Affording a Whole Summer Vacation

savings_snipAnother important item to consider for a trip of this magnitude is cost. How do you go about making sure that you have enough money to take the trip?

As I mentioned in my post about saving vacation time (Taking 10 Weeks Off From Work), I simply applied the Engineer’s friend – Microsoft Excel. Things I took into consideration included fuel (both from a price and economy perspective), campground fees, RV rental or purchase, and food and other items while on the trip.

By far the biggest expense will be fuel. For a road trip of 10,000 miles, assuming a worst case efficiency of 5 miles/gallon, and a worst case average fuel cost of $4.00 per gallon, that is about $8,000 just in fuel! I am hoping that the current downward trend in gasoline prices across North America holds out, or at the least moderates and doesn’t reverse too badly. That should bring the average price down. In addition the drivetrain work being done on the RV should help boost me above the 5 mpg figure.

When I did all my calculations, I figured I would need about $18,000 for this adventure. Taking a snapshot of my current investments, minus the money I spent for the RV and a tow dolly for the car, plus the future savings that direct deposits from my pay, I look to be right on target come next summer.

I am starting to do detailed trip planning now, scheduling where we will be on what days and doing what. That is helping to plan out the accrued mileage and campground fees. Food and park fees will round out the bulk of the rest of the spending.

(I’m a little hesitant to detail exact dollar amounts, but hopefully this gives someone thinking about a similar adventure a starting point for their planning.)

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