hi there i am planning a usa road trip in may 2011 through to the beginning of august 2011.
i have a car already organised and i will be starting in connecticut. my aim is to travel up to niagra falls travelling through the northern states and coming back through the south.
i want to see chicago, north dakota, colarado, utah, california, arizona, florida and theres a number of places in between these points i want to visit.
does this sound right or am i being a bit farefetched:
13000 miles taking into consideration all the stops i will be making in a car which does 25 mpg will cost me around 1450 dollars at an average gas price of 2.70.
will 80-100 days be enough for such a long trip.
if i was to extend my trip to include alaska what would be the best way to travel there besides plane and what would the liekly costs be.
how much should i budget for food per day, the likelihood is ill go for whats easy especially after driving all day?
what would the average price of a motel, campsite, hotel be?
what places are not to be missed especially in the western states considering ive been to the east coast many times.
any important thing i should know about?
how much should i budget per month for activities such as theme parks national parks etc if it was you going
thanks for your help
Nice choice and nice trip you are going to make.
3 months is a great time, but considering distances I would skip Alaska and save that for another trip. If you do make the choice to go to Alaska, I would fly first from Connecticut to Chicago, visit the city and start your trip from there. That would be a good idea anyway, saving you some time and money driving there.
I recently made a trip through the west and the average gas price was about 3 dollars a gallon, ranging from 2.60 to 3.40 (over 4 dollars in places like Death Valley though, so fuel up before entering that area).
Haven't been to the Dakotas, but I guess if North Dakota is on your list you might as well go to South Dakota and visit the western part with some great national parks.
From there you can head west first through Wyoming to visit the Grand Teton and Yellowstone NP, really a highlight of my trip.
From there head south to Colorado: Rocky Mountain NP, Great Sand Dunes NP and Mesa Verde NP. Than into Utah towards Moab to visit the Arches NP and west towards Capitol Reef NP and Bryce Canyon NP. Northern Arizona has the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon and the Monument Valley. Route 66 is great as well. Visit Williams, and the old Route 66 between Seligman and Kingman before heading to Las Vegas. Vegas is nice for a day or so to have something different after all the nature
Death Valley NP, Yosemite NP and Kings Canyon NP/Sequoia NP are all nice. Don't miss San Francisco, it is a fantastic city. Budget at least 3 days for an idea of what the city has to offer.
I spend the night in motels most of the time. Prices depend on season, weekend or not etc. But the average was about 100 dollar for a double room, sometimes with a continental breakfast (meaning cold crap in general..). The cheapest was one of the nicest: motel in Seligman, family owned and just about 60 dollars for a double room.
Food really depends on what you like. If I didn't have breakfast, I tried to buy a large subway sandwich for breakfast and early lunch to keep me fit throughout the day But out in the west there are not that many places for that. A good old diner, which has large breakfasts is a good option though. Large stack of pancakes for about 6 dollars kept me going to late afternoon.
Just my 2 cents
There isn't much in North Dakota, drop down to western South Dakota and see the Black Hills on your way to Coloado. Mount Rushmore Memorial park near Rapid City is a must see. Enjoy the trip!
I would just point out that the South can be really hot in the summer, especially August. Could you reverse your trip and go south first? I don't know where you are from but the heat and especially the humidity can be a drag and make sightseeing not much fun.