I LOVE road trips. A lot of my vacations have actually been road trips in the car verses flying somewhere because it’s usually cheaper and it’s fun to take random detours while on the road.
Awhile ago I found this link about how to drive through all 48 continental states in 113 hours. I found this FASCINATING as I do have a dream to one day eventually visit all 50 states. The only problem with this route is that you have to either rent a car one way (which can be really expensive) or you will really be doing twice as much driving because it isn’t a full circle and you’ll have to drive all the way home or towards the start (depending on where you live and your start and end locations.
My cousin actually just drove across the country (and back) in 16 days. She didn’t hit all 50 states but she hit about 20 and Canada and drove over 7000 miles. Talk about a whirlwind tour!
The other thing is this route misses a lot of the really popular touristy destinations one would want to visit. It just goes through the edges of most of the states which is also basically the middle of nowhere. So if I one day decided to take this route I would make a few changes.
There are a few things I’d add to this trip as well. Some Detours I would take:
1. Stop in Seattle and take an Alaskan Cruise.
2. Go to Mall of America (I’m not much of a shopper but this place has always intrigued me)
3. Cedar Point. I LOVE amusement parks and have wanted to go to this theme park FOREVER! So when I was in the area I’d detour there for a day.
I’m sure there are a few other placed I’d be sure to visit as I travel across the country but those are the ones on the top of my list.
How Long Would It Take?
So how long do you think you need to complete a trip like this? Well according to the driving directions it’s 113 hours (without any of my detours) so let’s round the driving time up to 125 hours which is about 5 full 24 hour days. This isn’t allowing for getting to and from the beginning and ending locations. Now you cannot drive for 24 hours a day unless you have 10 drivers. So let’s say you drive 8 hours a day. That is 16 Days.
So if this was me and I was planning this trip I would allow for about a month as you also have to get back to your original point.
How Much Will is Cost?
Now this can vary a lot depending on a lot of different factors.
What kind of Car/vehicle are you going to drive? The cost of just gas alone are going to vary if you are driving a hybrid, SUV, Van, or RV.
How many people are traveling? The more people the bigger the car you need but then you can divide the cost so it may be more cost effective in the end.
What kind of accommodations are you going to stay in? Are you going to stay in 5 Star hotels that cost $200+ a night or are you going to stay in a Motel 6? Or are you going to camp or use vacation rentals or Air BnB accommodations?
Also if you rent an RV you won’t need that many hotels so that is one thing to figure out in the price.
What kind of Food are you going to eat? Depending on the way you eat will depend how you need. I’m a fan of packing a cooler with drinks, snacks, and sandwiches to save money on drive thru stops.
Are you going to super plan or wing it?
If you super plan your trip you can save money on accommodations. If you don’t then you may pay more on accommodations. Either way I think you need to have some sort of a plan for a trip like this with an idea of where you want to stop each night.
What Tourist Attractions or Sites do you want to see?
Are there any national monuments, attractions, or restaurants you want to visit on your route? This is something to know when planning your route. Honestly driving in a car aimlessly for a month would get pretty boring. You’re going to need to come up with some entertaining things to keep you entertained throughout the trip. And come on this is a VACATION you are going to want to have some fun!!
Okay so what else do you think we need to think about for a trip like this? I love planning trips. Sometimes when I get bored I plan vacations I can’t afford. I sometimes think I missed my calling as a Travel Agent.
Have you ever taken a huge road trip like this?
I’ve also always wanted to take a huge train trip. My mom and I did take the train all over Europe last summer it was a lot of fun. We took the train from Rome, Italy to London, England (not all at once over a few weeks)…yes we’re insane but it was so fun!
My mom always talks about taking the train across Canada which sounds fun as well. Oh so many places to see I’ll never have enough money or time to see it all but I hope to see a lot of different things in the world over my lifetime. I’m a big dreamer and planner which sometimes is a good or bad combo.