I have been scheming for the past couple days on going on a road trip next summer with some of my friends (all guys), and I just need some advice on how to make the trip as least expensive as possible, attractions along the way we should see, and possible camping grounds to sleep at that are either free or inexpensive. We are all going to be freshmen next year in college and the plan is to put aside some money each week in order to go towards the trip. Here is the trip that I have planned.
to (We have to drive through Nebraska uhhh...)
Littleton, CO: My Aunt has a place out there and would let us stay there for a few nights. While we're there I would like to visit Rocky Mountain National Park and maybe Boulder. I plan to stay there about 2 days from there we would leave
to (driving through a bit of Utah to check out Arches National Park and Four Corners Monument along the way.)
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ: I would like to stay there 2 days but the problem is we need to find a place to stay, so here is where the camp grounds/ inexpensive motel comes into play. Anyway we obviously are going to check out the Grand Canyon, but if you have any ideas as to places that we should check out along the way, I would appreciate it. We would leave there
to (Checking out the Hoover Dam on the way.)
Las Vegas, NV: Plan is to stay there a day, check out some stuff there. Probably would need to find a hotel. Leave there
(hopefully taking the Death Valley Route on the way) to
Los Angeles, CA: Stay there for around about a day and then leave there
San Diego, CA: My Aunt has a place out there and would be able to let us stay for about 7 days. Then from there we would finish at Ames, IA. (hopefully taking a different way back to mix it up a bit)
Trip would be about 4,200 miles and would take about 3 days to drive. So I'm thinking that we go for about 2 weeks(3 days driving, 2 days in CO, 2 days in AZ, 1 day in NV, and 7 days in CA.) (Max of 5 people)
Food: $20 a person each day. So $240 a person for 2 weeks.
Lodging: Unknown? Hoping that if at worst it would be around $100 or $20 a person. (Luckily we would have housing in some stops along the way.)
Gas: I did the gas calc. thing and it said it would be about $300 so split that among 5. $60 a person.
Souvenirs: $100 a person.
I'm thinking about maybe like $420 a person. (Please tell me if that's realistic.)
Again I need help on attraction along the way/places to eat, inexpensive places that we could stay in Utah/Arizona and Las Vegas area(totally down for camping)/ Would prefer to take scenic route, any suggestions there would be nice/ and any other thing i haven't thought of.
I would like all the advice you can give me, so just let me know. Thank you very much!