Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cross country in $500

I had to do a cross country trip from Blacksburg, VA to Redmond, WA (yeah that company!). In all it took me four days (Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday) of driving with 12 hours for 3 days and 8 hours during the last day - 3000 miles in all. It was a pretty uneventful (Thank God for that!). Here are some pointers to cross country trip.

Preparation before the trip
The car
My car is a 80K done 1999 Mazda protégé. Before the trip, I took it to a local mechanic and have it inspected (I had state inspection due). Then opened hood and ensured that all the fluids - engine coolant, power steering fluids, brake fluids and washer fluids are full. At the stopover at my friends place, I changed oil at jiffylube (I change it every 3000 miles), where they checked the tire pressure also.

The person
I had a cold due to seasonal allergy, so went to doctor got pills for the trip. I also went to local Wal-Mart and brought a gallon of water, couple of packs of cookies, a can of peanuts and some cranberry juice. Incase I get stranded at least I got food to eat.

The trip
I planned the trip such that I take a day’s break in Fort Collins, CO. I borrowed my roommate road atlas and decided to do ~750 miles each day for 3 days and ~500 miles the last day. In all two stays in hotel (Columbus, MO and Bosie, ID) and a day at my friends place.

11 refills of gas totaling: $266
2 logging totaling: $168
7 eating totaling: $70
In all $504 to drive across the country. Not bad!

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