Hey guys, first time posting here, though I've done some reading in the past few days and I've found a lot of good advice, though I have some specific questions I'd like to ask.
First of all, I'm going to be leaving Houston, TX on Friday morning around 5 a.m. with my brother, and our initial destination is Las Vegas. We plan to leave out of Houston and drive straight through to Benson, AZ and catch some rest at the Motel 6 there. The next morning, I'm planning on leaving by 7 a.m. and heading straight to Vegas, hopefully getting there between 3 and 5 p.m. At that point, I'm looking at the Motel 6 downtown as our accommodations for the night. We plan to get there, check in, and browse the strip that night. As neither of us drink or gamble, Vegas is kind of a "Hey, we've been there!" destination as opposed to the actual point of the trip. Once we wake up the next morning, we're heading to the Grand Canyon, where I plan on checking into the Holiday Inn Express about a mile from the south Rim upon arrival...if we leave early in the morning from Vegas, we should hit the Canyon around noon.
We're going to be spending 2 days in the Canyon doing everything we can, and then we're getting up and driving straight through to El Paso, where I'm again looking at a Motel 6 for that night. After that, it's back to Houston.
The reasons it might seem rushed is because a.) we're only setting out with about $1500 total for gas, rooms, food, etc. and b.) I start a new job on February 9th, and I need to be back a day or so before. Here's what our preliminary schedule looks like, broken down.
Jan. 30th - Houston to Benson.
Jan. 31st - Benson to Vegas.
Feb. 1st - Vegas to the Grand Canyon.
Feb. 3rd - Grand Canyon to El Paso.
Feb. 4th - El Paso to Houston.
Now, on the 30th, we're going to have to find a Western Union somewhere along the road to pick up some money we're having wired to us, though I doubt that will be a problem.
I guess my biggest questions are do you think $1500 is enough for the round trip, for one. Another is, with the night time temps at the Grand Canyon being fairly low, would saving some money and camping there be recommended, or would the hotel be the better idea?
I've never gone on a road trip entirely planned and financed by myself before, so I'm a little apprehensive when it comes to the amount of money we're going to have and whether my planning is sound. With two of us, the long driving distances I have planned aren't going to be too much trouble, though I'm admittedly rushing my plans because I absolutely have to be back by the 8th to start my job.
I suppose I should note that my car is a 2008 Ford Focus, which averages about 34 mpg on the highway and about $20 per fill up.
Any advice or suggestions you guys can provide would be greatly appreciated.