2016 USA Roadtrip Update!

Driving

It’s been over 6 months since I announced the Epic USA Roadtrip plan for the summer of 2016, so I feel an update is most definitely in order. In that post I shared that Tristan and I plan to essentially drive the perimeter states over the course of 3 months. We’ve narrowed down the launch date to end of June, or once Tristan wraps up the school year. Then we’ll be on the road till the end of September. I’ve since realized we’ll be hitting the southern states during the hottest time of the year, but it’s just the way things are going to work out and we’ll have to make do (stocking up on the deodorant now!).

Itinerary

I wish I had more to update about where exactly we’ll be going but in all honesty, it’s been a little overwhelming looking at a map of the USA and deciding where to go and what to do. There is just SO much ground to cover and SO much we could do. I’ve been keeping a running document, listing any ideas or places that look interesting, and I’ve noticed 2 themes coming out of that list; National Parks and beer tours. Ha!

Call us plain and simple, but one aspect of the USA that gets us super excited is the thought of visiting the iconic National Parks. The videographer and photographer in me can’t wait to document these places and the camper in both Tristan and I can’t wait to just ‘get off the grid’ and immerse ourselves in nature.

Of course there’s the beer and I can’t wait to try out the craft beer scene throughout the country. If you’ve been on any cool beer tours please let me know in the comments below!

There are two States that are at the top of our ‘must see’ list and they are Arizona and California. Arizona for the Grand Canyon, arid deserts, and Navajo culture, California for the mountains, redwoods, and the Pacific coast. California is proving to be an interesting dilemma in terms of what route we’ll take as Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Yosemite, and Sequoia National Parks are all inland but we can’t miss doing the Pacific Coast Highway drive. So we’re working out exactly how we can make it all happen without retracing too many steps.

I’m also a bit hesitant to ‘lock in’ too many things. What I loved about our 2011/12 backpacking trip was that we really did just go with the flow. We never planned anything more than 2 weeks in advance to allow ourselves to do what we were interested in at that point in time and to leave room for suggestions from travelers we’d meet along the way. But this road trip has a defined period of time and is inherently different than traveling in Southeast Asia.

With the new-year approaching so quickly, the 6-month countdown to departure will commence and Tristan and I will have to sit down and start making some decisions.

Our Savings Plan

In my initial announcement post I said that Tristan and I would be putting $500 each into a savings account for this road-trip with the goal of having $15,000 when we hit the road. So where are we today? Well, not exactly where we’d like to be. We’ve got $5,000 in the bank but that’s about half of where we wanted to be today. A number of factors have affected our monthly contributions from not having steady work, or lack of work, to saving for other items at the same time (for me mainly saving to upgrade my 5-year old camera that has seen much better days). It’s been stressful at times trying to juggle payments and savings while constantly hustling for work. Neither one of us has a dedicated ‘full-time’ job so our incomes fluctuate from month to month. We’ll be tightening the belt straps, so to speak, over the coming months on our spending and continue to put away as much as we can when we can.

Even with all that, we’re both really excited for the road-trip. It will still be incredible regardless if we plan it all out or go with the flow and if we can financially support being on the road for 3 months or not.

We’re always looking for recommendations about what we should see and do, so please let us know your ideas in the comments below!

 

  • kadi

    Well, the post and the comments are 7 months old. And as far as I read your blog it seems you skiped the USA and having a great time in atlantic canada. We have been there last year. Great place, great time.
    My recommendations for the western part of the USA is (besides Arizona) UTAH!
    Utah is absolutely gorgeous.
    Arches, Bryce, Zion…are just a few must-see nationalparks.
    My favourite hikes: Delicate Arch at Arches, Queens Garden Trail at Bryce and…the most impressive hike I ever did…Observation Point at Zion! Breathtaking!
    Aside this, just like Stephen already did, I can highly recommend the Antelope Canyon in Page,AZ. but we had a very frustrating experience at the Upper Canyon.
    Crowded, noisy, dark…I would never do the Upper again.
    We arrived at the entrance with roughly a hundred other people, then being crushed and squeezed through the canyon. You could not make one step without treading on so.´s foot. Utterly devastating.
    In contrast to that, the Lower…small group of only 10 people, a nice guide who took time to explain and not rushing through the canyon…and all in all this is the more beautiful part of the canyon, because it is much lighter and presenting the red sandstone in the most lovely way.

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  • Stephen

    Check out Antelope Canyon in Arizona if you like to see something natural and amazing for pics! Both Upper and lower are great! (guided tours only) Horseshoe bend is close by too. Another thing to check out is the dinners, drive-ins and dives website to find great places to eat along the way!

    • http://www.seeyousoon.ca Arienne

      Great suggestions Stephen! Arizona is at the top of the list and I can’t wait to see Antelope Canyon. All the photos I see of it look incredible. Yes, I’ll be taking cues from DDD for cheap and delicious eats :)

  • http://www.seeyousoon.ca Arienne

    Awesome, thanks for the recommendation George!