Summer trip 2003
I am from New Jersey and me and three of my friends are gonna drive across country from top to bottom. We have a couple of places in mind, but if you could tell me about some real unique places i would appreciate it. Also some info about the $$$ it takes would really help. We are going for richer or poorer. LEt me know what you guys think.
How does this get to California?
If your roadtrip is going "top to bottom" how are you going to get to California? If you really want to see the entire continental foodprint of the USA -- Get ready to drive about 15,000 miles.
There are thousands of "real, unique places" but top of the list: Monument Valley, the 'Glades, the Keys, Queets rain forest, Deer Isle,
What are you looking for?
Let me add the South Dakota Badlands, Crater Lake, and the salt flats in northern Utah to the mix.
Give some more details about your intended route, and you'll get plenty of suggestions from this forum's seasoned travelers.
What my friends and i plan on doing is taking a northern route to get to the pacific ocean. On this route we want to see places such as the great lakes, chicago, seattle, portland, and all of the oher places we probably would not have thought of visiting before. Being that we will all be 21 for the first time this summer, we want to hit up all of the party spots on the southern route- Las Vegas, New Orleans, see if Arizona really is as beautiful as people say it is. We will have a good amount of time off to accomplish this goal, so if you could give us some hints of the road, and good places to rest and eat, we would really appreciate it. We are trying tosee what this counry has to offer. I am interested in doing as much as possible within two months. Thanks for your help.-Joe
I'm from NJ too!
I am also from NJ and planning a roadtrip for this summer, but unfortunately have only 3-4 weeks to take off of work. I don't have much advice to give you, but if you can find cost estimates anywhere, let me know! From what my boyfriend and I have figured, the main costs will be
1. renting a car (which we might not do, just to save money; we both have reliable cars but the mileage will be something awful!)
2. places to sleep, and we are planning on staying at a lot of campgrounds. I have had people recommend getting a KOA membership/discount card, as they have campgrounds everywhere (see www.koa.com), and also I have read that you can get a pass to use at national parks to camp there at a discounted rate, which is another idea.
3. food. I am planning on starving myself as much as possible (hey, who couldn't stand to lose a few pounds), and my old boss recommended always ordering from the breakfast menu when traveling, as it is always cheap, hard to screw up, and filling.
Planning a road trip myself to California in several months. If you are going to the San Diego area, I've heard that camping at Carlsbad state beach is beautiful, and oceanveiw camping is pretty inexpensive. Just a thought. Enjoy your trip.
camping - national parks pass
You mentioned getting the national parks pass to get a discount on camping. Just a note that the parks pass ($50 - expires in one year) gets you ENTRY into all of the parks & monuments, but does not change the campground fees.
The national parks campgrounds are well maintained and usually $12 - $18. per night (depending which national park). Most national parks also have shower facilities.
The KOA campgrounds are another good idea.
You might also want to look into "hostels".
Personally, we just "sleep in the car" (bucket seats leaned back as far as they'll go) with our sleeping bags. We stop at 24-hour restaurant parking lots, well-lit truck stops, national park campgrounds, etc. Saves a lot of money!!! Then we get a basic motel every 4-5 nights or so to get a more comfortable sleep.
I agree the main cost will be just putting the miles on your car. If your own car can do it, don't bother renting. It will keep the costs down. Don't forget to plan to stop for oil changes as needed enroute.
Bring a small cooler. Stop at grocery stores along the way to pick up fresh fruit, munchies, etc. Then perhaps you will only need to buy one "restaurant" meal a day. Just a suggestion. We find that we stay more alert and can drive better/longer without eating big restaurant meals.
Food & motels can easily add up to a large portion of your expense on a trip like this.
If you can figure out your trip mileage (approx) and pick the highest possible price for gasoline --- also knowing how much mileage your car gets --- you can estimate how much $$ you'll spend on fuel.