next summer...................any advice?
Next summer I'm planning a 2 month road trip around the USA with 2 friends after graduation. Any advice for me? Im scared about the budget anfd possibility of breaking down, But more than anything I'm afraid about were we would stay. I don't want to drive around a clunky RV for 2 months, but I don't want to pay a [snip] load of money for motels every night. I said why don't we just sleep in the car and tents most the time , then when we need 2 shower we could rent a motel ? But it seems unhygenic and scary( might get raped, theived, stuff like that in the night) . Any Advice?Thanx!
There are numerous threads on safety issues, budgeting, saving money on trips, etc. on these boards. You might do a search or just read through various threads to get ideas. Also utilize the other parts of this website, like the "roadtrip planning" section for info.
You don't save much, if any, money driving an RV. If you are doing any serious driving around, the cost of fuel alone negates any dollars saved on hotels. And you still have to pay for campgrounds. And you pay more for RVs sites than for tents. Insurance and maintenance costs more for an RV. And do you already own an RV or have free access to one? Rental fees or purchasing one for just one trip will NOT make your trip cheaper.
If you enjoy tent-camping, there is no reason why you can't enjoy traveling this way. Tent sites are relatively cheap, most tents are easy-up/down and don't take much time, you can eat out of a cooler and cook some meals at camp to save money, and it's VERY SAFE as long as you use common-sense. Don't camp out in the toolies somewhere by yourself, don't camp anywhere you don't feel safe (develop personal radar), and you'll be fine. I have often camped alone or with my children in numerous county, state, BLM, national, and private campgrounds without any problem.
Most campgrounds have shower facilities so you don't need a hotel to get cleaned up. And some truck-stops will let travelers use showers for truckers as well.
Tent camping is neither unhygenic or scary.
Thank you so much Judy,
I was trying to convince my mom that camping is safe too, but she's still a bit apprehenceive. I don't like the RV idea either ; so thank you so much for your advice! Thanks again!
How to camp safely
Some tips to making camping safe:
Whatever type of campground you choose, don't choose an isolated campsite.
Try to camp near a family...preferably with several children and/or grandparent-types around. Strike up a conversation with them and be friendly. People often look out for each other a bit while camping and, if you get to know them, good people (most of us!) will automatically look out for you a little more.
If you don't find someone like this, try to get a campsite near the campground host whose job it is to keep order and safety in the campground.
In private campgrounds, you won't get as much chance for privacy as the tentsites are usually just disbursed throughout a relatively open area, but this also adds to your safety. People aren't going to be inclined to hurt you if there are other tent-campers within 20-30 feet from you where someone will hear or see what's going on.
Keep a whistle handy....loud whistle blasts alert more people than yelling would.
You might want to have some pepper spray.
I have never needed my whistle (I don't carry pepper spray) but it's nice to know it's handy.
As long as you follow these types of common-sense precautions, I actually think tent-camping is safer than a hotel. If someone breaks into your tent, the noise and activity it creates will surely attract attention as long as you're not isolated. But, if someone breaks into your hotel room, the odds of someone hearing or seeing anything is slimmer, IMHO.
I don't have statistics on this but, in all my years of camping and knowing others who camp a lot, I have never heard of someone harmed while camping unless they are in an isolated setting. And, even then, I've only heard of a couple of isolated cases.
Stealing is a bit of a different matter. Sometimes people will steal items from your campground...stuff like that can happen anywhere. It's not happened to me yet but the potential is there if you leave your campsite for the day and leave items out. If I leave my campsite for any extended period of time, like for several hours or a whole day, I put more valuable items back in the car, and lesser valuable items in the tent and zip it up. People are more likely to take what is left out, handy and easy to grab, than to do a search in your tent for things.
Hope this all helps!
Solo Women Travelers
One of our resident RV experts wrote an article recently about solo roadtrips. Although solo RVing was the focus, any of the tips work for any form of travel. To read <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/rv/Rolling-Solo.htm">Alice's article click here<a/>.
Thanks a bunch again,, those tips on camping REALLY help! I hope all is well with you, bye bye!
Well, hopefully it will help put your mom at ease. Have a great trip and let us know how it went when you get back.