Hey guys, just seeking some advice regarding an 8000+ mile 21 day roadtrip I plan on taking in a few weeks. I won't post the specifics for safety reasons but my basic itinerary is: Detroit, MI area to Omaha zoo to Denver, CO to YNP to Crater Lake to Oregon Coast to Olympic National Park to Glacier National Park to Badlands National Park to Theodore Roosevelt National Park to Northern Minnesota to the UP to Sleeping Bear and back home. There's a ton of "fillers" in between to break up driving time but these are my main attractions!
I'm a 23yo female and will be going alone (yes I know I'm weird!) I have a 2013 Chevy Sonic with only 16,000 miles on it, but have tentatively booked a Hertz rental for 3 weeks, $630 (avoided the underaged drivers fee using my USAA membership). First, is a rental car my better option here or should I drive my own car instead?
I plan on camping in national parks and my car along the way and have purchased all the supplies needed in order to reduce costs eating and lodging. I hope to stay under $100/day for everything, including about half of that for gas (assuming at least 30mpg), and then food, lodging, and attractions/souvenirs. My goal is to stay below $3000 for the entire trip. Buying an $80 national park pass too. Attainable? Or nah?
As a solo traveler, and a female to boot, I am aware that extra precautions are in order. Firstly I plan on camping in family friendly campgrounds and will car camp or find a motel if I feel unsafe. I've purchased pepper spray, a whistle, and have several knives in my car and on my person at all times. I'm very vigilant and assertive when I need to be. I don't plan on telling anyone I'm alone and will be sending my family text alerts regarding where I'm at every day (if phone reception permits...). Taking someone else is not an option.
Finally, what do you guys think of my rough itinerary? I know it's alot of places but this is kind of a last hoorah before I start medical school so I want to make it count ;) Plus I like driving (especially scenic driving!). I'm currently an EMT and drive an hour each way every day commuting to work, and then drive at least half of my 6 hours shifts daily (so 5+ hrs a day driving is usual for me). Extending the trip is not an option, though I may be forced to cut out some places :(
Also if you have any quick stops you'd suggest along the way I'm all open ears! (or if anything I've posted is overrated let me know!) I know that some places (Glacier, YNP, etc.) I could spend a week or more in, but I'm not a backpacker atm and can zip through attractions more quickly solo while not taking away any of the enjoyment. If you can't tell already I tend to be a bit restless in my day to day life and am a wanderer at heart! ANY advice would be greatly appreciated! My family and friends all think I'm crazy but they just don't understand!