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  1. Default Road trip to Glacier from New Bern, NC

    Me and my friend are planning on going on a road trip from east coast to west coast and back in 24 days. Our plan and budget are below. We are wondering how realistic this plan is and if anyone has any tips or helpful adjustments for our plan. We are leaving from coastal NC.

    drive to Glacier NP (2436 miles / 4 days)
    drive to Glacier NP (2436 miles / 4 days)
    drive to Glacier NP (2436 miles / 4 days)
    drive to Glacier NP (2436 miles / 4 days)
    spend day at drive to Glacier NP
    spend day at drive to Glacier NP
    spend day at drive to Glacier NP
    Drive to Grand Teton NP and stop by Lewis and Clark Caverns SP (486 miles)
    spend day in Grand Teton NP
    spend day in Grand Teton NP
    drive and spend day at Yellowstone NP (50 miles)
    spend day at Yellowstone NP
    spend day at Yellowstone NP
    spend day at Yellowstone NP
    spend day at Yellowstone NP
    drive to devils tower (520 miles) and Vore Buffalo Jump (46 miles)
    drive and see to Mount Rushmore and Custer SP (96 miles)
    spend day there and see Wind Caves NP or mammoth site or crazy horse
    spend day there and see Wind Caves NP or mammoth site or crazy horse
    spend day there and see Wind Caves NP or mammoth site or crazy horse
    drive to Badlands NP (97 miles) and spend rest of day there
    drive to Mammoth Caves NP (1159 / 2 days) see arch in St Louis
    spend day there
    drive home (663 miles)

    budget:

    tolls:???

    national park pass: 40 dollars each

    Food: 20*24 days 480 each (20 a day is high estimate) 480 each

    Hotels/camping costs: averaging every other day would be 12*70 / 2 = 420 each

    spending money for additional activities: 500?

    Supplies: 200

    Gas: 5,700 m* (20 mpg / 2.50 dollars per gallons) = $700 / 2 = 350

    *trip is actually 5,606 but we added in some extra

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you've come up with some pretty reasonable plans and numbers.

    Your drives are on the long side. 600 miles a day isn't unsafe, but it really doesn't leave time to do anything but cover the miles between point a and point b. Personally, I think I would add at least another day or two of driving, so you can enjoy that portion of the trip more, even if it means a day or two less at some of the parks you're planning to visit.

    With your budget, the only thing I'll note is that you are underestimating how many miles you'll end up driving. If online mapping programs say your trip is 5,600, I would be very surprised if you drove less than 7,000 miles when all is said and done. In addition to point to point distance, you need to factor driving within parks, getting to campsites, etc.

    $500 for additional activities ($250 each?) could be ok, or it could be a little low, depending upon what activities you hope to do. $20 a day per person is doable for food, but it does mean you'll have to cook most of your own meals. If you start going out to eat a lot, that money would be gone pretty quickly.

    But overall, that's a very good starting point for a roadtrip plan.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    I am with Michael....overall, a very good plan! Like you, though, we don't mind the 600 mile days. It's all in your travel style!

    As far as your gas budget is concerned, I would add 20% to that mileage, perhaps even more. It is still surprising, to me, how many miles you can add on when driving through such parks as Yellowstone, which is huge!

    A national park pass is $80, not $40. If you didn't purchase that, it will cost you a lot more once you add up Devils Tower, Mammoth Cave, Yellowstone/Teton ($50 for those two alone), Badlands and Glacier. It won't help you at Wind Cave, as they charge nominally for the tours, nor at Rushmore, which will charge $12 (I think) for parking. So buy that pass at the first park you stop at, which sounds like it might be Glacier.

    I am not sure if you are planning to try to camp between home and Glacier, though. It may out a little crimp in that plan to drive 600 miles, as it takes time to drive to a place that accepts tents, put up camp, and strike it in the morning. Sometimes you can find a state park with a campground close enough to your route, but not always possible, especially on a weekend.

    Another word of advice....as soon as you get real dates put in front of those plans, try to get your campsite reservations at Glacier, Yellowstone, and Custer. (I don't think the others are on any sort of reservation system.)

    Camping will vary in price from $15-25 per night. If you go to the different national park websites, you will get the exact prices. Motels for two, outside of the tourist areas, can run $50-80 for a budget place.

    Donna

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