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  1. Default Travel newbie tripping from Los Angeles to New Orleans & back

    Hi guys! I'm totally new to this so excuse my naiveté please.

    I'm a junior in college & I aspire to go to law school once I graduate. I am well aware that my life will be over once I start law school so I want to see a bit of America before that happens, either this summer or next.

    I love the south so I have started planning a trip from Los Angeles to New Orleans. Here is a rough map of the major cities I want to travel through:

    Here's a list of the route:
    1. Los Angeles, CA
    2. Phoenix, AZ
    3. Carlsbad, NM
    4. San Antonio, TX
    5. Austin, TX
    6. Houston, TX
    7. New Orleans, LA
    8. Dallas, TX
    9. Albuquerque, NM
    10. Las Vegas, NV
    11. Los Angeles, CA

    I am expecting this to take about 35 days. I will be going with one other person most likely, my best friend. I am planning on staying with friends from college for some of the trip, though I may spend most nights in hotels/hostels/motels. I am aware this is going to be damn expensive which is why I'm starting to save up now, a year & a half in advance.

    Anyway, what tips do you have for a new traveler? Renting a car vs. bringing my own? Ways to save money? Must-sees, must-dos? Is this a good route? Where do I even start?

    Also, advice on this rough budget? Does it look reasonable for a 35 day trip?

    COST PER PERSON $3260 (2 people total)
    • Gas $300
    • Activities $400
    • Breakfast $250
    • Lunch $275
    • Dinner $450
    • Drinks $150
    • Hotel $1250
    • Miscellaneous $175

    I did this estimating that I eat lunch & dinner from a packed icebox 10 out of the 35 days. So breakfast & lunch will cost ~$5-10 a day for 25 days. Estimated gas with to be about $600. Hotels I have picked out are around $80/night.

    Thanks so much everyone!

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


    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I am well aware that my life will be over once I start law school so I want to see a bit of America before that happens
    Oh to be young again ! lol Life has barely begun, trust me.

    Transport. If you have [or will have] your own reliable vehicle then it seems a waste of good money renting one.

    Saving money. Start to live a more frugal lifestyle which will also help you on the road. You will be surprised how a couple of dollars saved here and there can soon start to add up. You have a goal, so use it as inspiration to save.

    We don't really do must sees as this depends on the interests of the individual and is what makes the roadtrip unique to all.

    Is it a good route ? Thats for you to decide based upon those very interests. At the moment I see a list of citys that would not be my priority. There will be many route options between each one with Lots more attractions, scenic drives and wonders of nature, historical sites in between.

    Start by getting a good wall map of the USA and start searching around the RTA forums and roadtrip planning pages above looking for you own 'must see's.' Once you have some pins in the map you can begin to find best ways to join them up and fill the gaps. You have plenty of time and planning is half the fun, it also keeps the flame burning to make your trip happen.

    Budget will depend on a lot of things, like how many nights you will end up in a hotel, how many activities you wish to do which could be a weak point at the moment. Money on the road always go quicker than it will at home ! I also note that a vehicle has not been included in your costs, if you already own one you should expect to pay for at least a service and check before hitting the road and have an emergency fund put by for unexpected repairs while on the road.

    As and when new questions come up, just ask !

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