I am new to these threads, just finding the site today due to researching about a plan to go on a road-trip this summer. It's still in the beginning stages but I'd like to do most of the research before we really decide on specific things. I've been trying to figure out costs, mostly for gas at the moment, since I heard that's what drains your money the most.
I've figured that doing the whole east to west coast was too big of a plan. I've been on long drives before, never really for a road-trip though. The farthest I've gone before I think was from Atlanta to somewhere in California. Unfortunately I was around 1 year old...so yeah...I wouldn't remember that. The most frequent car-trips I've taken is each year from Atlanta, Ga to Chicago, Illinois with the parents and my brother. Most of our family lives up there. So I'm not entirely foreign to long trips in the car with not many breaks. When we take those trips we often do it in one day, sitting in the car for a good 6 hours before any breaks.
I have also done a few camping events as a child. My brother was in karate and would do summer trips up to some place in Georgia (I'm drawing a blank where) and camp out for a few days while they did training and what-not. And he was also in some boyscout thing I went to which was camping. So it's not like I have NO idea what camping is like. So I've got some experience, but probably not as much as is ideal, but I'm up to the idea of camping out every other night or so, or more if needed.
So now that you know the things I've had experience with. I'll tell you what I've been thinking about. I want to do this trip with a close friend of mine. My friend is 19 and I'll be 18 this April. Because I realize we need to split costs of gas and lodging, I've thought about inviting another two friends close to us, or at the LEAST one more friend. Both these friends are 19 and 20.
Now then, I really want to do this trip to see a lot of natural places, parks and all that jazz. I'm a dedicated photographer, so I've been hiking a lot through Georgia to find secluded falls and interesting places, and that's one of the things I'm interested in, finding beautiful water-falls, mountains, valleys, anything really to make for a cool picture. Not to mention see cultural things as well, since people also make for good photos.
So what I'm saying is that not all the destinations have to be big amazing events...just interesting...
I've done some minimal estimation on prices for gas...
My own personal car is Ford Taurus, though I'm not so sure about taking that because it's such a small car if we take four people! So the car I'm setting my mind on is my mother's 93' Mercury Villager, which we've always taken on our trips up to Illinois and has survived all of them. It says to have at the lowest 17 mpg, and using the fuel calculator it says to be 470 for a 2000 trip (which I rounded by using map-quest, but I'm expecting it to be a bit over that due to off track courses to places. So at the most I estimated around 600 dollars. Splitting that four ways would be 200 each...
What I'm most curious about is how much food and lodging will cost. Say we camp out half the time and go to motels the other half. (I forgot to mention we'd be doing this for around 2-3 weeks. 3 being the most desired.) I've read around the site and found prices, but I'm not sure how to go about estimating this cost so I have an idea of how to split it.
And food I've heard it's best to do the cooler for two meals and eat one hot meal a day? If not, correct me. We definitely don't mind making our own sandwiches and eating nuts and what-not between meals to satisfy our hunger. I've also had a recent disgust towards Mc.Donalds but I wouldn't mind eating their lesser fried stuff every now and then simply to save money...
So an over view
3-4 GIRLS (not that it makes a difference I'd think...) 18-20 yrs
Starting from around Atlanta and wanting to end up in New York city. (I live in Atlanta, but the main destination in the north can be altered depending on what exactly is around certain parts.)
Miles estimated is 2000 or more.
Car, hopefully the Villager, 17mpg
Motel and Camping (both are fine). I heard of truck-stops, so perhaps we can do some of that as well? The car is able to take out the two in between seats leaving the two front seats and a long back seat. (We do this every time we go to Illinois, so it's not a problem.) It leaves a good deal of room for putting food and things we need to reach during drives there instead of the trunk. We also don't mind sleeping together, obviously or sleeping on the floor if necessary.
We will like to shower, at the least, every other day...especially if camping. We're women...come on.
Hopefully this is enough information for you guys to estimate some prices and time it should take. I want the least amount and the most amount if possible.
Also I am looking for interesting sites to see on the East side. Mostly out of Georgia, since I've lived here all my life...but either way is fine. And hopefully things you think I DEFINITELY should go to if the trip happens. I don't want to miss out on some once in a lifetime things.
Thanks again for taking your time to inform me! I really hope to take this trip and enjoy it to its fullest. It will definitely be an experience.