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  1. #1

    Default Trip from Indiana to California: help!

    I am trying to plan a 2 week trip this summer for my husband, 2 girls (7&9) myself and my mom & dad. My parents have done this years ago, and since my dads health isn't great (copd, trouble breathing)this will be a challenge. I know some of the places I want to go to, but really no HAVE to get there and see it. Some of the list is Mt. Rushmore, Painted Desert, Redwood Forest, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone.

    Really, I just want to have a great family time together. I also need to do this as cheap as possible. I am sure mom and dad will help, but I would really like to do most of it, if not all.

    My parents have been to every state, I love to travel, my husband hasn't really traveled. Here are some of my questions and I would love any help I can get with this adventure. Thanks in advance.

    Do you think it would be cheaper to rent an RV than to drive my Ford Excursion and stay in hotels? I was thinking cheaper on hotel and food. I know either way we will be using food we get at the store and only do dinning out on very special meals.

    Food: Cheap things to eat and make.

    Ideas on how to do this a cheap as possible and still have a good time.

    How much do you think I am looking at saving for this?

    Thanks again for any help.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default First Things First

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your main problem with such a trip may not be the cost or the timing but where you plan to go. With your dad's COPD, one thing you should be concerned about is the air (or lack of it). Indianapolis is only 740 feet above sea level, the Painted Desert 2400, Rapid City 3200, the Grand Canyon (south rim) 7000, and Yellowstone 8000. All of those are going to put a strain on his breathing particularly if he does any hiking at those high locations. You might want to check with his doctor or therapist to see if that's advisable.

    As far as eating and staying cheaply, RVs are almost never cost effective. For example, I did a quick check of what an RV big enough for 6 people would cost for 2 weeks rental from Indianapolis, and I got close to $2,000. Then you have to add the extra cost of gas and the fees to park it each night. I'd think you can do much better using your own vehicle and staying in motels, even if you need to get three rooms. Read through this article for some general tips on travelling on a budget, and this post for things to think about when laying out a budget for your trip.

    So, such a trip is doable, and you can do it for less than the moon and the stars, but perhaps a different destination such as the South or Atlantic Coast may make more sense for your dad.


  3. #3


    Thank you for the advice. I will look at the articles. I never thought about the difference it would make in dad's breathing. I will check it out with his doctors.

    Once again, thanks for your help, and wish me luck.


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