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Old 02-26-2010, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
5,440 posts, read 6,395,073 times
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Default Possible road trip this October how much do you think it will cost total?

Ok so this October I MAY be moving to Las Vegas, NV. I will be driving out there from Orlando, FL. I know the cost will vary on my car's gas mileage as well as gas prices, how often I stop to eat, motel rooms, and depending on what route I take.

I drive a 2003 Nissan Altima that at 70 MPH gets about 30 mpg (all highway driving will get me 600 miles on 1 tank, its 20 gallons). Its a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine. The car currently has 73k miles, will probably have around 80-85k in October. Also the car is always maintained on time, and runs like brand new

I usually just eat fast food on road trips, I might buy 1 or two souvenirs along the way, but nothing extravagant

My 15 year old brother will be coming with me for the ride (he has his own money, he will be flying back to Orlando after I arrive in LV he wont be living with me)

Not sure how much motel rooms will cost, probably about $50 a night? At 12 hours of driving a day, it will take 3.5 days to drive there. So I will need to stop at 3 or 4 motels along the way

How much do you think this trip will cost altogether?
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
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You are looking at about 2400 miles. Driving 12 hours a day will take you 4 days. Assuming you have somewhere to stay once you get to Vegas, you will need a motel for 3 nights. At 30 mpg you will need 80 gallons of gas. $50 a night for hotels is doable providing you stay at nothing better than Motel 6. Depending where you stay even Motel 6 can run you more than $50 once you add in all of the taxes. Price of gas...who knows. Let's say $3.00 a gallon. Food will run $25 a day.

So...a bare bones guess
$240 gas
$150 hotels
$100 food
$100 tolls
$590 total

Keep in mind it might take longer to drive than you plan. Weather can turn bad. You might have to take unexpected detours. Unexpected expenses such as having to buy a new tire should be considered. I would have at least $1,000 set aside for the trip.

When I travel I plan $100 a night for hotels and $150 a day for gas, food, and misc expenses such as highway tolls.
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:06 PM
 
8,903 posts, read 10,204,134 times
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I think the prior poster has it about as close as you can get. However, I am trying to think where there is a toll booth on the route as you are generally on interstates which are non-toll in the states that you are traveling through.

You are generally not going to run into major weather issues in October. However, if there is a storm, you could always take I-10 all the way into Blythe, AZ. On that route, your more likely to encounter heat stroke than frostbite.

$50 a night is doable, especially if you look for those rest area hotel guides that point you to the cheaper end hotels.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:56 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
10,465 posts, read 16,558,921 times
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save on hotels, do 'couchsurfing', Hostel, or guest homes (~$10 -$20 / night), or better yet drive at night (often less traffic and is faster). DO NOT drive between 4AM and daybreak, (high accident probability). It can also be cheaper to use motel during the day. I sleep in 'discreet' places (usually the car for naps), sometimes a library.

Eat most meals from grocery / fruit stand (heavy foods are not good when traveling)
I limit myself to one Wendy's $.99 per day, and usually yogurt and fruit for breakfast (~$1). For supper (that's ''Dinner for non-farmers) eat BEFORE 6PM and very light if anything at all. Salad or fruit ~$2.00 if you splurge. Drink plenty of water during the day and NO snacking.

No tolls that I know of. (or that you can't avoid)

thus I say
$~$350 barebones

But I often drive through the night, shower at parks or community pools, and don't eat at all for at least one, often 2 days / week. No big deal, been doing it for 35 yrs, no illnesses to speak of. (maybe 1 cold every-other year). Drink at least 1/2 your weight in OZ of water per day, and never within 30 min of meal time. (I don't drink with meals, dilutes stomach digestions).

I grew up with a dad as a truckdriver and made my own living doing that through college. I'm quite used to driving continually. BUT if you are ever tired, PULL OFF and nap. In a pinch (like a blinding snow storm or fog and you can not stop), roll down window a hang your arm out till you think it will fall off from cold. There are some excellent long-distance driving tips from a trucker on this forum, but I can't seem to find the exact thread.

