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  1. Default ROAD TRIP! "We have no idea what were doing"

    Hey so me and my bud are heading out on a road trip on the 1st of February. We are both 18 years old. We have bought a VW van and were our going to take a road trip around North America. We are looking at roughly 10,000 miles. We are starting in Vancouver, British Columbia and heading down the coast to san diego. From there we are heading into Mexico to Puerto Vallarta and the over to Valacruz Mexico. From there we head up to new orleans and then to Miami Florida. From there we head up to Quebec. Then to toronto and then down to cleaveland. From there we head to utah/nevada and then back to san fransico and then back up to vancouver. What I just said was the outline on the trip. So yeah we are roughly looking at 10,000 miles @ 12 MPG @ $4.50 a gallon. We have all the financial parts of the trip planned out but honestly we have no idea what were doing. We have a budget of $16,000. ($8,000 each). The van was $5,000 and were looking at spending $4,000 on gas which means we only got $7,000 Left for all our attractions and food which is pretty good. But like I said I have totally over priced everything to make sure we dont run out of money cause the average gas price is $3.50 and Im charging $4.50 and our car gets better gas milage then 12MPG haha.

    -What are some essential items that we need to bring?

    -What should we look out for?

    -Should we have travelers insurance (we are canadian and we will be in the USA most of the time)

    This is our first time doing something like this so any help would be great!!!!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default way under

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    My first thought is that there is no way this trip will be roughly 10,000 miles. Your point to point distances just in the US and Canada will almost certainly exceed that number. Plus, You're looking at another 3,000 mile detour by heading well into the Mexican Interior.

    Those are just point to point distances, generally you need to figure another 30% minimum to factor in drives around town, through parks, etc. Realistically, you'll be looking at a 15,000 mile trip on the low end, and I'd probably use a number of 18-20000 miles for doing my planning. That would put your fuel costs up close to $7,000 alone. Now you are right that you might get better mpgs, but and gas might be less than $4.50, but both of those numbers are also distinctly possible.

    How long do you plan to be on the road for this trip? That's going to play a big roll in what you'll have left budget wise.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default An epic adventure!

    But it sounds like you need to be a lot more prepared. I agree with the 18-20k miles estimate. Estimating high is always good. Just make sure you factor in all potentials.

    Bucks for the Basics will give you some tips on figuring costs.

    -What are some essential items that we need to bring?
    This post will take you to discussions about what to pack

    -What should we look out for?
    I'm not sure I understand the question. I would look for new experiences, scenic vistas, a way to connect to local people and culture, and a whole lotta fun. :)

    Are you talking about safety issues? People are people wherever you go. I generally recommend people exercise the same type of judgment that they use at home. Use common-sense, don't walk down dark alleys at night, don't go off with someone you don't know to a private location, don't flash money or expensive items, etc. I then recommend turning up that personal safety radar just a notch, not much, but enough to allow for unfamiliar places. Does that help?

    -Should we have travelers insurance (we are canadian and we will be in the USA most of the time)
    This website says this:

    Health and Travel Insurance: Do not rely on your provincial health plan to cover all expenses if you get sick or are injured while abroad. It may cover nothing or only a portion of the costs. Understand the terms of your supplementary insurance policy. Some credit cards offer their holders health and travel insurance. Do not assume the card alone provides adequate coverage. Carry details of your insurance with you. Also, tell your travel agent, a friend or relative, and/or travelling companion how to contact your insurer. Get a detailed invoice from the doctor or hospital before you return to Canada. Always submit original receipts for any medical services or prescriptions received abroad. Most insurance companies will not accept copies or faxes.
    The quote is specific to US travel. You should probably read that whole webpage and then do a search at the website to see what they suggest for Mexico.

    Please let us know how else we can help you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Included?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cman View Post
    We have a budget of $16,000. ($8,000 each). The van was $5,000 and were looking at spending $4,000 on gas which means we only got $7,000 Left for all our attractions and food which is pretty good.
    Ok, so you've included the cost of the vehicle as part of your budget - which means your budget starting point is $11,000. I see you state the money that is left is for attractions and food - what about lodging?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default camping fees.

    Tim has a point there.

    Even though you have a camper, you will have camping fees to pay. I doubt you will be able to "boondock" every night, so expect to pay $15- $40 per night, depending on the sites you choose. That can add up on a long trip like yours.

    It sounds like a fantastic adventure you are going on, good luck to you !

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 09-26-2008 at 09:11 AM. Reason: typo in the title

  6. #6


    Well are you planning on Camping or just going on a road trip. If you are Camping then I recommend heading through Tennessee and then Kentucky. And If you are planning on Packing a rifle or pistol you better show boarder patrol you permits fast! Trust me I tried taking my .30 Cal they took it. So be Careful their, and i recommend staying off the streets at night in Mexico I got Jumped a couple times down there. And even if you are not planning on Camping you should bring a tent and a sleeping bag. And bring a couple of Buck knives they come in Handy.
    I hope this helps!
    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-05-2008 at 05:58 PM. Reason: Counseling misrepresentations cannot be condoned here

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