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  1. Default Road Trip to Circle the US starting with NJ and ending in FL

    Myself and three of my friends are starting to plan our road trip for a two week trip. We are starting in Hamilton (central), New Jersey and heading west to the pacific and then to the southeast and ending in Jacksonville, FL. We will not be making any reservations for hotels or motels because ... we don't care where we sleep. We have not decided on what vehicle we'll be driving, it's a toss up between a 2008 Jeep Wrangle 4x4 4-door or a roomy Chevy Impalla. Help me make the right decision, since gas is an arm and a leg. We are 4 guys all at the age of 21 and single, just looking for the fun in every town or city we go to. If you have any ideas or suggestions of our trip that we plan on making in the month of August of this year, feel free to leave a message.
    P.S. this website rocks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Sounds like a fun trip....if you just want to drive, that is!

    I hope you realize that you are not going to have much time to look for fun in every city or town you go to. It takes about 5 days of pretty steady driving just to drive coast-to-coast. Add in the two long driving days you'll need to go up-and-down the coasts themselves, and you have driven for 14 days....your entire 2 weeks. This will allow you a small a mount of time to play each day but not much.

    I understand you might believe that you can take turns driving and have someone catch some sleep in the back seat. That might be realistic for a shorter trip but won't really work for a trip of this length. Fatigue will settle in and then you become a hazard to yourself and others. Please read The Art of the Speed Run and this discussion about how many miles you can travel safely in one day.

    Unless you are planning on doing some off-roading, there is no reason to bring the 4x4. And you won't really have time to do that anyway. With the hours you'll be in the car, you need the most comfortable vehicle you can get ahold of.

    I realize this might not be what you want to hear but it's reality.

  3. Default So how long should I make the trip?

    The reason we decided on not making the trip last more than two weeks was for two reasons, budget and time. We don't want to spend to much on motel rooms and so we tried to limit our overnights but it then puts us into the "hurried" mode for the road trip. We also dont want to take more than two weeks because it will require more time off from working and then thought that we may become aggrevated with one another if we were confined for anymore than the two weeks. So my question is, if we did have a little more time, just how much more would we need? Second how much should we look to spend on the road trip? I was thinking that it would be about $2,000 for gas atleast... if the prices don't hike much higher.

    Another question I have is what stops do you recommend (national parks, cities, towns, etc.)?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Be realistic, then

    I would say that three weeks is the minimum time you need for this trip in order to have some time to play along the way. This would give you 7 days to play and 14 days to travel. I'm not sure it would be worth it.

    If your only intention is to "bag" places to visit in order to say you've been there...even though you are only driving through, then you can do it in 14 days. If you want to do a whistle-stop tour, meaning you have time to stop for a quick visits at some places along the way but aren't taking time for any in-depth exploration or planning on doing much relaxing/playing, then 21 days will do it. And if you're happy making this trip under those conditions, go for it.

    I just don't think you're being realistic. It sounds like time and budget are issues. On this type of trip, gas is going to be your biggest expense and the one you have most control over. So why not actually plan a trip that is feasible in 14 days and that fits your budget?

    From New Jersey, you have several options for more regional trips that will cover less miles and, consequentially, keep that gas bill down. How about a swing up to Maine, maybe return via Montreal and Toronto? Or the various Atlantic beaches? Or Chicago? Or Memphis area? You have a ton of options that would be cheaper because you're not driving so far.

    This post should give you some good money-saving ideas. At the top of that post is a link to another post with the steps you'll need to go through to determine your budget. Why don't you work up a preliminary budget and then post it here so we can help you figure out if it is reasonable?

    Expect gas prices to hike in the summer. They always do.

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