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  1. Default Cross country road trip!

    Hi! I've been thinking about this for a long time and I really want to take a roadtrip. I live in pittsburgh PA and want to just disappear on a road trip for like 4 months! I was going to start by heading north, Niagara Falls, then hit up Vermont and New hampshire, Maine, Boston, NYC. Then head south along the coast until i get to Florida, of course making stops along the way. From there just kind of weave my way up to tennessee and start heading west through Oklahoma and Texas until i get to California. From there i wanted to take the Pacific Coast Highway all the way north to Washington and then start heading back south to see Utah, Colorado and the Grand Canyon. Then back up north for the Dakota's and all the stuff up there. I pretty much want to try to visit every state, and see as much as i can. I really haven't fully come up with a route yet. But I was wondering if anyone had any advice? This probably won't happen soon, maybe 2 years from now, but i've been planning it in my head for a while. But roughly how much do you think it'll cost? Will i need more than 4 months? While economical, is it possible to travel this far out of a smallish, yet fuel savvy car?

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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Certainly you can do a loop around the US in 4 months, but here are a whole lot of things you will need to think about.

    Money being a huge one. You really can't count on doing any work on the road, so you really need to have enough money - both to travel and to live on - for 4 months.

    While your actual expenses will depend on a lot of factors, I'd say the very minimum amount of money you'd need is $10,000. Certainly, you could make the trip in the car - the issue really is only your own comfort. Are you going to be able to be comfortable living out of it - and will you have enough room for all the things you want to bring with you.

    As you get more questions, certainly feel free to ask.

  3. #3


    Not sure when you plan on doing this trip, but I highly recommend you do the south/western States during the coolest part of the trip. The heat can be unbearable in the summer and even late spring. Can really put a damper on your adventures there. The north/west and northern States are fine in the dead of summer. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Start small

    If this is going to be your first road trip, I'd suggest instead taking a shorter trip before hand. This will give you the benefit of knowing some of the things you need to be prepared for, what types of things interest you, etc. You could try New England for a week, or a trip to the Southwest for two weeks. It doesn't take long to learn what works - and what doesn't - on the road.

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

    Default Good point.

    I agree with Tim, as your 'dream trip' is [by the sound of things] at least a couple of years away, take one or two less ambitious trips before and see how things work out for you. Four Months is a long time to be on the road and although it can be a great experience, it doesn't always turn out as one might think. Two years will soon pass but a lot of things can change in that amount of time, so if the opportunity presents itself, get out there and test the water.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    The Netherlands


    Maybe something like this?

  7. Default

    Thanks guys! I appreciate the help! And like some of you said, i should probably do a smaller trip first before just hitting the road. Hopefully i can find some time to do that. And yeehaw, I just wrote down my plan for the road trip and it's almost exactly what you posted! Crazy!

    So I finally wrote down my plans... i think i'm feeling a little ambitious, but i figure, go big or go home! So here goes...
    -Starting in pittsburgh up to Niagara Falls, then toronto, ottawa, montreal
    -From there onto Burlington VT, Waterbury (ben and jerry's factory!!), and the White mountain national forest in Hew Hampshire.
    -Portland ME, then Boston, Plymouth, Cape Cod, New Haven CT
    -NYC to philly, then Lancaster, and Hershey PA
    -Baltimore, DC, Williamsburg VA, Virginia Beach down to the outer banks NC, Charleston, Atlanta
    -Orlando to Cape Canaveral, and up to Mobile AL, then New Orleans, Houston to Austin
    -Austin to Carlsbad NM, Alamogordo, Albuquerque, and Aztec.
    -On to the great sand dunes in CO, up to Colorado springs, then denver, Estes Park, and Dinosaur CO for the dinosaur monument
    -Salt Lake city, to Moab, to the four corners, grand canyon, carefree AZ, to phoenix
    -Hoover Dam, to Las Vegas, San diego, LA, up to yosemite national park, San Fran, Napa Valley
    -Pacific Coast highway up to redwood national park, then up the coast to salem OR, Portland, Mt. Hood, Cannon beach
    -Mt. Rainier, Mount st. helens, to seattle, Olympic National Forest, Forks WA (twilight fan!)
    -Vancouver up to Dawson Creek BC, and take the Alaska Highway to Fairbanks (I said it was ambitious), fairbanks to anchorage, and idaho from there.
    -Through Idaho into montana, glacier national park, to yellowstone, onto mount rushmore
    -Bloomington MN, to chicago, St. louis, Memphis, Nashville, Lexington, and then finally back to pittsburgh!
    Phew! Any thoughts on this?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Very ambitious

    I see a nice shorter trip within the first part of your route - the Pittsburgh, PA to Hershey, PA portion. I quickly mapped this out and came up with about 1800 miles for the round trip, which is just about perfect for a single week (7-9 days) trip. You will need a passport to travel into Canada.

    By starting with this shorter trip, you would be able to work out some of the kinks that you will inevitably run into. One of the pluses of this shorter section is that you will be, for the most part, in fairly well-populated areas. So, if something critical should occur, you won't be too far from help. West of the Mississippi River, it can be quite a different story.

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