Ok, so I'm working up the budget for my trip from Phoenix to DC next month, and I just want to run it by the gurus here to make sure I'm not overlooking anything.
According to Google Maps, door to door driving distance, by a less direct route than I'm going to take is 2,368 miles. Sure, let's drive through Ohio! The route I plan on taking is I-17N to Flagstaff, then I-40E all the way to Knoxville, TN, and then I-81 into VA, and I-66 into the DC Area. My mapping software has this at about 70 miles less than the Google Maps route, so not a big difference, but a much more direct, and easy route. Anyone have any reason why I shouldn't take that route?
Anyhow...back to the budget!
I drive a 1999 Nissan Pathfinder, so it gets pretty wretched gas mileage. I'm budgeting at 15mpg (my low city mileage since I started logging, the high is 18.6mpg). I'm budgeting for 2,750 miles, to allow for back-tracking, side-trips and getting to the overnight stops. Who knows what the price of gas will be in a month, there could be a hurricane, or OPEC could do something stupid, or any number of factors could jump the price of gas. I'm budgeting fuel at $3.00/gal. This provides a total fuel budget of $560.
Next on the list is food. Since this will only be a 3 or 4 day blitz style trip, I probably won't be "dining in" too often, especially in the evenings. I'm budgeting $40/day for food for the trip, for a total food budget of $200 over 5-days, just in case I get stuck somewhere and need to spend an extra day.
Let's not forget about my cats, either. I'm going to be picking up a large bin of cat litter and a bag of cat food before the trip, so their food and litter are taken care of. I always carry ample water in the truck with me, so that won't be an issue. They will be in their carrier while in the truck. I've got that part already figured out and taken care of, so no need to budget for that.
Lodging: I've spent a few days looking at various hotels online, and have come to the conclusion that $80/night is a high-average for convenient to the interstate hotels. I am including in my budget a pet fee of $10/pet/night for a total of $20/night for both cats. This gives me a $300 (not including taxes) hotel bill, or a total budget of $400.
I will also be carrying an indetermined amount of cash to have on hand for rest area drinks and such.
I have a large balance credit card available for any emergencies that may arise.
Do you see anything that shouldn't be there, or not see anything I've overlooked? Do you think I'm being too conservative on my estimates? Low-balling it? Any help is appreciated!