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Thread: route 66

  1. Default first roadtrip

    ok. i feel like i have so many questions i dont know what to ask lol. im 21 and this is gonna be my first roadtrip, and im gonna be by myself since no one else seems to want to go, but ive heard youre not really traveling unless your by yourself anyway, so i figured id go for it. but i dont have too much money to spend, ill maybe have about $1500 or so when i leave in late june/ early july.

    ill have till mid august so like a month and a half to 2 months. i live in jersey, and im lookin to get to illinois to briefly stay with a friend who lives there, then from tehre take rt 66 down into california, go up maybe stopping at vegas (possibly.. i dunno if i wanna blindly venture into vegas by myself lol) along the way, then heading up to oregon to stay with my aunt, go down through colorado, id love to go down into mexico for awhile (rural areas, "corona" beaches mexico city, and the yucatan to see those far-out mayan/aztec ruins.. but im also worried about drinking the water, obviously i prob cant), and after that, if i have enough money still, go down to southern florida and stay with relatives down there for a little while before driving back up the east coast and going back home.

    is this unrealstic? im thinking maybe it is. but ive heard about this sleeping in your car a lot, but where can i do that safely im a little nervous lol. ill have a sleeping bag and some basic camping equipment too. my biggest worry really is gas costs and unexpected "car injuries" needing repairs in the middle of the arizona desert. i dont know jack about cars, but i have AAA.

    as far as interests, im more interested in rural areas than going to the city and partying everyday (plus its probably cheaper), but a little city stuff is good for variation. any advice on anything? anything and everything to know at all would be great the more the better cause i have a guidebook but still feel lost.

    oh also since ill be by myself, ill take any advice on meeting as many cool and interesting people as possible without getting raped/killed. also willing to get random part-time jobs possibly across the country but i dunno how realistic this is either without an address to write down on the application or anything.. unless i pick cotton and live in a tent or something like jack kerouac did lol. appreciate it all. thanks.

    Last edited by Mass Tim; 02-21-2007 at 05:43 PM. Reason: Added whitespace

  2. #2


    I would sit down, get a road atlas and plot every place you are considering going to. The best way to save money is to plot the most efficient way to travel. You don't want to get out on the road and 'wing' it when it comes to money. I would rate the places you want to go and make sure you hit the ones you want to see the most, and go from there.

    As for the unexpected, i think that is just the risk one takes as a driver any day of the week.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default I don't think so...

    Welcome to the RTA Forums Chris!

    Woo, that's quite a project you've got planned there. Unfortunately, I have to tell you that with your budget, your plan is totally unrealistic. It would take you several weeks, maybe even months, to realize such an ambitious trip and 1 500$ is definitely not enough, even if you sleep in your car evey single night and survive on crackers and cup' o soup.:o)

    I usually travel on a budget : staying at cheap motels, sometimes sleeping in the car, eating mostly out of a cooler, my car has very low gas mileage and it costs me an average of 800$/week just to get by. A moderator on this forum wrote an excellent post on budgeting, you should check it out. Also, take a look at these tips on how to travel on a budget.

    I mapped out your itinerary on mapquest (exception made of Mexico) and it totaled 10 005,4 miles! Perhaps you should split your project in 3 different trips and spend your money on a 2 weeks trip to Las Vegas, L.A., see some Route 66 Americana and get back to NJ and see your friend on the way. That would be a lot more fun, it would be more than enough for a first time road tripper and you'd be able to do more than spend all your days on the interstate because you can't afford any attraction and be stuck to sleep in your car every single night. Plus, you're barely 21, you have plenty of time to travel and realize your plan at some other time. Maybe if you tell us what your priorities are, we could help you find a more reasonnable plan and tell you all about the must sees along the way.

    Good luck!

  4. Default

    yeah i forgot to mention, i have a VW jetta. its 4cyl so it does get pretty good gas mileage. but $800 a week on gas woow lol. but yeah ill look over some things, the southwest with the stop in illinois is probably the most attractive idea, with visiting my aunt in oregon before heading straight back home. what are the best places to sleep in a car without having a cop knock on your window with his flashlight at 3AM? yes it doesnt have to be a 2 month trip but that was just the time frame. 2 weeks or so will probably be good for a first time anyways i suppose.

