Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ireland to America -- summer Road Trip costs?

Hi Jamie,

This May I am flying into LA, renting a car, driving across to New York and then flying back to Ireland.

I have purchased a couple of your books but the advice I'm looking for is a rough idea of a budget. My trip will last one month, my concern is the fuel, motels, food etc as I am only a poor student :)

I am allowing 4000 euros as well as a seperate 1000 euros emergency fund, this is including flights and car rental accounting for 1600 euros so thats basically 2400 dollars for the month, I appreciate you cannot give exact numbers or anything but any advice you have I would really appreciate. I am using your suggested Route 10, The Southern Pacific route.

Thanks for any help from Ireland!!!

Take Care,


from Limerick in Ireland


Hello Chris --

Many thanks for your note -- I hope you manage to make the trip (and that neither of our troubled national economies falls into collapse in the meantime!)


I think you may be able to find a less expensive rate for your flights + car hire if you search around (though I have to ask: are you over 25? if not, you sometime have to pay a premium...)

The rest of your budget sounds pretty sensible (though fuel prices seem to have just about doubled since all this Middle East upheaval kicked off...).

The best way to stretch your travel budget is to stay away from big cities (on your trip, these would be mainly LA & New York). If you stay south, prices tend to be lower (and the food better, especially in Louisiana!). But the South can also get hot -- even in May, the daytime temperatures in places like Phoenix can be over 100 degrees (what's that in Celcius? -- like 40!?).

All that heat might be fun, as a change of pace from cool green Limerick, but you should know what you're getting yourself into.

Hope this helps -- have a great trip, and please let me know what all you get up to!

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA

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