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  1. Default Idaho To North Carolina

    Hello! We're planning a move from Idaho to North Carolina and would like some advice. We're not renting a moving van, just loading up what we are taking in the car. We checked gas prices online and it estimated $300 for gas. We were hoping to see if anyone has done a similiar move and what expenses we should realistically budget for and any fun roadside attractions to check out along the way. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!

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

    Default You're light movers!

    Welcome to the RTA forums! We have had many people visit these forums who are moving coast-to-coast and points in-between. This is a fairly common reason for a roadtrip.

    It's roughly 2500 miles from Idaho to North Carolina. We recommend traveling not more than about 500-550 miles per day so you will need five days to make this move at a comfortable pace.

    At today's gas prices, your car would need to average about 29mpg to stay within that $300 budget (based on driving 2500 miles). But that is point-to-point and doesn't allow for leaving the interstate for food, fuel, lodging stopping at scenic places along the way, etc. Even if you're not planning on going very much off the freeway to check out the sights along the way, you will need to add miles for these other things. Even if we estimate those extra miles at a low 15% more miles, that means you'd have to increase your gas budget by the same 15% (or, in this case, $45). If you're doing this on a tight budget, I think you should consider adding at least $100 to your fuel budget just to have a bit of wiggle-room.

    Of course, if your car doesn't average 29mpg, you will need to adjust this budget to reflect the mileage your vehicle actually gets.

    Your other expenses will mainly be food and lodging, which can very a lot. This post will give you a lot of tips on how to estimate how much you will spend on these items.

    Where exactly are you starting from/ending at? Your most direct route will be different from Northern Idaho, then if you're leaving from Southern Idaho. And what kind of things are you hoping to see? Are you needing to get there quickly and stay close to the freeway, or are you willing to go a way off-course? (If you do, this might add days and increase your budget.)

  3. Default

    First off, thank you for your helpfull response, we really appreciate it! We are moving from Boise to Charlotte. I am hoping to keep this under or around $1000.00 which I think is reasonable. We are not planning on stopping that much but, as you know, that doesnt always work out that way. Its just two of us and we are under no time restraint, but like I mentioned we really dont want to spend more than a grand on this trip. On a sidenote, I am really impressed by the information and kind consideration I have seen on this sight. What a breath of fresh air from other forums!

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

    Default Thanks for your kind words!

    We work hard to keep this a friendly, helpful forum. I'm glad you appreciate it and that you've found advice here helpful.

    You can do this trip for $1000 or less but it might get tight if you eat in restaurants for every meal and don't watch your budget on hotels. If money is an issue, you might want to eat at least two of your daily meals out of your cooler. Camping is also always cheaper than motels, if that interests you.

    Did you work through the steps to help you figure your budget I gave you in my last post? It's very helpful. Check out how to figure your bucks for the basics here, if you haven't already.

    For inexpensive hotels, the easiest thing to do is stop at a few chain locations in Boise before you leave like Motel 6, Super 8, Days Inn, and pick up their free guides to their motel locations. Alternatively, you can go to their websites and check out what locations are on your route.

    If you don't have your route figured yet, here's your quickest route: head to Ogden UT on 84; continue on 84 until it merges with 80 just east of Ogden; then 80 east to Lincoln, NE; 29 to Kansas City; 70 east to St. Louis; 64 east to 57 then 57 south to 24; then 24 to Nashville; then 40 to Ashville NC; then 26 to Spartanburg and, finally, 85 to Charlotte. About 2350 miles. Five days. Four minimum. This map should help.

    You'll be going through some very cool stuff. If you can save on your expenses and add a few days to your trip, I don't think you'll regret it. Just a few of the highlights along this route are:
    * Wyoming: Fort Laramie and the old-west stuff in Cheyenne
    * Historic Fort Kearney, NE
    * St. Louis with its famous Arch and more

    And, believe me, you'll drive past many other things that will make you wish you had time to stop, even if just for a short look-see.

    You will also be going through Nashville and Knoxville but I think those are places that you might want to save to explore later because they will be easy drives from Charlotte.

  5. #5

    Default The Journey is almost as important as the Destination

    First of all, I live about 50 miles north west of Charlotte, NC and have traveled over much of the area between Boise and Charlotte. No matter which way you go, there are things to see and do that are free or cheap.

    Knowing that money is limited should not reduce the enjoyment of the journey if you watch how and when you spend. A bit of research can help before the trip begins (and this is a great place to start too!). I have done a bit of research of the price of gas and you should be able to get gas for under $3.50 a gallon average for the journey.

    Since time is not critical, but money is, I have two routes to recommend that will take you over two totally different aspects of American nostalgia/history. Both will require some research on your part before making the trip. But that is not a bad thing either because you will learn more about this land that you will have thought possible.

    Both routes start out going to Twin Falls and taking U.S. 93 south.

    1. When you come to the crossing of the "Old Lincoln Highway" take it east until reach I-77 in Ohio and take it south into Charlotte.

    2. Take U.S. 93 south to Kingman, Arizona. There take old "Route 66" as much as possible east to Oklahoma City. Take I-40 east to Statesville, NC. Take I-77 south into Charlotte.

    On both routes you can find motels for $40 a night or less. They are not the chain motels but are clean and comfortable. By all means eat at the "Mom and Pop" diners. The food is good and cheap at most if not all of them.

    If I can be of more assistance, please feel free to post here or email me direct.


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