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Old 12-23-2014, 08:58 PM
 
587 posts, read 706,441 times
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At this point I prefer camping, but when I traveled with a budget like the OP, I did a lot of couch surfing. It was before the website, so I had friends give me the names of people that would let me crash for a night. I based my trip around lodging availability.

Gas is really the limiting factor here, imo. $500 gets you about 170-180 gallons unless you stick to the south.
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,060 posts, read 9,108,941 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlb8251 View Post
My budget is kind of low, since I'm out of work right now. Can you sleep in your car at highway rest areas to save money on hotels?
It would be awfully cold and rest stops are places that are commonly frequented by criminals according to law enforcement.

Is there a reason you want to take a road trip now?
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:31 PM
 
10,813 posts, read 8,059,843 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlb8251 View Post
My budget is kind of low, since I'm out of work right now. Can you sleep in your car at highway rest areas to save money on hotels?
Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuregurl View Post
It would be awfully cold
That would be the deal breaker throughout most of the U.S., for the next few months.
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:00 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,583,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foadi View Post
I have been homeless and living out of my car a few times. Truck stops and wal-marts are my preferred places to sleep when I am in these situations. Can get showers at truck stops too which is nice. have done 5 LA-Sacramento round trips in the last two weeks and since my pay for it is just a flat fee and hotel would cut into my profit have been taking naps at truck stops along the way when I get tired. Havent had any problems
That's a very doable round trip in a day provided you aren't tied up for hours on end waiting for something in Sacramento. Although that could be nap time which would make the trip very doable. I do the similar in time and distance Tampa to Jacksonville via Melbourne at least every other month. I usually have three hour long stops to see customers along the way as well. It's a long day, but I'd rather sleep in my own bed when it's feasible, and that one is.
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:15 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,583,712 times
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Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
I know of a number of people who have slept in their cars in hospital parking lots. They do not have the money for a hotel and the drive home is just too much for them at the time. I have to admit that I have done it a couple of times myself.
My point was that many hospitals are not going to allow it, so there should be a back up plan. The population served by our community hospital lives within 15 miles, there is no reason to not go home. If someone is sick enough to need trauma level 1 care, they will be sent via helicopter to Orlando where parking has to be paid for, negating the point of sleeping in ones car.
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:55 AM
 
Location: City of Angels
2,935 posts, read 4,765,694 times
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Originally Posted by annerk View Post
That's a very doable round trip in a day provided you aren't tied up for hours on end waiting for something in Sacramento. Although that could be nap time which would make the trip very doable. I do the similar in time and distance Tampa to Jacksonville via Melbourne at least every other month. I usually have three hour long stops to see customers along the way as well. It's a long day, but I'd rather sleep in my own bed when it's feasible, and that one is.
Yeah, it would be nice if I could leave at a reasonable time on those trips. Only 800 miles roundtrip so definitely feasible in a day. Delivering signatures for campaign thst is trying to get on the ballot. The batches are usually ready at odd times (didn't get one shipment batched until midnight one night and needed to be in Sac by 9am - wasn't fun). And I usually need to spend 2-3 hours in fedex making copies before delivering them. So all around has been a pain in the ass. Glad this campaign is over. Prefer it when the clients are based down south. Taking a couple weeks off then there's a reasonable chance I'm headed to your state for another campaign Florida or Arizona, not sure yet.
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Old 12-24-2014, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,060 posts, read 9,108,941 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
That's a very doable round trip in a day provided you aren't tied up for hours on end waiting for something in Sacramento. Although that could be nap time which would make the trip very doable. I do the similar in time and distance Tampa to Jacksonville via Melbourne at least every other month. I usually have three hour long stops to see customers along the way as well. It's a long day, but I'd rather sleep in my own bed when it's feasible, and that one is.
I think a truck stop would be safer than the rest stop, it's more populated and presumably has people coming and going all night.
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:17 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,725 posts, read 9,024,418 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlb8251 View Post
My budget is kind of low, since I'm out of work right now. Can you sleep in your car at highway rest areas to save money on hotels?
Why are you traveling if your funds are low and you're out of work?
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Old 12-24-2014, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
6,153 posts, read 6,322,548 times
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Driving along the East coast I have taken extended naps at rest stops that have 24 hour welcome centers. The parking lots are usually well lit and there is a steady flow of people coming and going.
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:54 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,551 posts, read 39,934,465 times
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30+ yrs as a caregiver for a disabled parent, I spent countless nights sleeping in hospital parking lots. Never a question from security. People have to travel from all over to attend their family. My mom did a several months in hospital lots (in her camper van) while caring for her brother a few yrs ago. I recently did several hospital lots in TX, AZ, NV, CA. Must be the 'west' is more understanding than our professional travel expert from FL. We could start the discussion / advice by asking "How many nights have you stayed in a car?". Less than 20 in last 5 yrs? don't bother answering.

I usually drive at night to make faster progress, and to utilize daylight hours for exploring, it is easier to take a nap during the day (about anywhere) especially hospitals.
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