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  1. Default All 48 state road trip

    Hey everybody! My two friends and I have been planning a huge road trip for about 3 years but never seriously started planning until recently, were planning on driving through all the 48 connected states of the US. Were all only 16 and will be at least 17 at the begining of the trip. With school consuming most of our time dies anybody have any suggestions on a way to make money without getting an actual job? And could anybody maybe come up with a price range for the trip if our car gets 17 mpg and gas is $1.50?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Not to put a damper on your plans, but this is a 11000 mile undertaking, and will take about 3 weeks. There's not a hotel in the country that will rent rooms to people under 18, are you sure you are up to camping (hot, cold, dry, wet, insects, dirt) and eating junk out of a cooler for 3 weeks? Gas will be $1000 if the average price is $1.50 when you make the trip. If you are serious, cut out the extracurricular activities and get jobs. $1000 is only the tip of the iceberg.

    What do your parents think of this idea?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Not to put a damper on your plans, but this is a 11000 mile undertaking, and will take about 3 weeks. There's not a hotel in the country that will rent rooms to people under 18......
    Ditto for most campgrounds and all hostels.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Please let me know !

    With school consuming most of our time dies anybody have any suggestions on a way to make money without getting an actual job?
    I would love to know the answer to this one. ;-)

    Hello and welcome to R.T.A.

    Without trying to sound patronising we have all had dreams of the open road and are just itching to get on with achieving that goal at a young age. Unfortunately it sometimes takes longer to do than we hope. The one thing to remember is that there is plenty of time to finish school,get some work, save some money and then have a trip of a lifetime that you will never forget. The trip itself is a great motivational tool to focus on.

    Have a search of the forums and planning pages as well as the Internet for ideas and consider the possibility of doing a few short trips closer to home to start with. This is a great way to prepare yourself for the "Big one" and to keep the dream alive. You can also get used to each others habits in close company and iron out any problems/differences before hand.

    Good luck with your plans.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Minor Problems

    As much as I appreciate your desire to do a major trip, it just doesn't sound like you're really going to be ready for a trip on the magnitude that you are dreaming.

    First of all, without jobs, I just don't see how you will be able to save enough money to make this work. Just doing a real rough guess, I think you'd need at least $2500 to make this trip work at the cheapest level. That doesn't even include a reserve fund, in case you have a car problem or other unexpected expense, and it does assume that gas prices will continue to fall to the $1.50 mark (and to be honest, if the trip is for this summer, I'd use at least a figure of $2 for planning to account for the traditional seasonal fluxuations. Thankfully, without a major worldwide economic recovery, I doubt it will get much beyond that this year.)

    In addition to the money, there are a large number of hurdles to overcome doing this trip under age 18. Lodging will be difficult as has previously been mention. Campsites shouldn't be too hard to find, although some private sites could have age restrictions, but motels will not be a possibility. You should also think about other factors, like medical care, which become very difficult when you aren't a legal adult.

    Honestly, I would strongly suggest scaling your plans back a bit. This doesn't have to be an all or nothing plan. Take a smaller trip for now, spend a few days on the road, get a feel for what you like and what you don't like. Then in a year or two, when you're more finanically and legally able to support yourselves, you'll be in a much better position to make the trip of your dreams.

  6. Default

    I'm doing the same sort of road trip, starting September 2010. I'm from the UK so obviously I'll have to pay for flights over and buy a car once I'm there. I've started saving already and I'm basically going to save as much money as I can before I leave.

    I'm not expert on whether you'd be able to do it on so little money but as for earning money without having an actual job... well if you find out the secret to that then PM me with the details! ;)

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Jack, how do you plan to buy a car over here? That is a *LOT* easier said than done. You need a physical address in the state that you are registering the car in, and a hotel room doesn't satisfy that. It's a lot easier to rent a car.

  8. Default

    I agree, a trip of this level will be very difficult for those under 18. Not only financially, but in terms of legalities.

    If you got pulled over for speeding (or any infraction) do you really think any officer in the land would believe you were allowed to drive 11,000 miles just to go to all 48 states?

    I seriously doubt that'd be an easy conversation.

    I agree. Scale back the trip. If you're itching for a trip, I'm sure a short 1,000 mile or so round trip to points unknown will be fine. Graduate, save money, and plan for a great trip.

    If you do go through with it, it can be done cheap.

    I did it solo in just over 15 days a couple years ago. I slept in my car mostly (except when I picked up my wife for the last part). It was 10,473 miles total. Even at 20mpg, you're looking at 500 gallons of gas, at $2~ a gallon, that's $1,000 just for gas. Even cheap food carried with you would be rack up to be $200-$500 for your trip. And that's barebones, nothing fancy, all bought at a store and carried with you.

    The other big thing is roadworthiness of the vehicle? I would strongly recommend getting it checked by a mechanic before such an endeavor. Good to know you have a cracked head gasket BEFORE the trip (true story, before my honeymoon, we had our car in the shop for a road trip and found it was cracked and leaking oil. Good to know before hand and got it fixed).

    My biggest question, and probably this is because I'm almost a decade removed from adolescence is... are your parents okay with this? I thought I had two of the most laid back parents when it came to individual freedoms and liberties, but not to go 10,000+ miles around the country on a shoestring budget.

    Also, what about contact? Cell phones, etc? Make sure you have a national plan and keep an eye out for when you're roaming (there's still places where you won't be on your extended network). Establish some type of relay system, check calls, etc to family. Let them know what route you're taking, and your ETAs to each point. Where you are stopping for the night, when you will leave in the morning. And if you fail to call when you arrive or depart a place, they have a way of trying to contact anyone as to finding you.

    I'm not saying this to persuade you to go. Just that IF you go, you do it in the safest, most responsible manner.

    It's a huge endeavor.

    And as mentioned, what about repairs on the road? Would you have an emergency credit card or such? Or someone who can western union you money (if you can get to western union). For two that don't want to get a job to save for this, last thing you'd want is to work as dishwashers for a couple of weeks sleeping in a broken down car to pay for its repairs to go home. :)


  9. Default No way..

    Hey, so this is cool, my friends and I from California are planning to do the same exact thing, oh and guess what? We're 16 as well. But on the other hand despite our eager enthusiasm to hit the road we are planning to do this in the summer of 2012, after our graduation from high school, when we are all within legal driving age and have saved a substantial amount of money towards our trip. But none the less, best wishes, and I'm curious to see if you guys end up following through.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default No way indeed

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If you look at the date (or noticed that the original poster was hoping for gas priced at $1.50) you'll see that this thread is from 2008. Since the original poster hasn't returned to the forum since making that post, its very unlikely you'll get a response from them.

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