In fact, it's the added up total estimate for our Year of America road trip. With all our specific stops and sight-seeing interests, 14,474 is the distance in miles that it will *roughly* take us to travel in a big circle through all 48 continental United States.
I crunched the numbers officially this week. Take that number and figure out the cost of gas, plus lodging, plus food, plus incidental expenses, car maintenance, also paying ahead on our rent for while we are gone, and having a buffer for emergencies (not to mention our inevitable desire for souvenirs and the occasional novelty food that is famous in a particular state here or there...) and you've got a BIG undertaking.
SO big, that it's too much for our little family to handle entirely right now.
We knew going into this plan that it might be way over our heads. But we went for it anyway! I don't regret at all hoping that we could make it. I thought that MAYBE if we stretched we could make a big chunk of savings by the Summer, but it looks like the numbers are a little more grand than my imagination supposed. :)
That being said, we are happy to announce a modification to our trip! We are going to complete the first couple weeks of the original plan, and cut the loop down to 7 States on the West Coast.
|New road trip map! Roughly.|
I know that is 41 states less than our original plan, but we're going to save our goal of seeing the Midwest, East Coast, and Southern States for another time. We are pretty bummed about the friends and family that we will be missing, as well as all the National Parks and landmarks that we will have to wait on, but ultimately, this modified version is going to rock, and we're still super excited!
The main point of this trip was to see America. And we will still be doing that.
We wanted to go and see places that we had never been. And we will still be doing that!
Most of all, we wanted family togetherness, bonding, and building a tradition of travel and exploration. And we will still be doing that. :)
With our new plan, we will:
A) be spreading out our stops to see MORE of the parks and friends and family that we were already going to be hopping between,
B) have the ability to travel comfortably and explore WELL within our budget, and
C) we will easily be pulling off this trip completely debt-free while not breaking the bank for the time we are gone.
The New Route
Start: Rexburg ID
Craters of the Moon National Park, ID
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Sedona National Park, AZ
Las Vegas, NV
Hoover Dam, NV
Sequoia National Park, CA
San Francisco/Oakland, CA
Humboldt Redwoods State Park, CA
Coeur d'Alene, ID
and back to Rexburg, ID!
(I highlighted all of the stops that either Jon or I --or both of us-- have never been before!)
This whole major road trip has been such a learning process. It's also been great practice for our family to work on setting realistic goals (ha!) and working together toward a savings plan. :)
The new 7-State Loop has some awesome features, and best of all it is full of some of our most favorite people! Ultimately, it's going to be a couple weeks, instead of 6. It's going to be a mix of camping and sleepovers with friends. It's going to be one of the craziest family vacations we've ever done.
It's going to be awesome. :)