Hey everyone! I am a 16 year old girl planning on going on a cross country road trip with my best friend for a few weeks/a month during the summer of 2016 (After we graduate). At the time of the trip, I will be 17 years old and he will be freshly 18. We plan on starting just outside of Cincinnati OH and driving westward to San Diego, California, stopping many times along the way for attractions and some major cities and the like then driving back a slightly different route through the southern states and up through New York then back to Ohio. I am roughly estimating with google maps and other resources to be about 14,000 miles
To save on costs we plan on sleeping in the car we will be using (A Ford Explorer from the 2000's with the back seats taken out and a mattress in it's place). Once back on the east coast/NYC, we may make other arrangements for lodging.
I am severely under-experienced when it comes to taking these trips alone. The folks are alright with us going as I have a lot of travel experience with the family, but I am at a loss for little advice like where it would be good to park and sleep, eat, and take care of ourselves; how much should we plan to save for this trip; and things that we'll need since this trip is the longest that I've been on.
We both have camping experience and have no problem using camping sites along the way. I also have a AAA premium membership and a YMCA membership at my disposal. Please help me fill in the details so that this trip may be well planned. Also I would love some tips about travelling since I will still be under 18 and we both are under 21 years old. Thanks a lot in advance!
I will list the advice that I've been given below and add onto it as I find more things so that many advice doesn't have to be repeated and you can easily see what I have already been told; This post may become a log for me so I can keep track of everything.
-Best places to sleep would be camping sites or truck stops. Most of the time they have places to shower/eat but camping sites cost money and truck stops may be a little noisy or unsafe. The next best thing may be parking lots of hospitals or 24 hour stores like Walmart but I should be wary of being arrested for trespassing.
-DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE COSTS AND HAVE PLENTY OF EXTRA MONEY. I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A PERFECT UNDERSTANDING OF HOW MUCH THIS MAY COST SO IF SOMEONE COULD HELP WITH THAT THAT WOULD BE AMAZING.