so that hopefully we will end up with some extra spending money. though, we plan to walk around towns/cities, and natural areas along the way, versus go to the usual attractions. we are doing this to decide where to live, so were not much interested in tourist type things, you know? we just want to get a feel of different areas to live in, will that cost much money?
    my car belonged to some doctor and all maintenance was recorded and left with the car, I believe it is in great shape. that is awesome to know it could be okay, thank you. like I said we blindly guessed that a grand would be good for emergency, should we set aside more or is that okay?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I'd have more available, again, even if it is something as simple as having credit available.

    If you have a major repair, it is quite possible that you'd go well past the $1000 mark for a major repair. Unfortuantly, if you do have a major problem, the lack of knowing the area and having a timetable to get back home can make fixes cost more than they otherwise would.

    I'd also recommend having either AAA or some other form of Roadside Coverage to help pay for a tow should you need one.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    my car belonged to some doctor and all maintenance was recorded and left with the car, I believe it is in great shape.
    A book full of maintenance bills doesn't always mean that the car is in great shape. Have you kept the maintenance up ? I am not saying it won't make it there, it most likely will. What I am suggesting is that you take it to a competent mechanic, let them know your plans and ask them to check it out. The basics such as checking or changing the oil, coolant, filters, wiper blades, screenwash is basic service stuff, but you also want to check the condition of belts. brake pads and discs, tyres and so on. It's easier to do it prior to leaving then it is to discover potential problems on the road. Make sure you have some basic tools and a jack, and that your spare tyre is in good shape and properly inflated.

    As Michael mentioned, get some Roadside assistance coverage as well for peace of mind.

    There is a lot to see and do on the way so take a good look around RTA where you will find Lots of info and suggestions. If you plan on camping in and/or visiting a number of National parks you can get an annual admission pass to every park for $80, that will not include camping fees.

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    midwest michael-i suppose I'll have my bank account available with all of my savings which I would rather not go into but I guess if I am stuck screwed in some random state, I will at least be okay. Also, I do have AAA!
    southwest dave-all I meant by that was it will be easier to look into how it has been taken care of. I just recently bought it like half a year ago. but of course I will get it thoroughly inspected before I try to take it across the country. I was just wondering if it was even possible for an old car. I am very interested in camping in national parks. wondering, what do you mean by camping fees not included? how would this pass help me since camping is what I want to do? I just know nothing about how that all works or what different fees you end up paying.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    how would this pass help me since camping is what I want to do? I just know nothing about how that all works or what different fees you end up paying
    There is a fee payable to enter most National parks as a visitor, 4 major parks such as Grand canyon, Arches, Bryce and Zion for example, will add up to more than the $80 pass that will let you visit as many parks as you want, as many times as you want, within a year of purchase. If you 'just want to camp' you would still have to pay to enter the park, with campground fees payable at an extra cost of around $10 to $18 per night.

  9. Default

    Thank you! Are there many that you can camp in? like, how worth it would it be for me to get this pass? would I be able to use it often or only a few nights out of the month?

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

    Default

    You can camp in most [if not all] of the National parks. This will of course depend on availability as they do get booked out, more often in the peak season than not. You can't just roll up and put your tent up anywhere you please, there are campgrounds/designated areas that are subject to fees. You have to do the maths to 'how worth it' the pass is to you but like I said, anything over 4 major parks will save you money.

    You can use the pass every day of the year as many times as you like, in as many parks as you like. If you were to visit 10 NP's it would cost in excess of $200 in most cases.

    You can get info on every NP park here at the nps site, from entry fees to campgrounds and much more.

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