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  1. #1

    Default Help with costings

    Me and my partner want to fulfill a dream and travel round america! Although looking online at other forums has scared me quite a bit due to costings etc.

    We are looking at a 5 month trip (i know we need to get a visa) to the following
    Seattle
    San Francisco
    LA
    Vegas
    San dieago
    Miami
    Washington
    New york
    Chicago

    We will be spending appx 4 nights in each place and around 3 nights in stop off points eg jacksonville along the way.

    Its an appx 6680 mile journey with no detours so iv looked at petrol for appx 8000 miles at 31mpg to cost around £1,200

    Now im stuck

    Food was thinking of buying at supermarkets and maybe hitting a diner or restaurant once a week

    Please bear in mind that we dont want to be staying in hotels camping is our number one choice with a motel once a week so advice on camping laws would be great

    Im thinking for us both everything in we are looking at around 21,600 gbp

    Was looking at spending 5months in total in america!

    Oh and obvs need spending money to do stuff.
    Hope this makes sense!
    Lucy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Welcome!

    What are you going to use for transportation?

    Note that camping usually is not a good option in cities.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    21,600 gbp works out to roughtly US$35,000.

    That's $7,000 a month or about $230 a day. That's a budget that's quite healthy, even factoring in a high price for a rental car and spending most every night in a motel. If you can't have a very nice trip on that budget, then you are really spending cash!

    Having said that, I do agree, if the focus of your trip is going to be cities, then camping can be tough and if you're not camping, its a bit more of a challenge to avoid restaurants. A car that gets 31 mpg is also probably going to be a pretty small one, and may not be comfortable for such a long trip, especially if you need to bring camping gear.

    And of course, transportation will be the tricky part, as a car rental will be expensive for such a long trip, and buying a car is very difficult for non-residents.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Round Numbers

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Actually, your estimate for petrol ("gas" on this side of the Atlantic) is a bit high where it is relatively cheap. If you're estimates for total miles and mpg are relatively accurate, then you would be looking at something like $900 = £560. For my own planning purposes, here are some numbers I use. Car rental: $250/week (more if you're under 25 years of age, or if you're both going to drive and aren't spouses). General 'living' expenses: $150/day/couple for food, lodging, and minor entry fees. Note that I eat fairly well and generally stay at mid-level motels. By camping you can probably save $30-50 a night and by buying your food at supermarkets, you can save around another $20 or so, bringing your per day cost for two to maybe $75 or so. But remember travel is not inherently cheap, You still have to live and you're clearly going to have to sped more than you do to live at home. And remember, camping really isn't an option for multiple days in major cities. Using the above figures (assuming the camping option for four months and one month in motels), you're looking at a total cost for two for five months of somewhere in the neighborhood of $18,000 or £12,000. But remember, that's just a rough estimate, assuming a rather frugal travel style.

    AZBuck

  5. #5

    Default

    Hi everyone
    Thanks for all the comments heres me thinking id get messages saying i was living in a dream world!!

    Ok looking into it you guys are right about camping in bigger cities but my 18 mini stops are more suitable for camping.

    Glad i can look at a smaller budget as that budget would of taken a good 3 years to get to! So can i ask including car rental, gas, motels for bigger stops and camping or truck stops for the smaller ones, food, living how much do you reckon i will need for a comfortable 5month stay in america.

    Cheers x

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Comfortable living.

    Your budget seems pretty healthy to me ! Doing a full loop of the country will prevent the dreaded one way drop off fee associated with one way rentals and with your 'wish list' of places to visit above, won't add many miles. Flying into the east coast [NY] would also mean cheaper airfares then if you were to fly out to the west coast to start your trip. [It would also be quicker, those last few hours on the plane can be tedious !] If you were to spend a few days in NY you would not need to rent the vehicle until you depart and you could consider renting a small apartment with facilities to cook.

    If you are planning on spending time in the National parks and other areas of outstanding natural beauty [I hope so, they are remarkable !] then tent camping could be an option and save you some money, even if you were to buy basic equipment and donate it to an organisation/charity at the end. You might want to decide which way around you travel depending on when you start and finish your trip, summer can come late to high elevations in the North [think Rockies] and get too hot in the desert south during the summer.

    We found that 'living off the dollar' in the US was similar to living 'off the pound' in the UK, other than fuel which is so much cheaper. In other words a £60 room here would be $60 there, a £40 meal, $40 and so on. The good thing is that with the exchange rate it makes things more favourable for us Brits because that $40 meal is only costing us a little over £25 at the present rate. [We also found the food to be nicer, the rooms bigger and service better, generally speaking !]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default 'Bucks' advice.

    I see you replied while I was typing.

    Thanks for all the comments heres me thinking id get messages saying i was living in a dream world!!
    That's the beauty of arranging your own trip to suit your own needs rather than going through a tour operator who are more interested in profit. [Finding RTA was a massive help on our first ever trip]

    living how much do you reckon i will need for a comfortable 5month stay in america.
    I don't think you will go far wrong with Bucks comment above. [A reminder]

    you're looking at a total cost for two for five months of somewhere in the neighborhood of $18,000 or £12,000. But remember, that's just a rough estimate, assuming a rather frugal travel style.
    You would need to add the costs of flights but it should give you a good idea of where to start.

    You will find a lot of info searching the forums and road trip planning pages in the tool bars above. You will routes, atrractions, map planning plus more in the tool bars. You can get an idea of car and Hotel costs using the RTA link to the right of this page and you will find lots of ideas and tips around the forums, with links to other members trips in the 'Field reports'.

    As you move forward with your planning keep asking questiuons and we will be able to help you to get the best from the great adventure ! [Best work on those Visas though]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    I don't think you will be allowed to keep the same rental car for 5 months - plan on finding a local agency and swapping it off once a month. This is something you need to actually ask the company. Rent only from one of the national chains, even if you are planning a "loop" trip.

  9. #9

    Default Help with my route

    Hi Everyone

    Hope iv posted right wasnt quite sure so clicked a load of buttons and ended up here.

    Im desperatly trying to connect my dots in my road trip to america with my partner we have certain cities we want to visit and certain thing we want to see but was hoping you guys could point us in the right direction.

    In total i have 10 big places where im hoping to stay 4 nights
    10 big places are:
    Seattle, San Fransisco, LA, Las Vegas, San Dieago, Texas, Orlando, Miami, New York and then end in Chicago.
    Smaller stops are essential to have 2 nights at each place im looking at my time limit of 2 nights at 20 smaller stops

    I know need help to connect the dots in the best way seeing as much as I can. We want a mixture of long open roads, beaches and natural beauty

    Im looking at the moment at a straight foward route of 6,517miles and am going to limit it to about 8500 miles which gives us a chance to go off and explore as well as if we get lost!

    Any help would be great!

    Lucy x

    Mod Edit: Please, keep all posts about your trip in one thread!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    9

    Default

    When I travelled around the US with my family for 7 weeks I bought an electric fry pan and steamer which we used in our hotel room to cook cheap healthy meals in the evenings.
    I have to agree that the hotels are cheaper, bigger rooms and better service than in the UK. I will have to disagree about the food being nicer though, lol. We saved a lot of money in the US by booking through hotwire. We stayed in quite a few 4 star hotels for $65 per room per night. There is a forum called better bidding that helps you to work out which hotel you are getting.

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