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  1. Default Summer '08-BIG Road Trip with Girlfriend

    My girlfriend and I are planing on going on a Road Trip next summer. The only thing is, we have no idea how long to plan this thing and what routes to take.

    We want to go all over America. We'd start in California and make a round trip. We want to see silly things like the biggest (insert object here). We also would like to see real deal stuff like Mt. Rushmore. We don't need to see anything in California because we live there. We want to stay in cheap motels and camp every now and then.

    What do you guys recommend in terms of length and what's the best way to see all that silly and real stuff at the same time. We plan on packing very little and using coin laundry places. We are also thinking of bringing bikes to ride around in small areas and costal areas. Good idea? We are REALLY stoked and any advice is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    One thing you will find during your planning is that it ultimately will rely on your budget to determine how long of a trip you can take, and things such as coin laundromats can take their toll, though it is the larger items such as food and lodging that you should be primarily concerned about.

    Some things to consider:
    - What is your method of transportation?
    Are you renting a car, driving your own?
    Fuel and maintenance costs should be figured in here. If you are taking your own vehicle, you will be familiar with its fuel mileage and can plan accordingly.

    - What will your primary means of lodging be?
    Camping is usually cheaper, especially in primitive tent sites, but there are places with costs you wouldn't expect (such as $30+ tent sites). I would figure at least $50/day for this cost alone.

    -Length of time:
    If I were you, I would try to take some shorter trips together to see how well you fare on the road - maybe two or three days - before taking on such a large trip. You will find there are some expectations each of you have that the other may not necessarily have considered.

    While many of us are just happy to be out on the road, any road, it is understandable that some do not share that passion. A very general way of looking at routes is: "Do I want to be near a population center or not?", though this is not a guarantee that you will avoid traffic or other problems (I have run into traffic in some of the most bizarre locations and times).

    I would suggest both of you take our road trip compatibility quiz.
    You will find many great tips to start out with here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default A little planning...

    ...goes a long way toward making a successful trip.

    There are guidebooks for all the silly, weird stuff. There are guidebooks for all the scenic and historic stuff. And there are maps that you can use to tie it all together. With a small investment in reading matter and some time together on your couch or at dining table, you can find the must see things, plot them on a map and determine your route. Some of the general guidebooks have star ratings so you know which are perceived to be the more important sights.

    Depending on travel style, you should budget $100-$150 per day and see how long your bank account can support you. Or if you are independently wealthy, just go until you are tired of traveling.

    To go "all over America" seeing "silly" and "real stuff", even leaving out California, is at least a two month trip. So, that should run between $6,000 and $9,000 (plan for worst case because you never know when you'll blow a gasket).

    Bikes can be a great way to enjoy the national parks or coastal areas. Taking them along implies that you are going to spend time in these areas (days instead of hours) so if that suits you, by all means take them along.

    The important thing is to share the decisions of where to go, share the costs, and share the fun. This is a vacation, not a life and death operation.

    Have a great time, and keep it loose.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  4. Default

    Thank you both. I will definetly consider all this advice! We have traveled before on small trips and have really enjoyed it. We're both pretty carefree about what we do so it's easy.

    I like the point about the bikes implying we'll be staying days. We don't plan on staying days anywhere except maybe Washington D.C. So maybe we'll ex the bikes.

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