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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wroclaw, Poland
    Posts
    7

    Default a great trip across states

    Hi there

    I'm planning a road trip across usa from may till september 2006 and looking for people (let's say, between 18 and 25, students) to join me. The journey would start in New York and then: Niagara Falls - Washington - Shenandoah - Great Smoky Mount. - Charleston - Pensacola - New Orlean (?) - Houston - Austin - Carlsbad Caverns - Roswell - Socorro - Santa Fe - Albuquerque - Grand Canyon - Canyon de Chelly - Zion - Bryce - Monument valley - Arches - Las Vegas - Yosemite - Kings Canyon - Sequoia - Death Valley - San Francisco and Los Angeles. Something about 10.000 miles through 18 states in 4 months. I know it's a lot of time but I want to take my time, see everything along the road. Feel the atmosphere of small towns, hike in national parks and see america 'off the beaten path' from time to time. Not take interstates but rather back roads and highways instead. To do that we'll need a 4x4 car or a van (buying in NY). It's gonna be a low budget kind of trip so we'll camp on campgrounds or somewhere else in order to save money. I think the overall cost should be about $3500 (assuming we'll go in group of 4 people).

    If it sounds great to you... please drop me a line.

    Tom, 21 years old student of astronomy, Poland

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,524

    Default Budget could be a little low

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom1984
    I'm planning a road trip across usa from may till september 2006 and looking for people (let's say, between 18 and 25, students) to join me. The journey would start in New York and then: Niagara Falls - Washington - Shenandoah - Great Smoky Mount. - Charleston - Pensacola - New Orlean (?) - Houston - Austin - Carlsbad Caverns - Roswell - Socorro - Santa Fe - Albuquerque - Grand Canyon - Canyon de Chelly - Zion - Bryce - Monument valley - Arches - Las Vegas - Yosemite - Kings Canyon - Sequoia - Death Valley - San Francisco and Los Angeles. Something about 10.000 miles through 18 states in 4 months.
    Tom, Welcome to the Forum!

    I think your budget could be a little low --- unless that is $3500 per person? Anyway, good fortune with the planning!

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wroclaw, Poland
    Posts
    7

    Default it will be not...

    Yes, the cost is per person. I assumed a car $2500 + ins., food $10/day/person, gas $3 per gallon and campgrounds $10/night (average). But I made one mistake indeed. The overall cost I mentioned ($3500) was calculated for me, so it included $500 flight ticket from Poland to NY.
    If to pass over the cost of getting to NY then cost should be well below $3000.

    Thanks
    Tom

  4. #4
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default

    I don't want to sound cynical, but how do you figure $10/day/person for food?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,524

    Default It wouldn't be enough for me, either!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cascadia4-brad m
    I don't want to sound cynical, but how do you figure $10/day/person for food?
    Brad, I agree that $10.00 per day would be a little lean. I spend more on alcohol per day than that...

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wroclaw, Poland
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Well, I thought about soup kitchen, cooking on my own on the road with camp stove running on a gas. Isn't $40 per day (for four people) enough? From people who were on work'n'travel program I heard that food price in supermarkets is more or less the same as in Poland. If that's true then $40 should be enough. But correct me if I'm wrong. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks

    Tom

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,319

    Default

    $10 per day for food may work if you're very careful with your shopping and stay with low-budget foods. In a lot of the areas you're visiting, you will want to make sure you drink a LOT of water. So the bottled water costs will add up. Don't forget to factor that into your budget.

    $10 per night for camping sites is reasonable if you do get people to travel with you to share costs. Mosts sites are in the $15-25 range for 2 or 4 people, depending on the campground. A small surcharge of $2-3 per person is sometimes added after that. Most campsites seem to have a limit of 8 people per campsite unless you're in a group site.

    Good luck on finding people to join you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wroclaw, Poland
    Posts
    7

    Default

    It's gonna be low-budget trip so we'll be very careful with expenses. I think $10 will do. I'm aware of the whole water thing. Route goes through southern states in the middle of summer so water supplies will be an important thing indeed.

    As for camping. I assumed $10 per night but it's average. I read a lot that one can easly find a good place for camping just by going off the road a bit, especially in the west.

    Thanks for tips anyway
    Tom

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,319

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom1984
    It's gonna be low-budget trip so we'll be very careful with expenses. I think $10 will do. I'm aware of the whole water thing. Route goes through southern states in the middle of summer so water supplies will be an important thing indeed.

    As for camping. I assumed $10 per night but it's average. I read a lot that one can easly find a good place for camping just by going off the road a bit, especially in the west.

    Thanks for tips anyway
    Tom
    The main areas of free camping are in National Forests. There are fees in the National Parks. You might find some free camping in some state and county parks but I've never seen any. All the ones I've seen usually have a fee. I believe the prices I've seen range from about $12-18. BLM land usually has a fee, around the $10-15. Most commercial campgrounds have fees of $15-25, on average.

    Most county/state/national campgrounds have limits in the number of people who can camp on each site. It seems the limit is often 8 people. Obviously, if you have more than one person camping in these spots and split the costs, you'll get your cost to much less than $10 per night. They will often have limits to how many tents you can erect as well so if you have 4 2-man tents for 8 people, they may only allow 2 or 3 tents per site. Then you'd have to get two sites for the night.

    Private campgrounds have limits as well. Usually 2 tents is the most they will let you put up per site. And they usually have surcharges after the first 2 or 4 people at the site as well. These surcharges are usually about $2-3 per person.

    I don't know where you will be able to camp for free besides the places I listed in the first paragraph. Of course, you can always take a chance and just pull off onto some small road and put up a tent. But this would be on private land and you could get fined for trespassing. Of course, if it's quite secluded, you may not get caught. But I know I wouldn't take that chance my self.

    Some people who sleep in their vehicles will pull onto a residential street and just sleep in their rig. That, of course, works better if you have something like a truck/camper set-up. I know we were forced to do that a few times back when we travelled with that type of rig. However, I never felt good about it.

    Oh, forgot to mention, you can sleep for free at truck stops. Gen, one of our frequent contributors here, always makes sure she purchases some food, gas, or other supplies at a truck stop when she does this. Another place where you might get away with camping for free is at government owned and operated boat-launches. If you try one of these, I'd pick one that isn't easily seen from the main road. You're not supposed to camp at these overnight but many folks do. At least in my area, authorities tend to look the other way but this may not be true throughout the US. Anyway, neither the boat launches nor the truck stops are places where you would be putting up tents. You would need to sleep in your vehicle.

    If I've forgotten something, hopefully someone will come in and fill in the blanks. I would encourage you to NOT just pull over and sneak onto someone's private land to put up a tent and make yourself at home for the night. To me this is not much different than stealing.

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