  5. Default

    so i guess illinois obivously, colorado, arizona, new mexico, california and then oregon would be the priorites for this first trip. if you think that is still too much let me know and ill cut a state or two out. im thinking it should be ok though since 66 basically goes through the majority of that, but let me know your opinion. as far as activities, i like light hiking through some cool areas, im not very experienced enough though with hiking/camping yet so heavy hiking is out, ya know. and cool music clubs in LA/San Francisco would be nice, like jazz/rock.. i dunno if you know anything about that or what kind of music youre into. but camping sites are def a priority as far as accomodations as opposed to motels/hotels since its cheaper and better for meeting people. and what is there to do in oregon? anything around Ashland, Oregon cause thats where my aunt lives. any cool side trips would be good too if possible.. but.. side trips resembling "the worlds biggest ball of yarn" or something could definitely be cut from the itinerary lol. thanks a bunch guys.

  6. Default Put together a budget and estimate where you'd like to go and how much $$$

    Hi rollingrock2285 --

    For some really quick numbers -- figure you'll only want to be driving (on average) maybe 6 hours a day. If your car is getting 30 miles per gallon and you're going 60 mph (oh average), you'll ge burning through 2 gallons of gas an hour. That's like maybe $6-7/hour to drive, with a little bit of margin. So in a 6 hours of driving day, that about $40 of gas per day.

    Figure you're going to need to eat -- something for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. If you eat out restaurants and fast food, there's another $30-40 per day. If you go cheap and eat out of an ice chest and go minimum cost, you can eat for about $10-12 per day. When I travel I do a mixture of both -- the occassional meal out ranging from nice to fast food, but mostly out of the ice chest. But figure you'll be running say $20 a day on food (again, with a little bit of margin).

    So now we're up to $60 per day, just gas and food.

    Iif you stay in a hotel you'll be running $40-80/ night, depending upon where you are staying and how nice of a place. Big cities always seem to cost more. If you camp you're talking maybe $10-20/ night.

    So you're talking about basic (gas, food, and sleeping) costs of $100-160/ day. So I can see how Gen very easily gets to $800 per week.

    Plus you need to add in "fun" costs -- admission tickets for places you want to visit, etc. Even those music clubs will charge a cover fee and have high priced beer -- figure at least $20 a night per person.

    I'd guess the $1500 will get you maybe 3 weeks of traveling, if you're careful and do things on the cheap side. That's a reasonable trip, and you can stretch it if you stay with friends or camp somewhere for a while to explore the area (just pay camping and out-of-the-icechest food costs for a while). 3 weeks is enough time to travel across county and see the sights along the way.

  7. Default route 66

    alright i recently discovered that rt 66 does not actually officially exist anymore. i was planning on going this way for most of my trip this summer but now its hard to figure out the multiple highways that make up this historic route. does anybody know the new interstate highways that actually make up the old rt 66 or at least know of a good link that gives good directions on staying on that route? thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default We've got that... and more

    RTA has a whole section dedicated to links and book reviews regarding travel on the decomissioned Route 66.

    The Interstate Highways that follow the basic path are I-55, I-44, and I-40. Some areas still mark the original road as Historic US-66, but coverage can be spotty at best. In some areas the road simply doesn't exist anymore and was directly replaced by Interstate.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by rollingrock2285 View Post
    alright i recently discovered that rt 66 does not actually officially exist anymore. i was planning on going this way for most of my trip this summer but now its hard to figure out the multiple highways that make up this historic route. does anybody know the new interstate highways that actually make up the old rt 66 or at least know of a good link that gives good directions on staying on that route? thanks
    Take a look at this site for turn by turn descriptions and maps of the old route.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise

    Default Nice Thing about 66

    You're always close to the interstates while on 66 or vice versa. Get on or get off as you like. Spend too much time in any place on 66 and then make time on the interstate.

    The road is very well marked in Illinois and quite well signed in Missouri now. You could do 66 in Illinois from Joliet to Missouri without maps. Just follow the signs.

    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

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