Recipe for a Road Trip

Airplane  Bicycle Car 


1-4 Friends, Chevy Impala,  Road Atlas, Lonely Planet guide for the US, 4-person tent

Preparation time:

4 weeks , 5785miles (9300km)


~20e/day/person + gas ~550e /automobile –  214 gallons (810 liters)


Search for car rental companies via Google and Lonely Planet. Find a good company (e.g. Alamo) and pay ~2100$ for the whole package (car, insurance, different drop off location and one full tank of gas). Plan things and places which you don’t want to miss on your haul across the US. Consider the weather when doing your itinerary.

NOTE! National Parks in the US cost usually 20$/vehicle, or you can buy an annual pass for 80$. Traffic in the parks can be frustrating.

Start driving. Be aware of many stop signs and Amish people on horses.


Camp in places where the police or rangers won’t see you, or use official camping sites (0-20$/night). Use coupons or internet sites to book cheap motel rooms (19-60$/night). Las Vegas has the cheapest motels, San Francisco the most expensive.

Eat fast food. It’s cheap and good. Everything else than McDonald’s, Burger King or KFC is OK.

A notebook is very handy, because Wifi is basically free in all Starbucks and McDonald’s

GPS is very handy… Nokia maps works perfectly.

Whatever you do against the law and you get caught, be a tourist from abroad. People (also the police) in the US are very forgiving.

Some places you’ll see on the Way:

New York, Niagara Falls, Great Lakes, Chicago, Great Plains, Missouri and Mississippi rivers, Badlands, Black Hills, Yellowstone, Canyon Lands, Route 66, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite, San Francisco, Wine yards in California, West Coast, Los Angeles.

Don’t Miss:

New York, Yosemite,  Grand Canyon, Wendy’s fast food, Great plains (not many cars), the US hospitality

Watch out for:

All you can eat pancakes, Las Vegas (you know what I mean), tipping culture, bears, mosquitoes, patriotism.

ps. new pics on flickr



  1. Posted August 7, 2011 at 8:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    hi lukas,
    i couldn’t agree more. did almost the same some 20 years ago with my family (first wife and our two boys). it was a great trip and experience!
    i’ll be heading for the pamir highway soon (in samarkand right now)!

  2. Kevin
    Posted August 11, 2011 at 9:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hey Hei

    Nice story, sounds like you made the right decision, welcome back! K.

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