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  1. #1
    imported_alex Guest

    Default cross country road trip costs?

    Hey everyone, this is such a wonderful place!

    My friend and I are planning a cross country and back roadtrip in august. As Canadians, we're starting in new york state and moving down through the southern states, and we've chosen Utah as our halfway point. Once we hit that, we're going to head home through the northern states.

    We're planning on camping and sleeping at truck stops as much as possible, with little to no hotel stays unless our backs or bodies demand them.

    We're planning to do this trip over three weeks.

    Now, I ask the well versed traveller a simple question:

    How much do you estimate this is going to cost?

    We're taking a 4 door Sunfire, fairly new.
    We were thinking we'd need about a grand canadian, which is about 750 bucks US. Is this undershooting? Overshooting?

    Any help is much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default route & money

    I ran a route from Niagara Falls to Orlando, Florida, to New Orleans, Louisiana, to Salt Lake City, Utah, and back to Montreal. I don't know how close this might be to what you are thinking of doing. Averaging 30mpg in your car (is this close?), gas alone will cost you about $350 at $1.80 gallon. In the summer gas can go higher and $2.00/gallon isn't unusual so this may be a low estimate. Also, this doesn't allow for any side trips and meandering around and is just the straight through, quickest route guesstimate of about 6000 miles. You will do many more miles than that while you explore and go on side-trips off the main highways.

    Therefore, I don't think it's a longshot to guess that your mileage could go almost 50% higher than that amount which would bring you to about $500. So, obviously, $750 is going to be pushing it unless you don't ever stop for entertainment, pay entry fees to a park or event, and eat strictly out of your cooler (and bring most of your groceries from home). I don't see how you're going to be able to afford even an occasional hotel with this budget.

    Don't get me might be able to swing it but many parks require an entrance fee, hiking sometimes requires a fee plus parking fees, and you better hope you don't have any car trouble along the way. Personally, while I enjoy doing a cheap trip myself, your budget is way too low for many fun activities along the way for my tastes.

  3. #3

    Default Budget is low

    Judy's numbers are very close -- I did a short trip plan using the information you supplied and the mileage was 6300 and about 100 hours driving time (9 days, summertime daylight, driving alone).

    I travel fairly inexpensively and I can tell you my (SOLO)budget for a three week trip would be much higher than you've suggested. I am planning a 2-WEEK trip this summer, a mix of camping and motels, food budget $20 per day, and my total expenses will be in the range of $900-$1100 for about 5500 miles (caveat: my vehicle gets much worse gas mileage than yours).

    Is it POSSIBLE to do it on $750 EACH? Probably, if you're careful and share most expenses. But I would plan on more so you can be comfortable and have some fun!

  4. #4
    imported_alex Guest


    thanks to everyone!
    we've decided to put in 1000 dollars canadian each so we can have some buffer and we can stretch our legs out a little.


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