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road trip..

Travel Forums North America road trip..

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1. Posted by manos51 (Budding Member 2 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,
we are two guys from Greece and we are planning a long waited road trip from 1/8 to 30/8 in USA.
we have made a rough route (NY, Appalachian trail then back to Chicago, via route 66 to Oklahoma, then visiting some northern states, Wyoming, Idaho and finally LA.)
I'm not quite sure if this is feasible in 30 days so we may adjust it to our needs.
Our first goal was the southern states but due to the heat we reconsidered it (still on the game though).
My primary concern is the budget.
is hiring a car the cheapest way?
any suggestions for cheap motels (or an alternative?),
what about food?
I've made a budget of 30$ per day for lodging and eating, is this realistic? i wonder..
what about heat in August?
any trip suggestions?

thanx in advance...

2. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2012 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Quoting manos51

I've made a budget of 30$ per day for lodging and eating, is this realistic? i wonder..what about heat in August?

gulp! The cheapest motel room these days will probably be a Motel 6 room @ $45., but only in rural areas (in suburbs/cities add another $15.) I would estimate a minimum of $16. a day for food. It will be blazing hot everywhere except for Idaho. The two most expensive cities you're visiting will be New York and LA

Suggest you buy a tent, but even there camping grounds charge for a site too. I live in one of the least expensive states in the West - Oregon (we have no sales/VAT tax at all) and camping is very very big here - it's also one of the most beautiful and natural environments in the entire USA, our rivers have good size salmon). - we're directly west of Idaho and north of California

best of luck

(PM me if you have further ?)

3. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3579 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Your budget is not realistic, as pointed out by Johhny. I doubt you will find motels under $50 across most of the US. You are here in peak tourist season. Budget at least $50/nite for motels, at least $10/day food each. This will be McDonald's for BF, snack from a grocery store for lunch, yogurt, fruit, sandwich, etc. fast food place for dinner. I would buy sandwich makings from a store, fix your own sandwich's daily. Only way to stay under $10/day for food.

With a limited budget, I see 3 options.

1. Rent a car, buy a tent, camp out most of the time. Camping is cheaper than motels, but not always close to where you end that days driving. This option will require more planning, ie. list of campgrounds close to your route. A small rental car will cost less and get better mileage than the van option. Probably your best bet.

2. Rent a van, sleep in it most of the time. You will need one that has removable seats. Since this will be a one way rental, you must find out if they will allow you to remove the seats before setting off on your trip. Or rent a van that has 2 rear seats long enough to sleep on. More expensive, but perhaps a better option for you guys.

3. Buy a van for appox. $2-3K that is set up for sleeping. Older full sized vans are readily available and cheap. Not great gas mileage, but no motel costs most days. Or buy a Dodge Caravan and take the rear seats out and sleep in the cargo area. Not as roomy, but better gas mileage. Sell it for $500 less than you paid for it. This option is feasible for staying 6-8 weeks in the US, not a great option for only 4 weeks. You will need a local address to insure it and for title purposes. I don't think this is your best option with only 4 weeks travel time.

Our southern states in August will be hot & humid. Not very conducive to camping out or sleeping in a van. I think you will get tired of being hot and sticky all the time if you choose to camp in the south during August. I would spend as few days as possible down south, as many days as possible up in South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho. Many of our National Parks in these states are at elevation and will be cooler than just about anywhere else in August. If at all possible, come to the US in Sept. Kids are back in school, cooler, fewer tourists in the parks. Just a better month to be driving around the US.

Good luck with your planning.

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Jul-2009, at 12:09 by vegasmike6 ]

4. Posted by manos51 (Budding Member 2 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Thank you guys for the advise..
actually i was considering lodging 20$ each because we are two and 10$ for food. i know it's tight though.
i'm working on the camping option now.
We might visit Oregon Johny, I've heard that's amazing up there...
Ah, any nice festivals in US during August?

5. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Move the red dot in this link,it gives you an idea of just how big America is,basically you can fit all of Europe in the eastern part of the country,unless you have several months i'd put the western part of the trip off for another time and concentrate on the Eastern USA/Canada

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Jul-2009, at 06:22 by jambo101 ]

6. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!


basically you can fit all of Europe in the eastern part of the country

Hello there. I beg to differ on this one.
Europe is nearly a million square kms bigger than the whole of the USA put together including Alaska. Er hem.

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Jul-2009, at 12:43 by BedouinLeo ]

7. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Re reading the description of what the link represents i see you are correct as the link only shows western Europe and not the whole continent of Europe
Thanks for the clarification.BedouinLeo

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Jul-2009, at 14:13 by jambo101 ]

8. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Seems it goes as far as the Urals and takes in all of Scandinavia.

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Jul-2009, at 14:18 by fabyomama ]

9. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

On this map you can see whats missing on the link,a substantial piece of property..The first link does give a good idea of comparative distance for the part of Europe it does show.