Question regarding summer trip: 11 states, 2 territories and 8000 miles
Howdy, how are you all doing? So, I just found this site and thought it might be a good resource to get some input into a trip I've been thinking of for a while now...
I haven't yet gone on a solo road trip but my wanderlust and desire to escape for a few weeks is pushing me pretty strongly.
For reference (and apologizing in advance for the lack of capitalization), the approximate route I'm considering is:
-boulder, co to grand junction, co
-grand junction to moab, ut
-see arches and canyonlands national parks while in moab
-head south to monument valley
-west to antelope canyon, then the grand canyon
-continue west to hoover dam and las vegas
-north to rachel, nv and the extraterrestrial highway
-continue west out of nevada to the california coast
-north through napa valley, into oregon and crater lake national park
-on to eugene, or. then portland, or.
-travel into washington to mt. rainier then to seattle
-from seattle jump into canada and dawson creek, bc
-travel the alaska highway to fairbanks
-move south to visit denali np. then continue into anchorage
-from anchorage travel by road/ferry to juneau
-take ferry out of juneau back south to seattle
-drive east into walla walla, wa then to lewiston, id
-head north through moscow, id to coeur d'alene, id
-east to kalispell, mt and visit glacier national park
-drive south into missoula, mt then to jackson hole, wy via yellowstone
-after visiting the grand tetons circle back around to boulder via cheyenne,
wy and i-25
So my first question regarding a trip like this is, assuming this is about 8000 miles, how much should I expect to spend on essentials such as gas and food? I'm certainly able to rough it and would personally desire to spend much of the time living out of my jeep off of whatever I can buy in bulk (beans, rice, bread, etc...). I imagine that I'd probably seek some sort of inexpensive lodging atleast once a week to shave/shower but I believe that I can keep most living expenses down. That'd leave mostly fuel, national park entrance and ferry fees as the largest expenses...
Anyways, any other input or suggestions yall could give me would be appreciated. I suspect most people here have got a lot more travel experience than I do so I welcome whatever you have to say!
Welcome to the RTA forum!
When factoring your costs, and planning a trip like this, a huge factor is time, but I didn't see you put any mention of how long you're planning on being on the road for this journey. You mentioned a "few weeks" but I think you'll have a real tough time fitting all of this in in less than 5-6 weeks.
I few other things that I think you'll need to adjust to really give you a good plan for what you'll really be looking at spending.
For example, you're estimating 8k miles. I'd bet your point to point distances will surpass that, but even if that number ends up being accurate, you also need to factor in the miles you'll put on driving through parks, in town, looking for places to sleep, etc. I'd say in the end, your total trip will probably end up being much closer to 11-12k miles. So figuring that your jeep probably gets about 20 mpg, and figuring about $3.50 for gas (remember many of your miles will be in Canada, where you'll be paying $4+ per gallon), so your fuel bill alone will be about 2 grand.
There is also the "living out of the jeep" factor. Perhaps you really will hold true to living on bread, beans, and water, but I don't know many people who really can put up with that for week after week. Living cheap is fine, but trying to plan for the "bare minimum" on the food budget can often backfire, because when you try to cut things down too far, you end up splurging and destroying your budget in one big binge. Its usually far more wise to plan on reasonable meals, grilling out and eating food from a grocery stoe, with room for the occational restaurant in there too. You're also probably going to want to think about budgeting for camping. There's nothing wrong with sleeping in the car once and a while, but when you're looking at a month or more, things will start to get pretty ripe, plus you'll really start to crave time outside of your jeep, just to be in a somewhat different environment at night.
So I'd take those things, and see what you come up with from there...