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  1. Default California ----> Florida ------> and Back

    Okay, here has it. Im 21 years old and am hoping to take my first roadtrip this summer with my girlfriend (19), her bestfriend (21, female), and my bestfriend (20, male).

    My girlfriend can only afford two weeks away, which leads to my first question. If we plan on stopping by numerous sites on the way to or on the way home (ie, grand canyon, alamo, any other various stops), will this be adequate time assuming we stay 2 days in florida?

    Second, I drive a Honda Element (SUV), and get an average of 24 MPG when I drive my usually 100 mile trek every weekend. With the cost of gas now at $3+/gallon, how much in gas alone am I looking at for gas?

    Third, What are the "must-sees" in the lower United States? Keep in mind we are a younger conservative bunch.

    We are planning on avoiding hotels for 75% of the trip (stay in hotel once every four days, 3-4 times total), food with be bought while on the road. What is a estimated budget needed for such a trip?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default The Tools

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    The first thing I would do is take the Roadtrip Compatability Quiz, to make sure all 4 of you are on the same page for this trip.

    If your plan is to drive to FL, spend 2 days there, and then drive back, I think you should be able to make this trip in 2 weeks. You'll have to rush through some things, but you should be able to accomplish the trip.

    We've got a tool for figuring the cost of gas, its cleverly titled the RTA Fuel Cost Calculator. Just keep in mind, gas is already approaching $3 per gallon, I would figure at least $3.50, just to be on the safe side.

    You are planning to avoid hotels, but how are you planning to do this? In other words, where are you planning to sleep?

    Same with food, you say you are going to buy it along the way, but does that mean grocery stores or restaurants or a mix or something else?

    These are the questions you'll have to figure out as you work up a budget. Your major costs will be fuel, lodging, food, and entertainment/admission fees/etc. Come up with some estimates on how much you plan to spend on each of those things, and you should have a pretty good idea of how much money you'll need.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Other Considerations

    Besides the elements that Michael has brought up, a few others that you need to keep in mind while planning this trip include:

    How well do your best friend and your girlfriend's best friend get along? Inevitably you and your girlfriend will want some alone time together, leaving two (essentially) strangers to pass some time together. This could get very awkward if you haven't clearly thought through what you're doing.

    Check here for some rules of thumb on estimating costs for your trip and here for some tips on keeping costs down, but Michael is right in suggesting that you get everyone on the same page as to what kind of RoadTrip this is before starting out.

    "California to Florida" covers a multitude of sins. Anyone would need considerably more precision before being able to recommend "must sees". Just for starters: Will you be travelling I-10 or I-40? What are your interests? What do you mean by 'conservative' - political? religious? fiscal?

    Finally, As Michael has correctly asked: What are you planning to do on those 3 out of four days you are not staying in hotels? You've come to one of the best places (in our humble opinion) for planning, but you've only just started.


  4. Default

    Heh, well after mentioning everything to the girlfriend, she feels 2 weeks might be too long to spend with her bestfriend.

    My bestfriend and I vacation often, and we've been friends over 20 years, so there really isnt an issue there.

    We decided to revise our trip to be in and around california, ranging from arizona, nevada, utah, oregon.

    Yosemite, grandcanyon, ...big sur...?, anything else utterly awesome.

    When I say conservative, I meant religious. The hopes of this trip is to see the beauty within our country, we com efrom the city and would really like to have some sort of appreciation for our country since we despise the city.

    Any suggestions or concerns?

  5. #5


    we com efrom the city and would really like to have some sort of appreciation for our country since we despise the city.

    Any suggestions
    Move out of the city? :p


    In all seriousness, there's hundreds of topics on this forum dedicated to the area you're now thinking of. And a fine area it is too. If you're thinking of seeing natural wonders then possibly the best place to start would be the National Parks Service website. I guess it all depends what you're interested in doing - have a look through some of the threads on this forum and the rest of the site itself. Feel free to come back with any specific questions you have.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Long Way to Go

    Quote Originally Posted by Tito Brown

    ...2 weeks might be too long...
    But less than two weeks is barely enough time enough to drive to the far west, see the sights, and drive back. It is, for example, over 2500 miles from Tallahassee to Yosemite, a minimum of four days (and more likely 5 days) each way. So you are going to be spending 9-10 days driving and a minimum of $900 in gas just to spend a few days seeing a few of the natural wonders of the west. You can certainly do that, and if you do, here is a post with links to several discussions of the best things to see and do that would generally include Big Sur, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon.

    And yes, I am a bit concerned that your girlfriend is already dreading spending this kind of time with her best friend.


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