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  1. Default All around the US


    I'm going into my training for the Army in August. I will be in the Military Intelligence field and feel like I need to go on a road trip. My family is huge and scattered so i want to visit alot of them. I live in Tampa,Florida and my plan is to go up Florida's west coast and the just make a left and go to Texas. I have family there and i could stay the night or day there. After that we will drive to Las Vegas. It has always been a dream of mine to go there so.... im going.Then i will go to California where my Uncle lives. Stay there for a couple of days then head north to Washington. After being in Washington for a couple of days i will then leave and head to Racine, Wisconsin. I have family there and will stay there for a couple of days. After that i will go to Indiana to visit some friends. I don't know how long im going to stay there. Then form there i'm headed to the Big Apple. Yes im going to New York City. Yet another dream of mine and my uncle lives there. After being there for a couple of days im going to Head south on my way back home :(. I'm going to make many stops along the way. I will stop in Washington D.C. Then stay in North Carolina for a couple of days. I have another uncle there. On my way back into Florida i'm just going to keep driving down the East coast all the way to Key West. Leaving Key west i'll go up the west coast of Florida back to Tampa.

    I'm estimating that the fuel will be about 1500-1750 dollars and food will be about 10-12 bucks a day. I will have some friends with me and they will help pay for the gas. To save money there will be no sodas(I dont drink soda anyway).... too costly instead we will buy the 24 packs of water and i believe in the end we will save alot of money that way. Can anyone give me any pointers or tips? Maybe redefine my budget for me?

    Please and Thanks,

    PFC Siegfried
    U.S. Army Reserves

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Have you mapped this whole trip out and determined the total mileage to estimate your gas? To be safe, add 20% to the point to point mileage, and figure $3 a gallon for gas. How many days do you have to do this? You also need to figure 550 miles a day MAXIMUM driving point to point, anything considerably longer than that is becoming unsafe. Also add 20% to the estimated drive times that a mapping program gives you, software doesn't have to refuel, go to the bathroom, eat, stop for traffic, slow down for construction, etc.

    To save more money on beverages, save the empty water bottles and refill them. Even bottled water can get expensive and water in hotel rooms etc. is free.

    10 to 12 bucks a day is a little light for food. The only way you can reasonably do that is eat out of a cooler, and that will get old real quick. Take advantage of hotels with free breakfast.

    This looks roughly like a 9000 mile trip - do you agree? This will take 17 days just to go from point to point driving 10 hours a day. With this many miles, your car will need a service somewhere along there unless you use extended drain synthetic oil.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Big trip.

    That's quite some trip, Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    On the left hand side of the page you will notice the RTA fuel cost calculator link to help with those costs. Your food budget is pretty lean and you really need to allow some more for the occasional decent meal out. What are you doing for the nights in between visiting the relatives, is camping and cooking on a stove an option ? Working out how long you have for this trip and if your main goal is just to catch up with family or whether you want to spend extra time sight seeing [ Grand canyon on the way to Vegas as an example] will also affect your budget.
    I would also recommend you get your mode of transport checked over and serviced prior to leaving and that you have some sort of emergency fund in case of mechanical failure or other costs that may come out of nowhere.

  4. Default Thank you

    Recently i decided to put the trip together and so far this is what i have (You're just going to have to copy and paste it in your address bar):

    About the money, i'm not to worried about it. I'll just be getting back from my training for the Army. I'll have the money. Mainly what i want to do on this trip is explore. See America. Do things people can only dream of. I didn't even think about the car needing a engine service on the trip. See i've never done this before so any help and advice is highly welcomed. PLEASE give me the advice

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

    Default Some research.

    Hi ArmyGuy, [I got your PM].

    We are always pleased to offer advice but you are doing a lap of the US and we know nothing of your interests or how long you have to do the things you dream of, therefor we could throw out thousands of suggestions that are of no use to you.
    I would do some research, looking at the map again, placing dots where the relatives and stop overs are and look for interesting places in between. Get an idea of how long you have to do these things and follow glc's
    recommendations on travel times in post 2. Use the search button to explore the forums and road trip planning pages for ideas and as and when you have some specific questions just ask away and we will be happy to help.
    Google maps are very good for laying out routes and has a drag and drop system where you can alter your route between two points for any detours.

    To get you started here are some threads you might find useful, The RTA guide to every state; Tips on budgeting; Eating out of the cooler; What to put in your trunk and recommended travel distances.

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