View Poll Results: In which exciting town would you splurge your roadtrip budget?

5. You may not vote on this poll
  • Las Vegas

    3 60.00%
  • New Orleans

    2 40.00%
  • Houston

    0 0%
  • Key West

    0 0%
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Default

    This summer some friends and I are planning on taking a round trip coast to coast roadtrip.

    I have already mapped out most of our roadtrip:
    - The first cross country trip will take us mostly along the i-10, starting in Los Angeles and going through Palm Springs, Phoenix, Tucson, Roswell, San Antonio, Houston, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Mobile, Jacksonville, down to Key West, back up Florida through Orlando, Savannah, Charleston and finally Raleigh. During this trip we are planning on making many stops in national parks, historic towns and beach stops

    -Our return trip will take us from Raleigh to Los Angeles passing through Charlotte, Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Santa Fe, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Mojave Desert. During this trip will make few stops the most important one being the Grand Canyon

    We are going to be 3-4 girls and don't yet have a budget. Our time constraint is 4 weeks. None of us are campers and I think we will plan on staying in cheap motels, we have some family strewn across the country who we will try to stay with when possible. We are planning on getting most of our food from grocery stores but would like to include some nice local meals in restaurants as well, we would like to visit a lot and aren't very interested in buying souvenirs as we are most likely going to document our trip via photographs and blogs.

    According to google maps and including all side trips the total miles round trip would be 8765, so around 9000.

    My question is: what should our budget be? Is this safe? Are there any must-see places along the way? Has anyone taken a similar trip?

    Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated...this is a first roadtrip!!

    Thank you so much!
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-25-2010 at 07:50 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Some trip !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    what should our budget be?
    This will be something you have to work out amongst yourselves. Travelling in a group you might have some that could manage a bigger budget than others which can sometimes lead to other problems, such as one not being able to afford to join the others on a night out. Figure a cheap hotel near Interstate for around $45 and one in a city to be $100. There is a fuel cost calculator at the side of the page, you have an idea of mileage, take an average for gas [say$3.5 per gallon] and divide it by the mpg of your road trip vehicle. Food should be the same as at home at both eating in or eating out prices. A ball park figure often used is $100 a day but with a group you could save considerably on that if you had to.

    Is this safe?
    We have solo female travellers on the forum who travel safely. Everywhere is someones home town so use your common sense as you do at home and all should be fine.

    Are there any must-see places along the way?
    There will be many that you will consider "must see" that others may not and vice versa. Sit down with your friends and look for places of interest together and get an understanding of what you are looking for from the trip. You will find this fun quiz a great way to make sure you are all on the same page.

    Your miles will probably go beyond 10,000 miles by the time you have toured around City's and National parks etc so take that into consideration. Also consider that we recommend days on the road of not much more than 500-550 miles which equates to around 10 hours a day in the car with only time for short breaks for food and bathroom breaks and to stretch your legs plus re-fuelling, no sight seeing. With that in mind are you all sure that you want to spend 18 to 20 days of your 28 day break in a car for 9 or 10 hours. It's certainly possible but it could start to test your friendships a little.

    Have a look around the RTA pages, you will find lots of info on all aspects of road tripping.

  3. #3


    Sounds like quite the trip. I'm jealous. I've been to a few of the cities you've mentioned and have some insight as to some fun places to check out...
    New Orleans - Obviously the French Quarter is where you will find some great restaurants and if you're into music I suggest checking out the legendary Tipitina's jazz club. Magazine street is good for shopping and there are some neat funky neighborhoods around there. The garden district is also a must see if you want to check out neat southern architecture.
    Savannah -
    Charleston - Sullivan's Island is a fun place to spend the day on the beach and there is a popular restaurant which is walkable from the beach called Poe's where a lot of locals like to hang out. Market street is a strip of open-air markets that is fun to walk through and there are great restaurants and shops around there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default ages

    Can I ask how old you and your friends are? I get the impression you're about 18-19?

    If that is the case, you should keep in mind, you may find you are fairly restricted on what you can do. Obviously bars/clubs would mostly be off limits, but there will also be motels that will require you to be over 21.

    I would very much agree that you should take the quiz that Dave linked to. While its great that you've got a good idea of places you want to go, if you don't yet know everyone who is going (thus the range of 3-4 people) its hard to build a trip that includes everyones ideas, when you don't know everyone who is going.

    A trip of this scale is a very major project, and quite often these plans get derailed because not everyone has the same level of commitment and involvement in the planning. Especially, when you're talking about a 4 week trip that will require significant resources (a very rough guess would be about $5000 total for your trip keeping things frugal, so you're talking a good $1000-1500 for each person). A lot of times, especially on a first trip like this, you're more likely to have a trip that actually gets off the ground that's a little shorter and less time consuming. That will let everyone get a taste of the trip, focus on fun and do a trip they know they will enjoy, without having to promise so much in terms of both time and money.

  5. Default Thank you!

    Southwest Dave: Thank you for all the info, I am forwarding on the quiz to my 3 prospective friends, As for driving I think we'd want to be in the car even less than 10 hours a day so I'm guessing we are going to have to significantly cut down our trip, I think we still want to go coast to coast as that is the dream but maybe with less stops along the way. I've been looking around the different posts and just found a great one about budgeting. So thank you! Will be sure to transfer on everything I learn during my trip on the forums!

    Citywanderer: Thank you so much for the tips! Especially since New Orleans is the place I am most looking forward to going. When you were on your trip did you exclusively travel through the south?

    Midwest Michael: Yes we are all 21 and over so that should be no problem -this is our after-college trip. The budget we were planning was around 1500 $ but since I've been looking around the forums I think we might have to plan a little more + cut down some stops.

    We're still a couple months away from summer so we are definitely going to have to rethink many aspects of the trip...

    Thanks for all the great responses!
    This forum is great!

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by spilledsugar View Post
    Citywanderer: Thank you so much for the tips! Especially since New Orleans is the place I am most looking forward to going. When you were on your trip did you exclusively travel through the south?
    Hey, no problem. I went to college in New Orleans for a year then transferred to the University of Georgia but I lived in Washington, D.C. so did a ton of driving in the south and went to a lot of different cities...that's how I got familiar with the area.
    I actually do some work with Lexus Magazine too and they have a road trip section that has activities and routes to take around different cities. They just put one up for North Carolina's Outer Banks that you might want to check out.

  7. Default

    Wow looks amazing! I had never heard of Ocracoke before, I think we will definitely try and work that in to the schedule...That's really cool that Lexus makes that kind of information available. I used to live in D.C too!

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