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  1. Default Dallas, Chicago, Yellowstone, Seattle, Portland, SF, Yosemite, LA, Vegas,Grand Canyon

    Hey everyone,

    I am planning to do over a month long road trip, starting from Dallas to Chicago and visiting my friend there, then heading to Mt. Rushmore and than Yellowstone. After a 3 day stay in Yellowstone I would head to Seattle for 3 days than down to Oregon and San Francisco over to Vegas and than home.

    I was wondering if anyone had any suggestion or advice of things to see, or budget suggestions. I am budgeting around $2500 - 3000 dollars. Let me know your thoughts

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Variables.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    A list of things to see and do over such a large area would be endless, so I would start by looking around the forums and road trip planning pages in the toolbars above and work on your routes, along with places that catch your interests between your major destinations. Once you have some more dots on the map and specific questions crop up I am sure we can help fill in the gaps.

    Your budget will much depend on your travel style, hotels, Motels or camping, eating out of a cooler or using restaurants, whether you have your own vehicle or are renting, how many mpg and so on. Working with the varying factors should give you a good idea, but a $100 a day should be OK to get by on and have a little fun. Check out the Map centre where you can create routes and check out attractions.

    Enjoy the planning and as questions come up be sure to ask.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I'd say you will have to be very frugal with your budget.

    You're going to spend at least $1000 of your budget on fuel, so that's only going to leave you around $60 a day total left to live on.

    That's going to be enough to get by very cheaply - camping, and cooking your own meals, and limiting your entertainment expenses. However, if you want to stay in motels and eat many meals at restaurants, then you'll have a tough time making ends meet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    When I budget, I first figure out how many miles we're traveling just between places, and then add a lot for touring. Divide that by the number of miles your car gets per gallon on the highway (estimate LOW end), and multiply the number of gallons by what you expect to pay for gas. (For July, we are estimating $5/gallon for premium unleaded.) Then I add a few more for oil, etc. Fuel is the biggest expense.

    For hotels - expect anywhere from $40 to $150/night, depending on the type of motel you like and/or can afford.

    Food - we always estimate $60/day for the two of us, two meals out in restaurants.(The third is our "cooler meal" and snacks.)

    Add dollars for admissions to the National Parks, museums, and any place else you'll want.

    So your budget is one thing you should really take a look at.


  5. Default

    Thanks for all the advice! I am going to buy a National Parks Year Pass for $80, and in Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco, I will be staying with friends and family so that should help the budget.

    I plan on being in the National Parks during the weekdays and city during the weekends, do you suggest I make any reservations or that getting a camp site is going to be a problems?

    Finally, does anyone have any good books that give good restaurants to go to or places to see, but that arent to "cluttered" if you know what I mean?


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Popular National park campgrounds get full up real quick in the summer months and the real popular ones will already be sold out. They do have 'First come-First served sites that can't be booked in advance but plan on arriving early to find one. If not you will find various campgrounds around the National parks and State parks.

    I don't know of any good foodie books in particular but I would recommend talking to the Locals and ask where they eat. I find that it's normally a much better experience than one you can find in a guide book. Plus the Locals have the 'up to the minute' detail, a good restaurant a little while back could now be awful and vice versa due to changing ownership, management, even the chef !

  7. Default

    I plan on being in the National Parks during the weekdays and city during the weekends, do you suggest I make any reservations or that getting a camp site is going to be a problems?
    I would make reservations in Yellowstone and Yosemite if you know your dates. Yosemite Valley will be booked up solid, but you would be surprised how many sites open up daily so keep checking! I don't know if Yellowstone will be booked up yet, but unless you can get to a first come, first serve campsite very early in the day in the summer, you won't be able to get a campsite and this park is HUGH you don't want to have to worry about driving a couple of hours to find a spot outside the park.


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