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  1. Default Roadtrip California to New York

    Ok so me and my best friend want to have a road trip this February, we are going to be driving from Santa Cruz California to New York, we want to pass through Colorado, Florida and Georgia on the way there or back to visit family and also sightsee. We would be in a car we would be sleeping in the back of (one of those camper ones) or staying with friends and family along the way. We would also be eating mostly picnic style and making our own food. We are about to start college so we are trying to do this trip for as cheap as possible. Wondering about a cost estimate for the trip??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,907

    Default How to...

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    If you have a camper and plan also to sleep with family and friends then your main expenses are food and fuel. Food will be the similar as at home and you can work out the fuel costs using this RTA link
    If you are hiring a vehicle then obviously that will be a major expense and you may find that a basic motel room and car is cheaper than a camper van by the time you take campground fees and higher gas consumption into play. You can't just pull up anywhere to sleep for the night so you will have to research, but for nights camping I would allow an average of $35 per night. For calculating fuel you will need to know the mpg, cost and distance. You can use 'gasbuddy' to get an idea of fuel costs in different States to get an average. Your journey will be over 7000 miles, so 13 days of travelling, plus any time spent visiting. You will also need to keep an eye on weather forecasts and road conditions throughout the trip, especially through the Rockies.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,217

    Default avoiding rookie mistakes

    You've said a few things that make me suspect you're setting yourself up for a few, significant, rookie mistakes.

    First, how much time do you have for this trip? When you talk about "passing through" Georgia and Florida on the way from Northern California to New York, I suspect you may not fully appreciate how much of a detour that is, how big the US is, or how much time you really need for this trip. Georgia and Florida at at least 700 miles to your one way trip, so that's basically 2 extra days all by itself, even more if you're thinking of heading to south or central Florida.

    Second, alarm bells are going off for your sleeping plans. What do you mean when you talk about sleeping "in the back of a car (one of those camper ones)? Are you talking about an actual RV? Otherwise, I'm not sure what kind of car would you be talked about that you could comfortably sleep two people in back. However, even if you have an RV or some other solution where you might be able to comfortably fit two sleeping people, how are you planning to do this in February? There are going to be limited places where you can stop and spend the night - campgrounds will be closed, and without some kind of heating system, it's going to be difficult to sleep/avoid freezing - cars and RVs provide very little in the way of insulation, and running a cars engine to stay warm while you sleep is a good way to die of carbon monoxide poisoning.

    I'd also be curious about how much money you actually have available to spend? There is nothing wrong at all with trying to keep costs down, but even cheap roadtrips cost more than you might think. When you say you want to do this "as cheaply as possible," and talk about sleeping in your car and making all of your own meals, it's a potential red flag that you may not be prepared for just how much money you'll need.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,009

    Default Eating out of a cooler for two weeks gets prettty tiring real quick.

    My concerns echo Michael's. As well, I wonder where you will prepare and eat your meals, especially in cold weather.. It is not safe to light a camping stove in a vehicle, even a camper van, without at least two doors open to let the air flow through. Just eating out of a cooler, picnic style, in winter weather will get really tiring very soon. You will long to sit down in an inexpensive chain eatery (not fast food), and have a proper meal. Remember there are three meals each day. Besides you need to keep healthy to be able to drive that far safely, and stay well hydrated.

    As Michael said, there are lots of red flags in your post, for such a long trip. Getting tired of the food you have can be sufficient to try the best of friendships, and once those disagreements start, it is down hill from there. I think you should reconsider and plan for a huge trip like this when you have more experience of multi day road trips.

    Lifey

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