Leonardtown Travel Blog

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I kept detailed records of the cost of the trip, thinking it would help me in answering questions about how much driving around in the USA would cost. Most of the time people asking the question want to spend minimal amounts of money.  We don't want to scrimp, but neither do we want to pay more than we have to.  When we were traveling on our boat, my expense records included things like dockage, food, fuel, repairs, phone bills, and the cost of electricity, water and other utilities for our house when we were gone.   That is total living expenses.  But this report is just for the travel expenses, so I did not include the phone bills in this report, nor did I include house utilities or the cost of the cat sitter.

This is broken down into the following categories
* Gas/Transportation
* Sleeping Accommodations
* Food
* Other (such as admission prices, tolls and gifts)

Transportation expense: In order to estimate transportation cost when driving, you need the rental car rate, the number of miles, the efficiency of the car in using fuel, and the average price of the fuel.  The cheapest rental car rate would have been about $150/week.

We had our own car, so the only actual out of pocket expense was for gas.  Technically we should include the cost of insurance, licensing and depreciation, but I'm not going to get into that.  We have a hybrid car which gets very good gas mileage. Our average gas use was 45 mpg for the trip.  It was as much as 50 mpg on the freeway, and less than that in town.  The average price per gallon was $2.23.  So for a trip of 2088 miles, our total gas cost was $100.00.

Hotels:  For 8 days on this trip we stayed at Hampton Inns which have free parking, free internet and free breakfast.  The price of the room depends a good bit on how expensive the area is.  The average cost was $160/night, and we tipped about $3.00/night to the maids.  We also stayed for three nights at a Navy Lodge (only available to military families) which has a small kitchen.   The cost for this accommodations was $77.00/night. This helped balance out the price of the 2 nights where we stayed at a very expensive hotel in the total ($612/night) .  Our average room price for 13 nights ws $210.46

Food: Most of our breakfasts were eaten at the Hampton Inn's free breakfast.  When we are driving, we mostly eat at a fast food place for lunch.  If we are going to be several days in a place, we have lunch at a regular restaurant and then take the leftovers home for supper.  Since usually our room has at least a microwave and a small fridge, we will also go to a market to buy food to eat in the room.  Also during this trip we attended a wedding, and two of the dinners (rehearsal dinner and reception) were free.  Our total cost for food was $512.06 or $36.50/day

Other: We paid admission to one Florida State Park ($6.00), and one museum ($8.00 each).  We had one bridge toll $6.00, and two ferry rides $6.00 each.  We also spent $101 on gifts.  

The total cost for 14 days (and 13 nights) was $3909 or $275.00/day

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