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  1. Default Canadian Looking to Travel USA for 6 months

    Hello all! I am a Canadian citizen planning a 6 moth road trip with my boyfriend around the states. I was hoping to get some realistic budget suggestions from some experts so i know how much we would have to plan for. So far my research has lead me to approximately $20,000 for food, lodging and gas if we can do everything on a pretty tight budget? Also i am trying to make sure all of my bases are covered, such as travelers insurance, emergency car repair budget, and buying a special roaming phone for while we are traveling. Is there any other things i need to consider in out total budget so i can make sure we are saving enough to last us? Anything I have left out?
    Any help at all is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default These won't add much to your budget.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American roadtrip Forum.

    Two essentials for such an extended trip, in my estimation, is a roadside assistance package such as CAA - which is associated with AAA. I would get a premium membership, ... just in case.

    The other is good paper maps of all the States through which you will be travelling, or a good road atlas, such as Rand McNally. Maps are available free to members from CAA (and AAA once you are on the road). A road atlas is available from the 'shop' link on the green bar above. Do not be tempted to rely on your electronics alone. Good paper maps and the ability to read them should be your primary navigation tool. They are also extremely helpful while planning a trip.

    I also suggest you check out the RoadTrip Costs and Research Forum.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A couple more thoughts.

    If you are planning on visiting a number of National Parks then it will be budget friendly to buy an annual parks pass for $80. I know you have an 'emergency car budget' but you should get your car fully serviced and a thoroughly check over and if you are planning on covering a lot of miles, the same again part way through your trip. You will inevitably spend more during the day than when at home, entry fees to attractions, souveniers and the odd bargain here and there, eating 'out' more regular, parking charges and toll roads [depending on] these are all little things that can add up quickly over a long period if you are not careful. You can find lodgings where you can prepare your own meals and you could make some up in the morning to keep you going during the day while carrying a cooler.

    It might not be your 'thing', but have you considered buying some basic camping equipment and camp out at certain times ? For example; when you are near National parks and the food and lodging is expensive and the campgrounds are cheap. I would say that around $800 per week is comfortable enough though, although camping can be fun as well as cost effective.

  4. Default

    Thank you both for you quick responses! I appreciate the help for sure. I will definitely be getting a CAA membership and asking for their help with planing some routes, as well as getting some maps from them.

    Also I looked into the parks pass and thank you so much for the suggestion, I hadn't thought of that but it looks like it will pay for its self after just a few uses! And we love camping so will try to camp out for about half the trip to keep costs lower.

    The Tolls are an interesting point I had not thought of! We don't have toll roads up here so I am not really sure how they work? What is the general price range, and do all highways have them or is it possible to avoid them completely by taking different routs?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default No set charge.

    Most maps will show toll roads in a different colour. You can then check what other roads are along that route, and when in doubt there will be someone here who can help. Many on here are well known toll shunners. As to the cost, it varies in every State and on every road. There are even toll roads which do not have cash booth, where vehicles which do not have a transponder, are billed by a photo taken of the plate.

    You don't say where in Canada you are, but you might look into where the most convenient place is to cross the border. Some are always busy, others rarely have a queue.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You can start a thread in the appropriate forum (off the beaten path would probably be the most appropriate for a 6 month trip) and get routing suggestions.

    Maps will indicate toll roads, bridges, and tunnels (usually in green) and you can get the toll rates online - a search will usually point you to the appropriate authority. Almost all of them can be bypassed, but with varying degrees of inconvenience.

    I'd recommend you buy a Rand McNally Road Atlas.

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