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The Big Trip(tm)

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Ever since I was 16, I had an idea for a road trip that would take me to all 50 states, without touching the same state twice.

From time to time, I think about this trip.

This last weekend, since I was on a road trip, I tried coming up with an estimated cost. I came up with roughly $15k.

Then I did some mapquesting. I came up with a little over 17k miles and about 13 solid days of driving. This visits each of the state capitals except Honolulu. In order to get to Hawaii, I'd have to ship the car (costs ~$1k).

If I figure that I'll also see the sights in many states, I figure this would add 50% to the mileage, so I roughly estimate 26,000 miles, and about 20 solid days of driving.

At 30 mpg, this is 875 gallons of gas. At the current local price of $2.39, this would be a little over $2k in gas.

Plus about 9 oil changes, at approx $30 apiece (conservative estimate) for $270.

Now there are items that I must get while in each state. These include:

Shot Glass
Refrigerator Magnet
Bumper Sticker
State Flag Sew-on Patch
Silver Spoon

Average Cost for items per state is $25, for a total of $1275(counting DC). Since my wife would go with me, it makes it $2550.

Also, there are pictures to take of each state. The required ones are:

One at the "Welcome To Statename" sign.(doesn't apply for DC)

One in front of the state capital building.

Since all of these pictures need to be taken, I figure I have to stay one night in each state and DC. While I know that many states are low cost for hotels/motels, I know that many are not, so I'm figuring $150 for 60 nights (may have to stay two nights in a single state...) for $9000. Likely, it will be lower than this. I'd have to it to be more exact.

And food... three meals a day, figure $10/meal/person/day, two people, for 60 days... $1800... so call it $2k.

And adding it all up: around $16k, which is close to my original estimate.

But I haven't added in Hawaii. Costs $1500 for a cruise for me and my wife, and an extra $2k to ship my car there and back (need to drive my car to/in the capitol, or it doesn't count!)

All in all, somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000 would take care of it.


Well, at least I've got a number now. That's way better than I had before.

And maybe I could not bother shipping the car back and save $1000.

but yes, the car has to be shipped there.

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So, the other statistic you didn't quite add up... but I can work on is that it'd also take 70-something days... or around 10 weeks [grin]

Sounds like one of those awesome trips that's probably worth that sort of cash... if you saved it up over 5-10 years or something [lol]

I really wanna climb Mt Kilimanjaro before I get too old... but that requires 2 months training, and all-told costs about £2000-£2500 (~US$5000?)... Would definitely be worth every penny though [grin]


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Does your wife require duplicate souvenirs?

I vote you sell the car in Hawaii. It'd be a poetic ending.

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Oh, and you must get your photo with every "World's Largest" advertised on billboards along the way. --ball of twine, prairie dog, etc.

Actually, it's starting to sound like a documentary. Take a film class so you can edit and sell the results when you're done.

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You know, if you wanted to cut the cost in half, you could try sleeping in your car all the time at a truck stop or something. If you're wife's going with you though, she might object [grin].

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Actually, it's starting to sound like a documentary. Take a film class so you can edit and sell the results when you're done.
I'd buy it!

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@jj: i estimated around 60 days for driving 8 hours a day (sometimes more, especially those long stretches from Helena, MT to Juneau, AK and then from Juneau, AK to Olympia, WA... two solid days each way, but if I actually spend the night in each state it would take more like 75 days, once you count in the week it would take for the alaska roundtrip and other factors like the Austin to Santa Fe trip and the Phoenix to Salt Lake trip (each around 12 hours).

@jh: now that I think about it... my wife doesn't need duplicates of everything, except maybe the state flag patches (I figured we'd both sew them on denim jackets as we went along).

And you're right... this DOES sound like a documentary...

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And Middle-America could get boring. If you're good with languages, I'd do Europe. Definately cheaper, and it's like nothing else on the planet. But that would be awesome too. I hope to do something of the sort in my lifetime.


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You could knock off quite a bit of cash in hotel stays by trying to do a bunch of those dinky little New England states all at once, rather than staying a night in each one. Many of them are so small you could piss across them if you strained real hard, so there wouldn't be much point in staying a whole day in them.

You might consider bringing a tent and other miscellaneous camping gear to further cut costs. Depending on the season and the place, it may be more pleasant to sleep in the tent rather than in a hotel.

Maybe you could consider "visiting" (aka, mooching off of) various'ers in each state. [grin] That could cut costs even further, and you might even be able to tax deduct a few of your meals if you invite the respective member along to eat and discuss some "business".

it's like nothing else on the planet.

That can be said about any place on the planet. [razz]

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