Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. Default 48 state road trip advice

    Hello! I'm graduating college this spring and am on my way to medical school next fall. I'm starting to get the travel bug and would love to do a trip through the continental US. I have 2-3 months of free time. First, is that enough time? I want to experience some of the uniqueness of all of the states, but I don't have to experience everything. Also, I would love some suggestions of things to see! I don't have a lot of specifics of places to go yet, except I want to take California State Highway 1 down the California coast, I want to go to Seattle, Sedona, AZ, Seattle, colonial Williamsburg, and the Florida Keys (I would potentially be interested in traveling Route 66 for a little ways, but I know some parts are more interesting than others). I like the outdoors/hiking (especially if there are rivers/mountains) religion (no particular denominations just spirituality in general), and history, as well as unique off-the-beaten-path ideas. I am on a pretty limited budget as a recent college grad, so anything free/cheap is always appreciated. I plan on mostly staying in hostels/with friends and family, I've considered CouchSurfing.org, but because I'm a young woman most likely traveling alone, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that or camping. Thanks for any input!
    Last edited by rachel_d; 02-21-2014 at 05:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Solo road trippers are mostly women

    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! 2-3 months is ample to see parts of the USA -- But it's very tough road trip on a budget when the trip goes much longer than 10 days. So, how much money -- realistically -- will you have for this adventure? Congratulations on your pending graduation!

    US Highway 101 doesn't actually travel down the coast in California -- I believe you might have been thinking of California State Highway 1?

    The vast majority of solo road trippers in the USA are women -- Most men seem uncomfortable with the concept. Here are some tips about planning and executing solo road trips.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    I think you mean CA-1 down the coast (Pacific Coast Highway), not 101?

    Where would you be leaving from, how much *IS* your budget, and what gas mileage does your car get?

  4. Default

    Thank you both! Yes, sorry for the error, I meant California State Highway 1. I have about $5000 currently saved up that I could use, but the cheaper the better obviously (ideally I'll put whatever is left in savings and let it collect interest while I'm in school), and my car gets about 24 mpg on the highway. I'll be leaving from southwestern Ohio.
    Last edited by rachel_d; 02-21-2014 at 05:56 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Fastest was 10 days...

    Planning a 48-state road trip is a topic of some frequency here on this forum. Here are some threads where this has been discussed and you might find the discussion useful as you begin to plan this adventure...

    Originally planned in 2011...

    A 48-state trip completed by long-time member Rollin (with map and photos)

    Joey (Kinless) did a 48-state trip in 30 days in 2005 (This goes to his personal site)

    Another long-time member, 'Sykotyk' did a 48-state trip in 16 days (10,473 Miles,)

    But our favorite example of a 48-state trip was this one completed by Brian Ardinger and Chris Moeller in the Quest-4 campaign of 1998 -- here is their route.

    I've road tripped to all 48 states -- more than once -- but I could easily spend 2 to 3 months in each state and still only have sufficient time to see 10-15% of what that state offers to road trippers.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Now... We need to know your goals!

    Quote Originally Posted by rachel_d View Post
    I have about $5000 currently saved up that I could use, but the cheaper the better obviously (ideally I'll put whatever is left in savings and let it collect interest while I'm in school), and my car gets about 24 mpg on the highway. I'll be leaving from southwestern Ohio.
    It is my imagination or did the saved amount just drop $1000? OK, the next phase of this planning process is for you to decide what primary goal do you have for this adventure?

    To see as much of the natural countryside as possible? To explore cultural events and places? To drive as many miles as possible? To do it as cheaply as possible? To visit the places you've always dreamed about (which ones are they)?

    If your budget is $5000 and you had 90 days on the road, it would be VERY challenging to accomplish unless you didn't drive very much.

    If you use the RTA Fuel Cost Calculator and assume that you'll drive at least 11,000 miles (bare minimum for a 48 state road trip) and that gas costs at least $4.50 this summer....
    Your 11000.0 mile (17702.3 km) road trip will cost you about 2062.50 in fuel, based on an efficiency of 24.00 miles per gallon and a total fuel volume of 458.33 gallons. (Your fuel cost per mile will be about 0.19.)
    And even staying in hostels and eating frugally, your lodging and eating costs will run at least $2300 per month, so your budget of $5,000 will only last about six weeks.

    You might find it far more fun, if you limited your travels to the a specific region and thereby limited your driving miles, so you could really enjoy the places you were visiting.

    So... what are your goals for this adventure?

    Mark

  7. Default

    I'm most interested in cultural events/places, I'm not very invested in the mileage. I'm mostly using this trip to get away, get some new experiences, and really spend some time thinking. The regions I most want to explore are the West Coast and New England. The somewhat separated places I'm interested in are Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, and New Orleans I've also considered circling the US and sticking to the most outer states, and skipping the areas like Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah, etc. I'm not that invested in the 48 state trip if it's unreasonable/is going to make the trip less enjoyable, it just seemed like a fun goal. Thanks for all of your help!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    48 states and 90 days on $5000 is not a realistic goal. You need more money or a shorter trip in both mileage and time. You need at least $100 a day.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Can be done much more cheaply.

    Quote Originally Posted by rachel_d View Post
    I plan on mostly staying in hostels/with friends and family, I've considered CouchSurfing.org, but because I'm a young woman most likely traveling alone, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that or camping.
    As already mentioned, the majority of solo travellers are female, myself included, albeit at the other end of the age range. Even when staying at hotels/motels, my accommodation average has never exceeded $50, mostly much less.

