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  1. #1
    nell918 Guest

    Default Cross Country Trip...Impossible?

    Hi-
    I am 23 years old and am considering a cross-country road trip this upcoming June. I will be starting on Cape Cod (MA) and would like to make my way all the way across the northern states, (Montana, Washington, etc.). I am estimating a maximum of three weeks travel time. Am I being completely unrealistic? Would a trip like this more likely take three months? I just have no idea how long to plan on. Also, do cross-country road trips end up costing a lot? We plan on doing a lot of camping to save money, but I just have no clue how much I should be saving for a trip like this. The whole thing is overwhelming, but is something I have always wanted to experience. Any feed back?? Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default What are your goals?

    How long your trip takes depends on your goals, it's possible to drive cross country in 3 days, in fact long distance motorcyclists have awards called the 50CC and 100CCC, 50 hours coast to coast and 100 hours coast to coast to coast. So, what do you want to achieve/look at/visit and is your 3 weeks for round trip or one way?

    Bob Palin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Is this a round-trip excursion?

    Quote Originally Posted by nell918
    Hi-
    I am 23 years old and am considering a cross-country road trip this upcoming June. I will be starting on Cape Cod (MA) and would like to make my way all the way across the northern states, (Montana, Washington, etc.). I am estimating a maximum of three weeks travel time. Am I being completely unrealistic? Would a trip like this more likely take three months?
    Welcome to the Forum!

    Will the three weeks include a return trip back to Cape Cod? You can actually cover the distance in as little as three days, but to really see all that there is to experience and see would take as much as a lifetime. Therefore, three weeks is as good a time frame as three months.
    I just have no idea how long to plan on. Also, do cross-country road trips end up costing a lot? We plan on doing a lot of camping to save money, but I just have no clue how much I should be saving for a trip like this.
    There are as many ways to save money on a roadtrip as there are roadtrippers. Here are some tips for saving money from two veteran trippers.

    Believe me, such a roadtrip will change your life and just about every pre-conceived notion you might have about life in these United States. As you think more about what you want to see and do, come back here and let us help you make some plans.

    Mark

  4. Default Cross Country Trip...Impossible ?

    IMHO a cross country trip is one of the least impossible and most probable things to do. I first made my cross country trips when I was about the same age as you. I had just completed a four year tour of duty in the Navy and had been as far as Hong Kong, but about the only part of the U.S. I had seen was between Texas and California. So just as soon as I got back home, I bought a car and began making yearly trips across the country. One of these was "The Year I Went From Texas To Yellowstone National Park By Way Of The New York World's Fair." LOL !

    I was a little more energetic in those days and I traveled about 500 miles per day, getting up as early as 4:30 AM to start the day. (I kept a detailed log of the trip.) I would say that 200-300 miles per day would be a more realistic day's mileage. Just figure out how many miles you intend to cover and divide that by 200 or 300 to get an estimate of how long to plan to be on the road.

    Then you can figure how much your fuel costs would be by dividing the total mileage by the miles per gallon of your vehicle. You can get an idea on gas prices across the USA on the gasbuddy.com website.

    Depending on how well you intend to eat or whether you plan to pack your own food, otherwise about $10-$20 per day for food.

    There are camping areas which are free and also some youth hostels free or nominal in cost. However campgrounds such as KOA are charging as much for camping as the economy motels such as Motel 6. (See KOA, Motel 6 and other websites for locations, availability and costs.)

    Then if you plan to visit any special points of interest check on admission costs, etc.

    I would say to include at least 10% above the totals for unexpected expenses.

    Your main costs will thus break down into fuel, lodging and dining. I would say allow about $50-$100 per day. This is just my estimate and maybe some other posters have a better opinion.

    Anway, I think you will be glad you made the trip, especially when you get back home and will be eager for another. If sometime you might be going that way, Get Your Kicks On Route 66 !

    I might add that for planning purpsoses as well as "on the road" I would suggest Microsoft Streets and Trips software, especially the version with a GPS receiver if you have a laptop or you might consider just the software by itself and print out maps in advance at home or consider purchasing a GPS by itself. I have both Streets and Trips with the GPS and also an Intellinav2 GPS. I use them in conjunction with each other.
    Last edited by JNB; 09-11-2010 at 09:59 PM. Reason: Additional Comments

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Thanks, but..........

    Hello JNB, Welcome to the RTA forums !

    Thank You for sharing your thoughts on this one, but if you check the dates you will notice the original post was made in 2005, and the poster has never revisited the site.

    Enjoy the forums !

  6. Default

    Hello Southwest Dave and thanks.

    I guess I failed to take note of the date of the original post, but maybe someone else will pick up on this. There is probably always a first time for someone....There was for me anyway .LOL. And I do enjoy the forums !

  7. Default Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by JNB View Post
    IMHO a cross country trip is one of the least impossible and most probable things to do. I first made my cross country trips when I was about the same age as you. I had just completed a four year tour of duty in the Navy and had been as far as Hong Kong, but about the only part of the U.S. I had seen was between Texas and California. So just as soon as I got back home, I bought a car and began making yearly trips across the country. One of these was "The Year I Went From Texas To Yellowstone National Park By Way Of The New York World's Fair." LOL !

    I was a little more energetic in those days and I traveled about 500 miles per day, getting up as early as 4:30 AM to start the day. (I kept a detailed log of the trip.) I would say that 200-300 miles per day would be a more realistic day's mileage. Just figure out how many miles you intend to cover and divide that by 200 or 300 to get an estimate of how long to plan to be on the road.

    Then you can figure how much your fuel costs would be by dividing the total mileage by the miles per gallon of your vehicle. You can get an idea on gas prices across the USA on the gasbuddy.com website.

    Depending on how well you intend to eat or whether you plan to pack your own food, otherwise about $10-$20 per day for food.

    There are camping areas which are free and also some youth hostels free or nominal in cost. However campgrounds such as KOA are charging as much for camping as the economy motels such as Motel 6. (See KOA, Motel 6 and other websites for locations, availability and costs.)

    Then if you plan to visit any special points of interest check on admission costs, etc.

    I would say to include at least 10% above the totals for unexpected expenses.

    Your main costs will thus break down into fuel, lodging and dining. I would say allow about $50-$100 per day. This is just my estimate and maybe some other posters have a better opinion.

    Anway, I think you will be glad you made the trip, especially when you get back home and will be eager for another. If sometime you might be going that way, Get Your Kicks On Route 66 !

    I might add that for planning purpsoses as well as "on the road" I would suggest Microsoft Streets and Trips software, especially the version with a GPS receiver if you have a laptop or you might consider just the software by itself and print out maps in advance at home or consider purchasing a GPS by itself. I have both Streets and Trips with the GPS and also an Intellinav2 GPS. I use them in conjunction with each other.
    Yes, others will find your post helpful. I'm planning a trip from SoCal to North Carolina (about 2.5k miles) and back (5k miles). I really do plan to take route 66 if it's possible. I'm into historic sites, especially western history. I'm sure I'll also find a lot to photoshoot. Thanks for the tips.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default '66

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums Mr Longhorns !

    I really do plan to take route 66 if it's possible.
    Route 66 was decommisioned many years ago and large parts have been replaced by Interstate or are now business routes and although original sections do exist the route can be hard to follow in areas. This RTA page is dedicated to Route 66 sites and should tell you most of what you need to know.

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