Im in the early stages of planning a coast to coast trip for the summer. I found this site and have browsed through a lot of threads, theres a lot of great info here. One thing that came as a surprise to me is the cost that it seems people are saying to make such a road trip.
Keep in mind that the goal of this trip is to see the country, nothing else. Spending as little money as possible is a priority. We are willing to rough it, camping only, eating simple meals etc.
I had done some math, estimating food, gas, lodging and my numbers are drastically lower from the bare minimum that is being suggested for a cross country trip.
The consensus here seems to be that $15 a day for food per person is the cheapest it can possibly be done. That would mean three $5 meals a day, which is more than I spend at home for much more elaborate home-made meals. What am I missing here? I had thought more along the lines of $2 per meal or less, a box of spaghetti costs 79 cents and can feed 5 people. Similar with things like eggs/toast, hotdogs etc. Am I being really naive to have expectations like that?
Here are my calculations, I am open to criticism, I dont want to go into something ill prepared and fail, I came here to learn how to do it right.
For 6 people:
Food: $6 a day/person = $720 total
Gas to drive 8k miles at $3/gallon: $1200
Lodging for 20 nights: $440
Total: $2360, $393/person
I realize this does not factor in any leisure activities, but I am more concerned with figuring out the essentials right now. I am figuring we will drive about 400 miles a day, 6-7 hours in the car, leaving in mid-morning and driving until mid-afternoon, set up camp and then have the rest of the afternoon/evening to see the area. I know that is not much time each day for sight seeing, but the focus of the trip is really to just see the general landscape of the whole country, even if its not necessarily all in detail. Am I crazy to try this trip? Why?