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  1. Default 42-days cross-country round trip

    Hi, me and my girlfriend are planning a round trip around whole USA. We are from Europe and already got tickets and booked a car for total of 42 days, starting on manhattan. The dates are 18th august to 30th september.

    We plan on hitting following locations:
    Niagara Falls
    Badlands national park, mt. Rushmore
    Beartooth hwy on route to yellowstone
    Yellowstone NP
    Grand teton NP
    Salt lake city
    Capitol reef NP, boulder, escalante
    Bryce canyon
    Grand canyon north rim
    Las vegas
    Death valley
    Mono lake, yosemite NP
    San francisco
    Big Sur on CA-1
    LA, San Diego
    Joshua tree NP
    White sands in new mexico
    New orleans
    Tampa, Orlando, Miami
    Key west
    Washington D.C.
    Atlantic city

    This is our rough plan, which google maps estimates around 9000 miles gross driving distance. With some detours, sightseeing and city driving i expect it to be around 10000-10500 miles, which should be around 5 hours in the car per day. Do you think my assumptions are correct? And do you think we can enjoy that long trip in 42 days? We would like to take some time and spend a few days in california and florida, and we defenitely don't wanna be in rush on our way.

    We booked a standard size car from hertz, using their promotion relieving us from underage fee (since i am 23yrs old) for pretty solid price. We plan to stay at motel every 1 of 3 nights, rest camping. Our total budget for the trip (with tickets already bought) will be around 7000 dollar, 3500$ each.

    I know u guys are experienced roadtrippers, and i would greatly appreciate any comments and criticism of our plans. Especially i am worried about being too rushed and spending too much time in car, since we also want to enjoy beautiful american beaches, national parks and living cities. Note that this is not my first road trip in usa. Although i live in central europe, i spend last 2 summers working and travelling around this amazing country (first year Utah and then Hawaii) and i absolutely LOVED it. Its just that I've never done a trip this long before and want to make sure me ang my girlfriend will enjoy it without being too stressed from long driving and rushing things. Also if u have any tips what places we shouldnt miss on our route (especially east coast, where i haven't been), please post:-) Thanks so much fellow travellers:-)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Great Trip

    Hi and Welcome to the RTA Forums.

    You sure have a great trip ahead of you there. As for the route, and specific attractions, I will leave that up to others to comment on, and refine.

    With 10500 miles over 42 days, that comes to 21 full days travelling, or 50% of your time in the car. Not a bad mix for sightseeing.

    The budget could end up being a little tight. You might like to use the fuel calculator to get a good idea of just how much you will be paying there. I would also suggest that you check out the Saving Money on Your Trip forum to get more specific ideas on budgeting for the trip.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Doable.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    That's quite an amazing trip ! You seem to have a good grip on things and I don't think you are far out with your assumptions. It wouldn't surprise me to see your total mileage being more but allowing an average of 5 hours per day in the car allows for that. Without any major sightseeing we usually recommend 5-600 miles per day [9-10 hours] a good day on the road, comfortable but enough. If that suits your travel style your journey consists more or less of half and half driving and sight seeing. You just have to consider that for each of those 'few' days in Cali and Florida add up to the same number of 10 hour days on the road.

    You will find a lot of ideas and info searching the forums and checking out the planning resources in the tool bars above. As you are heading to Capitol Reef and along UT scenic 12 you might want to consider starting out from Moab which is home to Arches and Canyonlands NP. You might also want to consider a night in Zion NP on route to Vegas, it's wonderful !

  4. Default

    Thanks guys, u really helped!
    We will take some more cash reserves with us, but i hope we won't need more than 7000$ together.
    About Moab - that's a good point, I didn't realize that if we take route through Green River, we will actually get pretty close to Moab and we can then head back west on I-70 and down right on UT-24 to capitol reef. Or do you have any better possibility on mind? I dont really want to spend too much time driving around canyonlands and glen canyon since I've already been there (last time i took route from SLC through Moab to Monument Valley) so I would go there only because of my girlfriend who is first time in US.
    We will definitely go to Zion NP, i actually forgot to put it on the list because a couldn't wait to be in vegas:D

    Again, thanks for the comments and help!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    You're welcome.

    If you think of any other questions, just ask away.

    The Map centre is pretty cool, follow the instructions and you can click on the map to find all sorts of attractions between your main points of interest.

    Enjoy RTA !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Does that $7000 also have to include the car rental? if so, you probably don't have enough. A very rough figure for just gasoline would be about $2000. Campsites average $25 a night, and hotels about $75. Food for 2 will be about $40 a day.

  7. Default

    Purchase a National Park pass for $80 at the first National Park you enter to save you some money!

    Eating out can take a big chunk of the budget, so buy a cooler and try to buy from grocery stores instead of eating in restaurants.

    Happy Trails!


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