I’ve received a couple of e-mails and text messages asking how much the trip cost. My ex-girlfriend
and I saved over $2000 each. Combined we had $4000 to use for the trip. Below you will see the estimates and the actual cost of the trip. The actual amount that we spent will be in BOLD.
Flight from LAX – ATL $200(2) $194(2)
Car Rental $700 $523.03
Hotel $686.94 $633.53
Gas $450 $432
Food $400 $466.82
Totals $2636.94 $2443.38
I estimated that our flight would be $200 per person. We actually saw a cheaper price on Southwest Airlines website for $194. People were telling me that I wouldn’t be able to get a rental car for less than $1100. I had faith that we would find one cheaper. I estimated that the rental car would be $700. I actually tweeted if anybody had any rental car deals. I received a message out the blue from a travel agent. He was able to book my rental car for $523.03 through Hertz. That was the total price for the 13 days. The car we rented was a Dodge Avenger. The estimated hotel price was $686.94. The actual price was $633.53. Priceline helped me find some cheap rooms. The travel agent helped with a couple of rooms as well. The gas was estimated to be $450. We spent less than that. Food is the only thing we went over. As you can see we spent $66.82 more for food than I estimated.
There were a couple more expenses such as souvenirs, parking, and postage as well. Since we drove we shipped two boxes of souvenirs back home. We also sent postcards to friends and family as well.
Bring food and water with you. Depending on how much you drive you may not always want to stop at a restaurant.
Bring a cooler with you. I purchased one from Family Dollar for less than $3.
Have a map just in case your GPS freezes or stops working.
You should book your hotel rooms a few weeks in advance.
If you are going to a sporting event, use StubHub to get your tickets.
Take a lot of pictures and talk to the locals.
If you have any questions feel free to ask me.
Cross Country Road Trip Resources
Some days you will be driving longer than others. You may not want to get off the exit or go to a store. Bring a cooler and fill it up with food and snacks. You have no idea how handy this will be for you. Here is an example of a cooler that you can use. It’s only $14 and doesn’t take up much space.
If you want another option for lodging, try Airbnb. Many cities have hundreds of homes or rooms for rent on Airbnb. I’ve used the service a couple of times and haven’t had a problem. Get $40 off your first booking when you use this exclusive link.
I used Google Maps to preplan my trip. I’m a stickler for directions, so I wanted to get an idea of where I’d be driving beforehand.
Use a GPS system if you think you may get lost. You can use Google Maps on your phone or use an app like Waze.
If you plan on going to any sporting events or shows on your trip, it’s better to purchase them in advance. StubHub is my go-to site. They usually have tickets to every major event. In a lot of cases, they are cheaper than Ticketmaster. Check them out here.