    Hostels are great, though they vary greatly. Some are excellent. Others leave a lot to be desired. This is probably the most comprehensive and reliable hostel site. To save some money when booking, be sure to contact the hostel direct. Most hostels will give a discount, as they will not have to pay the booking agency. (The last time I booked a place in Denver the discount was something in excess of 20%, compared with what the booking site would have charged.)

    Couchsurfing is perfectly safe, in fact, often I would feel safer than in a hotel. But make sure you reward your host in some way. This could take any form, a small souvenir from home, a box of chocolates or bunch of flowers, cleaning the bathroom, cooking a meal or washing the dishes. Whatever. It is just nice to show your appreciation. I like to take my host out for a meal.

    If you were to join now, get verified and build a history of references, you would not have much difficulty in finding hosts. Even though you may not be in a position to host at the moment, attend Couchsurfing functions when these are in your area, and ask members whom you meet, if they would exchange references. Tell them you are new, and trying to build up a profile.

    There is lots more you can do to make it safe, interesting and rewarding. Go onto the site and check out the forums. Any questions, I'd be happy to answer. I would love to see a fellow traveller enjoy this service.

    Lifey

  10. Default

    After some consideration that I may want some down time before starting medical school (hopefully a couple of weeks sitting at home will get me well-rested enough to start a new journey), and the fact that I need to stay on budget, I have created a plan where I drive to the West Coast from Ohio, down the coast, and then through the South to Florida, then back up. It's just about two months, though as stated previously, that is flexible. I included whether I know someone in the area or not, or if I found a hostel. Here is my idea itinerary. I included the days of travel; I know some days don't have a lot of driving, but I like to get out and explore roadside attractions when there are some, as well as I want to make sure I have ample time to get where I want to go. I want this to be a relatively easy trip, in that I don't feel like I'm rushing place to place. Road trip extroardinaires, I would love some feedback!
    Day 1 Cincinnati:WL
    STAY: friends
    Day 2 Winona Lake:Chicago
    STAY:friends
    Day 3-4 Chicago
    STAY: friends
    Day 5 Chicago:Cedar Rapids
    STAY: friends
    Day 6 Cedar Rapids:Lincoln
    STAY: friends
    Day 7 Lincoln:Lead, SD
    STAY: hostel
    Day 8 Lead, SD
    STAY: hostel
    Day 9 Lead, SD:Yellowstone
    STAY: ?
    Day 10 Yellowstone
    STAY: ?
    Day 11 Yellowstone:Boise
    STAY: friends
    Day 12-13 Boise
    STAY: friends
    Day 14 Boise-Seattle
    STAY: hostel
    Day 15-17 Seattle
    STAY: hostel
    Day 18 Seattle:Eugene
    STAY: friends
    Day 19 Eugene
    STAY: friends
    Day 20 Eugene:Arcata
    STAY: hostel
    Day 21 Arcata:Sonoma
    STAY: ?
    Day 22 day in Sonoma, Sonoma:SF
    STAY: hostel
    Day 23-25 San Francisco
    STAY: hostel
    Day 26 San Francisco:Monterey
    STAY: hostel
    Day 27 Monterey:LA
    STAY: friends
    Day 28-29 Los Angeles
    STAY: friends
    Day 30 LA:Flagstaff
    STAY: hostel
    Day 31 Flagstaff
    STAY: hostel
    Day 32 Flagstaff:Four Corners
    STAY: ?
    Day 33 Four Corners:Santa Fe
    STAY: hostel
    Day 34 Santa Fe:Carlsbad, NM
    STAY: ?
    Day 35 Carlsbad, NM
    STAY: ?
    Day 36 Carlsbad:Houston
    STAY: Hostel
    Day 37 Houston:New Orleans
    STAY: Hostel
    Day 38-40 New Orleans
    STAY: Hostel
    Day 41 New Orleans:Orlando
    STAY: friends
    Day 42-48 Florida
    Day 49 Florida:Atlanta
    STAY: friends
    Day 50-51 Atlanta
    STAY: friends
    Day 52 Atlanta:Cincinnati

    Do you see any areas around these places that I should make an extra stop? Are there any routes that you think would be best/most scenic or any places I should stop on the way between destinations? And do you think this is a more reasonable time frame/route? I used roadtrippers.com to plan out a route and it estimated I would be driving a total of 10,071 miles, which put my gas prices at $1521, but just to be safe, since I may be taking detours, I'll plan on a total of $2000 for gas. Most of the hostels I've seen are in the $25-35/night region. However, not everywhere I'm staying seems to have hostels.

    Two specific questions: 1. Do you think I should make a stop in Portland? 2. Do you think I should stay in Houston for an extra day? Or would San Antonio be a better place to stay?
    Last edited by rachel_d; 02-22-2014 at 12:46 AM.

Similar Threads

  1. All 48 state road trip
    By Goangelago in forum Off the Beaten Path
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-28-2010, 08:35 PM
  2. 50 State Road Trip
    By lovenluck in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-27-2010, 03:07 PM
  3. RV Road trip to every state
    By cory in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 08-09-2009, 03:27 PM
  4. Part of 50 state Road Trip!
    By jerseyprincess in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 05-30-2007, 09:32 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES