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  1. Default Cross country road trip from NYC to Portland

    Hey everyone..I'm 23 years old and it has always been my dream to road trip the US. Summer 2011 looks like it may be the perfect opportunity as I will quit my job that I dislike in a part of the US that is boring. I will begin to look for work, probably in NYC, after this epic summer. This will probably be my last chance at this so I gotta go for it, right?

    Here are the details. Me and one friend will be leaving NYC around the beginning of June and head out to Portland, Oregon where my buddy lives. The plan is to pick him up, buy surf boards and to road trip the west coast and learn how to surf the whole way down and stay with a friend in San Diego for a few days. If we get courageous we may even venture down through mexico to cabo, which is probably a terrible idea.

    The reason I'm posting on this site is for a good route from NYC to Portland. The goal is not to get there as quickly ad possible but to get the full experience. In other words, what cool places should we stop to see that aren't too far out of the way. Also, we will be 23 and 22 year old bachelors who would like to party with as much beautiful women as we can. However, we would also like to see nature and visit some national parks. Obviously we want to hit up the grand canyon and ride donkeys and las Vegas but I think that's manageable once we get down close to LA after we already get to Portland. I'd imagine we'd sleep in the car a lot, camp or go to cheap motels. Money is not a problem. I should have between 33k and 37k saved up by next summer. My friend however may be broke so we decided that we can craigslist some odd jobs and work for a day or two. Obviously, if this doesn't work out, I will be able to spot him. Anyone have any experience with this? The point I'm trying to make is that I want to do this right and not cut corners but to also have a decent amount of money left when we get back. How much would you say it will cost me?

    -quick route across but not too quick
    -party but also experience other things
    -do it right as this may be my last opportunity
    -money is not an issue but I don't want to go broke
    -can use whole summer if that's what it takes

    I apologize for the length and appreciate if anyone has any cool ideas, tips, routes, suggestions or anything else they want to share. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default the whole country

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    A trip that goes from coast to coast has millions of possibilities for routes and stops, and really only you can decide what works best for you based on how much time you really have and what you are interested in. A few very wide open possibilities would include going across following I-90 through Chicago, the Black Hills, Yellowstone, etc. You could also go through places like St. Louis, Kansas City, Colorado, and work your way up. You could do a combination of those, or you could do something totally different.

    I'm curious as to what the boring part of the country where you're working, because there really are no boring places - just people who've given up on looking for what's interesting. There's also never a last opportunity, until you're dead at least.

    I will give you a word of warning about money - I'd have a very specific plan in place especially in regards to splitting costs with your friend. If you have saved up tens of thousands of dollars, and he's just expecting to go along for the ride with little to no money saved up, that can very easily and quickly destroy your roadtrip and your friendship. A plan to find day labor in an economy with 20% real unemployment is not one that I would rely on, and a plan to spot a friend cash can be very problematic unless you spell out the details of how much and under what conditions the money will be given. To me, that's the single most dangerous and concerning part of what you laid out.

    Your plan really is to wide open right now to give you any budget figure that would be anything other than a wild guess. The big expenses are fuel, food, and lodging, but you'll also need money for potential car repairs, entertainment, and other things that will come up over the course of a few months, but most all of those will depend upon your own choices.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the quick reply Midwest Michael! After a quick look using my iPhone map I came up with a decent number of stops. Can you let me know if this sounds possible? Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Salt Lake City, straight up to yellowstone, then possible seatle to Portland or straight to Portland. I have friends in St Louis, Kansas City, and Denver so those will be fun.

    To answer your question, I moved about 8 hours away from my home, family and friends on long island for a job July 2009 after I graduated college. Maybe it's unfair to call it boring but it's just not for me. I probably am biased as I came from the NYC area but I just can't wait to get out of here.

    I agree with you about the money. If it were to come down to it we will have a very specific plan. We have been best friends for 10 years or so, so I'm not too worried about getting paid back. In fact I paid for his spring break vacation and he paid me back in full very quickly. He's my friend who's most like me and has the same interests as me so I really want him to come. He probably will have money but just in case we will work out an agreement. I appreciate your concern.

    Basically, we're 2 (until we hit portland then we'll be 3) young guys looking to have an unforgettable summer we will be talking about for years and years. When we're 80 we want to be able to say remember the time instead of what if?

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