My girlfriend and I are using our last summer before the "real world" to take a roadtrip from the University of Miami, FL, to my parents in Boulder, CO, east to Philly, and down the east coast back home. Neither of us has ever roadtripped before so we would love some advice. Time isn't much of an issue, we are looking forward to not being pressured and being able to go where we want when we want. All we know is we want to leave after the 4th of July (probably that weekend) and be back in time for classes to start around the 20th of August. Budget is somewhat of a concern, but we will be driving a Honda Accord Hybrid, and as a 21st birthday present my parents will be paying for the gas. We plan on doing about a 75% camping to 25% budget motels ratio. We are considering getting a National Parks pass to save on camping prices; do you think it's worth our 50 bucks? We have a Coleman Roadtrip LXE grill and both like to cook so plan on cooking most meals with and using grocery stores to save some money over dining out everyday.
We are AAA members so we have been reading books and using the online TripTik, and have come up with a basic route / some of the major cities we would like to hit:
Santa Fe, NM
Sandusky, OH (Cedar Point!)
Akron, OH (family)
DC Suburbs (went to downtown area a year ago, want to see what's outside of the Metro range)
Norfolk/Newport News/Virginia Beach
Not sure what there is to see in a lot of these places and some of them are just bigger cities along the general route we were looking to take. The TripTik said this was just over 6,000 miles, but we are looking forward to taking scenic routes, see some small towns (as a change from Miami), and a few detours here and there so i expect this to get closer to 6,200-6,500. We are really looking to get away from it all and have a relaxing time exploring the country, getting out of the hustle and bustle of Miami, and take advantage of the fact that we have 6 weeks straight of vacation.
This trip is getting closer! What advice do you have for a couple of rookies? Places to see, things to do, other cities close to that route we may have missed (neither of us have ever lived outside of FL, so we don't know much about the other 49).
I know this is a long post so I should probably just end it and see what you all have to say! Thanks a lot for your help and expertise!