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  1. Default First cross country road trip without parent

    My sister and I are planning our first road trip without our mother. We are no strangers to the cramped car, hours driving and spending the night in a parking lot or two. But I need some tips and advice, especially on how to save money and to stay safe.
    I'm helping my sister move from Maine to live with me in California. Packing shouldn't be too horrible because my sister is only bring clothes and a few other things (we've moved in a mini van and sleeping on top of boxes is not fun). My mother is giving us 2000$ along with her mini van and I hope to save an extra 1000$ or at least have a emergency credit card. However there are a few places we want to stop at: Chicago, New Orleans,Missouri, Texas and The Grand canyon. I realize we might have to give up some things ,but I really don't want to. We have about 2 weeks until we need to reach our destination in California, any advice would be greatly appreciated and if we had to give up a destination spot in exchange for a shorter route please let me know which one that can wait for Road Trip the sequel.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Two weeks is a reasonable amount of time to fit in your destinations, though listing "Missouri" and "Texas" is rather vague - are there any particulars that are of interest to you in those states that make stopping there essential?

    The best tips about staying safe revolve around being aware of your surroundings and letting people know where you are. While you don't have to stick to a hard and fast itinerary, it's good to let somebody back home know where you are headed to on a particular day and where you plan to spend the night. As for your surroundings, if you don't feel comfortable in a location, then move on.

    Apart from that, knowing how to change a flat tire and what to do in an emergency situation are helpful to staying safe. What time of year are you planning your trip for?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default quite a lot, really

    $2000 for two people for two weeks on a one way trip cross country is really quite healthy, both in terms of time and money.

    It takes roughly a week to make the trip relatively quickly, so 2 weeks means you really shouldn't have any problem going through all the places you've listed.

    $2000 is also plenty of money to make this trip really quite comfortably. Its not high-roller money, but its not ramen noodles and sleeping in the car cheap either. You might spend $750 for gas, and another $750 for motels if you're staying at budget to mid level places. That leaves $500 for food and fun, which is means you should be able to do most everything you'd want to do - within reason.

  4. Default relief

    That is really good to hear Thanks! ^__^....I was also wondering what places are safe to spend the night in the car?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by WolfwoodCrazy View Post
    ............and spending the night in a parking lot or two. But I need some tips and advice, especially on how to save money and to stay safe.
    As already mentioned, budget-wise you should not have the necessity to sleep in your van in parking lots. However, should you choose to sleep in the van, even some of the nights, best do it at truck stops/travel plazas which make RVs welcome. These are well lit, have people coming and going all night and are generally safe and secure places to spend the night. Let them know you will be staying in the designated area. Eat in their restaurants and make use of the showering facilities for a small fee.

    Here is a great resource of where truck stops are and which ones welcome RVs.

    Lifey who spent many nights at truck stops

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