Don't be dangerous, arrive safe, have fun.

Hope your Bro can get one of the $59 > $89 fares from LAS. I've been through there more times that I can count in the last 2 yrs jetting w/ SWA
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:26 AM
 
Location: The land of Chicago
858 posts, read 1,106,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Mutt View Post
You are looking at about 2400 miles. Driving 12 hours a day will take you 4 days. Assuming you have somewhere to stay once you get to Vegas, you will need a motel for 3 nights. At 30 mpg you will need 80 gallons of gas. $50 a night for hotels is doable providing you stay at nothing better than Motel 6. Depending where you stay even Motel 6 can run you more than $50 once you add in all of the taxes. Price of gas...who knows. Let's say $3.00 a gallon. Food will run $25 a day.

So...a bare bones guess
$240 gas
$150 hotels
$100 food
$100 tolls
$590 total

Keep in mind it might take longer to drive than you plan. Weather can turn bad. You might have to take unexpected detours. Unexpected expenses such as having to buy a new tire should be considered. I would have at least $1,000 set aside for the trip.

When I travel I plan $100 a night for hotels and $150 a day for gas, food, and misc expenses such as highway tolls.

.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,729 posts, read 34,398,394 times
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If you eat fast food, Burger King has a free whopper offer on the back of their register slip. After your first purchase, just keep getting free ones. (You need to order a drink and fries to get the free whopper). You're supposed to phone in a survey response, but just keep using the same validation code over and over again. Or google the valid codes on line, they change monthly. Also troll supermarkets for road eats. Rotisserie whole chicken from a supermarket deli is less than half the cost per pound of KFC. Sandwich meats, cheese, bread have long shelf lives (longer than your trip). Buy cans of generic pop by the dozen at supermarket, about 20c a can. Never never never buy anything to eat at the gas station convenience store. Except maybe hot pizza by the slice, some are delicious. If you can eat a whole pizza, get one for $5, ready to go, no waiting, any time, at Little Caesars. At fast food places, you can get senior discount as long as you look older than the counter girl's mom (about 35).

Your front seat reclines, it's nice and comfy for sleeping in the car. Use truck stops, which are safe and easy to find. When passing through Texas, it's legal to sleep in all rest areas, lots of people do, they're patrolled. Police might ask you for ID but otherwise won't bother you.

Apply for a gas company Visa/MC credit card of a major like Shell which you can find everywhere. Get 5% cash back on gas purchases (now 13c a gallon).

Last edited by jtur88; 02-28-2010 at 10:23 AM..
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
5,440 posts, read 6,395,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
If you eat fast food, Burger King has a free whopper offer on the back of their register slip. After your first purchase, just keep getting free ones. (You need to order a drink and fries to get the free whopper). You're supposed to phone in a survey response, but just keep using the same validation code over and over again. Or google the valid codes on line, they change monthly. Also troll supermarkets for road eats. Rotisserie whole chicken from a supermarket deli is less than half the cost per pound of KFC. Sandwich meats, cheese, bread have long shelf lives (longer than your trip). Buy cans of generic pop by the dozen at supermarket, about 20c a can. Never never never buy anything to eat at the gas station convenience store. Except maybe hot pizza by the slice, some are delicious. If you can eat a whole pizza, get one for $5, ready to go, no waiting, any time, at Little Caesars. At fast food places, you can get senior discount as long as you look older than the counter girl's mom (about 35).

Your front seat reclines, it's nice and comfy for sleeping in the car. Use truck stops, which are safe and easy to find. When passing through Texas, it's legal to sleep in all rest areas, lots of people do, they're patrolled. Police might ask you for ID but otherwise won't bother you.

