So see America and spend time with friends and family. I have always dreamed of traveling way out west and seeing the country. I have a high school friend going to college in Phoenix, and family in Santa Rosa, CA. I'd like to spend a week with them each, while also stopping by some national parks along the way there and back home.
I live just south of Washington D.C. so I'll be taking I-40 out west most of the way. My round trip route can be found here. Keep in mind this is just a rough draft of my trip, i still have ~10 months of planning to do, which I'm sure will consist of adding more specific stops.
I plan on going to Phoenix first, spending a week there. Then head up to the grand canyon, Vegas, then spend a week in Santa Rosa. I only plan to stay in the grand canyon and Vegas 1 day each. Then I plan on going up to Yellowstone, and hitting Mount Rushmore on the way home. Those are my "Core" stops (if you want to call it that) but it is obvious i will be stopping more places for rest and other sightseeing.
I plan to drive from my home in MD to my friend's house in Phoenix in 4-5 days (4 being the goal, 5 if i happen to do a lot of sightseeing along the way). I plan on leaving around 4-5 A.M the first day, and driving until around 8 P.M. for a 16 hour day. I understand that is a lot, but it being the first day and my leaving early, i know i will have the energy to do it. The remaining 3-4 days i plan on 10 hour driving days. to help cut the cost, I would like to spend some of my nights camping in a tent rather than a motel. The first night after 16 Hours of driving I'm thinking a hotel room, but the other 2-3 nights I'm thinking camping. How viable is this, and will it be too hot to camp in TX and NM?
Considering my trip is ~10 months away (thinking about leaving in mid May), i have a good amount of time to save up money for this. I'm estimating ~$1000 for gas (thanks to my 30 mpg civic :)), $500-$750 for lodging along the way, (might even be less if i camp more than motel), and $500 for food/spending money. All in all i'm looking at $2000-$3000. Is this enough?
No Real time constraints as it will be in the summer and not during school. Although i am thinking 4-6 weeks (depending on sightseeing, and how long i stay at Phoenix and Santa Rosa).
- 4 to 6 week road trip around the country viable?
-Along my planned route, as seen here., what interesting things along the way, other than what i have planned, are there to see? I don't have too much a time constraint, so name them all!
- Where along my route should i stop to sleep each day? I would like to camp as much as possible, is it viable in the hotter parts of the country? I also plan to spend a night camping in the grand canyon, Yellowstone, and mt. Rushmore. Is this viable?
- Is $2000-$3000 enough money?
- Any other tips, advice, and criticisms are welcome! I want to make this trip as memorable as possible. For me, it's not about the destination, it's about the journey!