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Cost to Travel by Car Across the USA

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Cost to Drive Across USA —

I thought that it would cost me around $250 to drive a small Subaru Legacy almost the entire length and breadth of the USA: from Bangor, Maine to Quartzsite, Arizona.

I thought wrong.

After tallying up my expenditures, the trip, which took five days, removed $350 from my travel funds.

I did not pay for accommodation during this trip — as I made good use of rest stops and the homes of family and friends — and I also only spent around $22 on food. The remainder of these expenses were from a $20 oil change, gas, and coffee. But as there is a limit to how much coffee I can drink — and it is a relatively cheap substance at that — my main expense was, unsurprisingly, gas.

I thought that I had spent a lot of money on this journey, but now that I have had a little space to reflect on how far I actually traveled — How far is 3,000 miles — I must say that I did this trip for a penance.

$329 is not much to have spent for a 3,000 mile road trip with gas costing between $2.10 and $2.80 a gallon.

The archaeology company that I am working for agreed to pay me 16 hours of drive time, so that removes around $180 from the total expense.

The road trip from Maine to Arizona, in the end, deducted $150 from my travel funds. But I have already made this back by working two days last week.

So I am now on my second week of working in Arizona making money to travel further and farther. Time is not money but money is a representation of time.

The journey across the USA cost 40 hours of working on the farm, but I have already made this back with 32 hours on the archaeology clock.

Making time to travel doing archaeology fieldwork.

Maine to Arizona Road Trip Series

[seriesposts orderby=date name=”maine to arizona” ]

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Filed under: Road Trip, USA

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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