Apply for a gas company Visa/MC credit card of a major like Shell which you can find everywhere. Get 5% cash back on gas purchases (now 13c a gallon).
I actually work for a grocery store, so I did think of stopping at grocery stores on the way, and picking up either a rotisserie chicken or a pre-made sub (which my store sells $4 a pop, the subs)

Its good to know that I can pull over to rest areas to sleep, my car seat which is very plush, and is a power seat does recline, but i prefer to sleep in a bed, i've tried sleeping in my car before, i cant do it
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Orlando
8,183 posts, read 10,770,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavieJ89 View Post
I actually work for a grocery store, so I did think of stopping at grocery stores on the way, and picking up either a rotisserie chicken or a pre-made sub (which my store sells $4 a pop, the subs)

Its good to know that I can pull over to rest areas to sleep, my car seat which is very plush, and is a power seat does recline, but i prefer to sleep in a bed, i've tried sleeping in my car before, i cant do it

You can't leave me!!! lol
Ok...I've done lots of road trips. To help defray costs I pack a loaf of bread and some peanut butter and jelly. And drinks...make sure it's not all soda...or beer. Not a lot of junk food or you'll pay for it in a couple of days...let's just say been there done that.
Maybe some apples or rabbit food. Pull into a rest area and have a picnic.

You can eat and stretch your legs at the same time. Getting out and stretching is very important. You won't be as tired at the end if you do this often.

Ok...Mom and granny hat is off...have a great time!
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:38 PM
 
22,121 posts, read 28,863,300 times
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I think you are WAY low on hotel rooms. Plan on $75 a night, and plan on needing four nights in hotels. If you aren't used to long drives, you'll have a hard time doing more than about eight hours at a stretch. Those low Motel 6 rates are for one person and don't include tax, so they actually work out to a higher rate and frankly Motel 6 is generally pretty uncomfortable and disgusting. You're better off staying at a Holiday Inn Express, Hampton, etc that offers free breakfast. They might cost $15 a night more, but two guys can easily eat $15 worth of breakfast food.

You aren't going to go 70 mph the entire way, there's a lot of that drive that is 55 to 65 mph. And you also need to plan on breaks to walk around and stretch your legs.

$100 in tolls? From Orlando to LVNV? There are no tolls after you get off the FL Tpke. So around $5 in tolls.

Will you have an apartment already lined up in LV? If not you'll need to plan on probably a weeks worth of hotel rooms out there, and hotels in LV are pretty expensive except midweek.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
5,440 posts, read 6,395,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
I think you are WAY low on hotel rooms. Plan on $75 a night, and plan on needing four nights in hotels. If you aren't used to long drives, you'll have a hard time doing more than about eight hours at a stretch. Those low Motel 6 rates are for one person and don't include tax, so they actually work out to a higher rate and frankly Motel 6 is generally pretty uncomfortable and disgusting. You're better off staying at a Holiday Inn Express, Hampton, etc that offers free breakfast. They might cost $15 a night more, but two guys can easily eat $15 worth of breakfast food.

You aren't going to go 70 mph the entire way, there's a lot of that drive that is 55 to 65 mph. And you also need to plan on breaks to walk around and stretch your legs.

$100 in tolls? From Orlando to LVNV? There are no tolls after you get off the FL Tpke. So around $5 in tolls.

Will you have an apartment already lined up in LV? If not you'll need to plan on probably a weeks worth of hotel rooms out there, and hotels in LV are pretty expensive except midweek.
Annerk you're right. after the turnpike, the rest of the way is toll free. This road trip would also be the last time I ever use my e-pass

Breaks will be planned, im also not banking on paying $50 a night, i was wondering if that was possible at all

I've done several road trips before (not me driving, was too young) with my family, most of them being from Orlando to Connecticut, Orlando to Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh to CT, and CT back to Orlando, or Orlando to Atlanta

Im well aware this trip will be 2x as far as driving from Orlando to CT, but I can do it!

Motel 6 is uncomfortable but definitely not disgusting. When my family was trying to close on a condo in Orlando in 2007 we stayed in a Motel 6 on 192 and Old Lake Wilson Road, the property was clean, and the rooms were immaculately clean

As for apts, am not sure, probably will stay in a hotel first, also have several friends who may let me room with them upon arriving, I may not move at all we'll see
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