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  1. #1

    Default Boston To The Grand Canyon in July

    HI Everyone! I am new to RTA but am so glad that I found it. I have found tons of helpful information already. I am trying to plan a fun family vacation to the Grand Canyon this summer, we are thinking July. I have read a few threads in here that talk about going and about what you should try to see, but I am interested in an estimate of cost. I know it is impossible to give me a quote, but I am just wondering how much I am looking at here. So I am going to have to rent a van, there is 2 adults and 1 kid plus a dog so I am thinking a 5 to 7 passenger. Then I figure we could do at least 10 hours of driving a day before having to get a room, so would that be one room or two on the trip down? Then there is the cost of gas... I have no clue how to plan this trip can you tell?? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,746

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    Boston to the Grand Canyon is around 2650 miles, so it is a 5 day, 4 night trip by the most direct route. You will have the same for the way back, so you are looking at 10 days on the road plus stops at any place you want to see, including Grand Canyon. In July, you will want to allot at least one full day to the Canyon, more if you want to do any hiking (whether it's along the rim or into the Canyon even 1/4 mile).

    Costs -- probably count on $75 per night in a modest motel that accepts pets. Some will allow one free, others will make a $10 charge. Someone will probably chime in here that has the software that can give you your approximate places to overnight. Then you can look on the motel finder on this website and get some good ideas about prices.

    Do you have a family car that you can trust to make a 6000 mile trip? If so, why not take it? Renting a van is NOT cheap, I can tell you that. We've done it before.

    For fuel costs, once you decide on a vehicle, use the fuel cost estimator on this website. You'll need your approximate mileage, a good mpg average, and an average cost per gallon (which will vary on the type of fuel you use -- regular, premium or diesel). That should give you your answer on fuel costs.

    Food -- figure out what you'd usually spend at home, going out to dinner. Then figure out what you'd spend at home, going out for lunch. Multiply that by the number of days you'll be gone. Thus, food costs. (I didn't include breakfasts, because most folks take advantage of the breakfast rooms in their motel, where simple breakfasts are offered as part of your overnight fee.) As far as snacks and drinks are concerned, bring a cooler and you can have your own drinks with you, and a bag of snacks. For that matter, many folks on a budget forego eating out for lunch, and just bring along sandwich makings in that cooler. MUCH cheaper, and MUCH healthier than McD's and Taco Bell for lunch every day.

    Plan on 500 miles a day, and don't be afraid to get out of the car to stretch, walk, take a jog, go through a likely looking store. Your bodies will appreciate it, because 5 days at just over 500 miles will be tough.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,277

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA forum.

    Boston to the Grand Canyon is about 2700 miles, that means you are looking at a minimum of 5 full days (4 nights) to get there, and that is driving 10 hours a day. So if you're thinking this drive can be done in just 2 or 3 days, you're likely in some trouble with your planning already. Mind you, 5 days is minimum and 5 straight days off 10+hours on the road each day doesn't leave much time at all for fun.

    How much time do you actually have for this trip?

    As far as renting a van, I'd say minivan is what would make the most sense, but that still could be fairly expensive. If you have a vehicle already that you could use, that's likely going to be a fair bit cheaper.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,460

    Default Budgeting

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    When most people think about budgeting for a trip, they think almost exclusively in terms of money. But you've also got to budget your time, your energy, and every other resource that you're going to use to make this (and every) trip the best it can be.

    But let's start with money. You don't want to get down to planning every penny, because that's not how you're going to spend it. When my wife and I travel, we assume a round number of $150/day to cover a basic motel room and two meals a day for each of us. Sometimes we do a little better, sometimes we go over a bit, but that let's us do a quick calculation. I'd probably add another $25-50/day to cover the food for your child and dog. You can save a bit by booking your overnight stays in motels that at least offer some sort of 'free' breakfast, even if it's only coffee, cereal and toast. Whether you'll need a second room is up to you, but if you're even thinking abut it, I'd say yes on most nights. That would essentially double you basic per day travel costs from around $150 to more like $300 once you factor in all the meals and possible fees for the pet. On top of that y9]ou need to add the costs of attractions, souvenirs, etc. (more about that later) and the next item we'll consider, your car.

    For two adults, anything up to a teenage-sized child, and all but a St. Bernard or some such. You should be able to do almost as well with a full-sized sedan or small SUV as anything larger. There is usually a big jump in rental costs if you go to a van or even a minivan. The names of classes change a bit from company to company, but I think you'll quickly see where there's a big jump (often $100/week) in the rental cast when you move up. I just don't think that's something you need to pay for. especially if you can pack a bit efficiently and plan to spend a fair bit of time outside the car anyway. Remember, too, that a bigger, heavier vehicle is going to eat more ga$ as well. Speaking of gas, once you decide on the vehicle and know your basic route you can get a decent handle on total gas costs using our Fuel Cost Calculator.

    The next most important thing you have to budget is your time. Ten hours a day 'driving' is not out of the question. But where most people go astray is thinking that means ten hours driving at highway speeds and so they plan on covering something like 700-750 miles a day. That is not going to happen. On a good day in which you feel as though you've spent ten hours driving, you might cover a lot closer to 500-550 miles once you account for food, fuel and bathroom breaks; traffic and construction slowdowns; and maybe a short sanity break or two each day, On days when you plan to stop and see something major, be sure to budget not only the time you think you'll spend there, but a little bit more as well, and of course the time needed to get off the highway, to the attraction, and back onto the highway afterwards.

    Now, budgeting energy. this is something most people overlook or worse, think they'll be able to go nonstop all day every day, because it's vacation after all. No. Every s often you need to schedule a day where you're gust doing nothing, just sitting around for a day to recharge your batteries, do laundry, or just sit out some bad weather. It's easiest to do this if you're going to be in one spot for a while, say around Flagstaff AZ, but you may certainly want to break up those long, multi-day drives between Boston ad the west with just a day somewhere in the middle of the country that you'll be passing through and may not get back to for quite some time, if at all.

    It's not all bad, however. There are certainly things you can do to increase the bang you get for your buck. Probably the easiest id to make ample use of our national lands. A Golden Eagle Pass will get the entire car load of people into all national parks and monuments. Be sure t buy one at the first such park you come to that charges an entrance fee. (The year for which it's good starts at the time of purchase.) And be sure to check out the Junior Ranger Program at each park/monument you come to. That's free and will give your child some fun ((and educational, but you don't have to tell him that) activities to perform that will help him (or her) learn about the park and earn some nice souvenirs such as badges and certificates.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,033

    Default A week to avoid.

    You mention budgeting and travelling in July. May I suggest that you avoid the first week of July. The week around the 4th July, when more folk than usual travel, makes getting accommodation more difficult and often prices go up around this time. Besides, you'll probably want to be in Boston for that holiday. I've always enjoyed the celebration there.

    Lifey

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