Road trip to lower 48 + Alaska + Canada?
Replies: 40 - Last Post: Jul 15, 2012 3:11 PM Last Post By: yukonhippie
Jul 11, 2012 4:39 PM
15I do live in Santa Fe, and I have learned to sample the cuisines here at the 5-stars restaurants at lunchtime, when it is less expensive, usually, than at dinner time. Remember, ramen noodles cost only 20 cents per package at most grocery stores. If you have a camp stove to boil water, you can make Lipton rice dinners or Rice-a-roni and Noodle-roni meals (now selling for only $1/box). In Maine, I was able to buy a cup of excellent clam chowder for about $4 at a lunch counter. There are discount food coupons in the newspapers, including 2 meals for the price of 1, such as Burger King whopper meals at $7 for 2, or similarly Arby's or Sonic's, or KFC chicken dinners. Also, watch for discount grocery stores in large cities, such as in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Some have cheaper prices than Wal-Mart!
Jul 11, 2012 4:42 PM
Jul 11, 2012 7:43 PM
Jul 11, 2012 7:48 PM
18Arby's is expensive considering what you get for the price.
At least its like that in Canada
Jul 11, 2012 9:27 PM
19Big Mac meal...$7.95... Nope #14...$7 is a joke for dinner. $1.50 for Kraft dinner... Ok, now we are talking lol. Canada and NW US $7 will get you crap. Maybe you can hit up wing wednesday I guess;)
Jul 11, 2012 9:33 PM
I grew up in the same house as my brother. We can stand each other for about three weeks cooped up in a car together on a road trip.
I think you are hallucinating. I stopped for a chicken sandwich for lunch today and it set me back $5.50. Coffee at a rest stop is north of $1.25. Bottled water at same is $2.00. How much of your trip do you intend to spend in unfamiliar towns looking for a cheap food market? You're going to pay a buck for a pack of gum at a Gas-and-Go. How much time each day are you going to devote to cooking it? Where are you going to store a weeks worth of food for 5 people? Unless you have a fridge in that RV, living off non-perishables gets real old real quick.
I will also warn you against eating "local food" on a road trip. "Tex-Mex, New Mexico-Mex, Cuban food, Calfornia Mex, cajun, basque," etc. may be great once you are settled into an area, but there are few miseries worse than traveling on a case of "green apple quick-step." Been there, done that.
As far as vehicle costs, in 40,000 miles there are a number of oil changes, maybe a set of tires, maybe an alignment or two, as well as all the other costs that add up over a year, e. g., plates, insurance, a wash once every six months or so, parking, tolls, park entrance fees, etc. What will you do if that borrowed RV throws a serpentine belt or, worse, a timing belt a hundred miles east of Plankington South Dakota?
May I suggest that you try to eat this elephant one bite at a time? Plan a one-month road trip. See how the money holds out. See how many of the five of you will still speak to each other by the end of the month. Find out whom you want to drive and whom you will never let drive again. After your "test month," take a month off and then try another trip. This time you can base your plans on experience rather than fantasy. Trust me, if you miss Pierre, South Dakota by doing the trip in stages, you will eventually get over it.
The first compatibility test for you and your friends will be agreeing on a single detailed route and schedule. I'll bet the five of you can't do that.
Have a blast.
Jul 12, 2012 7:13 AM
21Okay, so our budget is totally rough. We've been spending more time working out routes, things to do, etc. and not worrying so much about budgets. As to the deodorant/shampoo/cosmetics, I'm not budgetting those in because they're regular expenses we're all used to having...and it's impossible as everyone would use different brands and different products.. I agree that $7/day may not be totally doable; but we also have the extra $500 to work in; and our daily food budget will probably increase anyways.....I have done it for $7/day for three weeks though; eating breakfast in hotels (free) lunch ($2) dinner ($3) and snacks/drinks ($2) each day.. While we're at food; all of us are students...all of us spend all our money on travel; so we are all more then used to salad, sandwiches and ramen noodles. At least 3 of us are fussy eaters; so I feel like trying different foods along the way wouldn't happen too often, and as someone already pointed out; food poisoning or something would be terrible when stuck in a car.
Jul 12, 2012 7:29 AM
Jul 12, 2012 7:40 AM
Jul 12, 2012 8:29 AM
24Sounds like an adventure. I've done a lot of cross country travel but always by car, usually camping when at all possible. Obviously, it's not possible to cram as many of you in a car as you could in an RV so I suppose that could impact your decision. I am not familiar with RV travel but aren't there propane costs to factor in as well as gas? that is, don't most use propane to run appliances and provide heat when you're stopped? you may want to factor that into costs as well. Might you have to pay for water tank refills in some places? - or to use the services of most dump stations? That idea above to try it for a month is a pretty good one. It would give you a realistic idea of costs and how it might be to drive the behemoth in towns, mountains, etc.
Jul 12, 2012 11:34 AM
Jul 12, 2012 2:18 PM
Jul 12, 2012 3:13 PM
27Re: Food: Fast food definitely isn't the answer; I'm health conscious (or like to think I am at least) and rarely eat fast foods other then the occasional veggie sub. For the road; I usually bring a pile of sandwiches, instant soups and salads which is what I eat at home.
Re: Driving for a month: That is a good idea; my friend who owns the RV (to avoid confusion: she IS coming with us) has taken it out for 4-6 week trips before; and I've taken a few three week trips in a car with these same girls. I know its not the same; but it's a start...We'll likely take a short trip before we go that far though.
Re: Propane costs: I have no idea; I really don't know much about those things; I'm planning to take a 2-day course along with three of the other girls before we leave on driving an RV and information like that will hopefully come up!
Jul 12, 2012 3:39 PM
28I think this trip seems great talking about it around a bunch of beers, but in reality, why so long, and why all the states? Do you really need to see Iowa, Alabama or Delaware?
I would focus on the country in more priority way, based on the season, as weather will impact many parts of the regions, and also high seasons and low season at the popular national parks and state parks, and also interest. Divide the country up by region, New England states, Mid Atlantic, Mid South, Mid West, South, Southwest, Rockies/Yellowsone/ West Coast.
Fast Food is not cheap, (nor healthy) compared to cooking and buying your groceries from a supermarket.
Jul 12, 2012 4:00 PM
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