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We Spent $22,138 Traveling The USA For 6 Months (Complete Breakdown)


In February 2022, we bought a campervan in Canada and traveled the United States with it for 6 months (177 days to be exact). We get asked a lot how much it costs to do this, and so here’s the complete breakdown.

We diligently tracked every dollar we spent on the road in a giant spreadsheet, per state, per spending category, and per day. Finally, we get to share these costs in as much detail as we can.

Our expenses per category

Here’s how we spent $22,138.41 in our 6 months in the United States, and how much we managed to see of this beautiful country before our money ran out!

Category Amount spent
Accommodation $6,389.99
Food & Drinks $7,645.71
Activities $1,335.90
Transport $6,766.81
Total Spent $22,138.41
Total Days in the USA 177
Cost per Day $125.08

There are a couple of things you should know:

  • We bought our campervan in Canada. The costs of purchasing, insuring, owning, fixing, towing (😔), and selling this campervan are not included in this post. For more details, check this page.
  • We were in the USA for two separate periods. We spent 4 months traveling Canada between these two periods. If you’re wondering how much we spent in Canada, check this article.
hugo and roadtrek in florida keys
Hugo and the campervan while staying on a campsite in the Florida Keys!

Here’s a more detailed breakdown per month for our first period spent in the United States:

Month March 2022 April 2022 May 2022 June 2022
Accommodation $1,031.49 $2,152.00 $135.00 $324.00
Food & Drinks $784.00 $1,169.00 $1,175.00 $426.50
Activities $325.00 $217.00 $20.00 $0.00
Transport $718.00 $1,266.15 $1,662.50 $371.74
Total Spent $2,858.49 $4,804.15 $2,992.50 $1,122.24
Total Days in the USA 17 30 31 10
Cost per Day $168.15 $160.14 $96.53 $112.22

And here’s the same data for our second period in the United States:

Month October 2022 November 2022 December 2022 January 2023
Accommodation $341.00 $1,253.50 $1,153.00 $0.00
Food & Drinks $1,063.21 $1,418.00 $1,592.00 $18.00
Activities $22.00 $363.90 $388.00 $0.00
Transport $1,190.67 $788.75 $714.00 $55.00
Total Spent $2,616.88 $3,824.15 $3,847.00 $73.00
Total Days in the USA 25 30 31 3
Cost per Day $104.68 $127.47 $124.10 $24.33

There’s a complete table further down this post (here), which shows our expenses per day, including which state we were in at the time!

Could we have done this cheaper?

Can you budget less for your trip?

Probably, yes.

We had been saving for years for this trip, so naturally, we tried to make the most of it. As a result, we probably spent more than we could have as we decided on a bit more luxury. For example, we occasionally went to nice restaurants, visited Disneyland in Florida and spent 5 nights in Las Vegas.

You could definitely do this cheaper if you cook your own food and sleep at (free) rest stops, boondock sites or public parks instead of paid campgrounds.

hugo and the roadtrek in the Colorado rocky mountains
Staying at a beautiful campsite in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado

What exactly did we spend our money on?

There are 4 main categories for our spending:

  • Accommodation
  • Food & drinks
  • Activities
  • Transport

Here’s a bit more context for each of these!

Disclaimer: This is by no means a brag of how much/little we spent. People are often quick to compare these cost breakdowns to see who is the most frugal or glamorous. We’re not sharing this data to participate in these leaderboards (it’s not like we’re winning anyway). Instead, we’re trying to help other travellers who are planning similar trips of their own. It can be really overwhelming to plan an adventure like this, and having first-hand data like this could have really helped us before we embarked on our trip!

Accommodation

  • Total spent: $6,389.99
  • Average per day: $36.10

This was our first time traveling in a campervan, so we wanted to be more comfortable. Also, we had to work on our businesses during our travels. As a result, we often chose to stay at (paid) campgrounds that offered hookups and wi-fi.

This also includes the occasional hotel/motel. We stayed in a nice hotel in Las Vegas during Christmas, and we booked a week in an Airbnb in Fresno, California when we both caught a fever! This impacted our average costs!

Food & drinks

  • Total spent: $7,645.71
  • Average per day: $43.20

These are our costs for 2 persons, and your mileage may vary a lot! We often tried to cook all our food inside our campervan. We mostly shopped at Walmart and tried to keep a budget.

But, since life on the road can get a little unpredictable – which is an understatement – we occasionally opted for the easy way out and ordered takeout or a pizza or something!

cooking lunch in Olympic National Park Washington
We tried to cook as much as possible, like this awesome lunch in Olympic National Park

Activities

  • Total spent: $1,335.90
  • Average per day: $7.55

We’re extremely envious of folks from the US because of the National Parks and the way that they’re managed. There is so much beautiful and accessible nature in these parks, that most of our activities on this trip were connected to the National Parks. We bought a yearly National Park pass (America the Beautiful) for just $80 and visited every park we could.

Other costs that are included here are paid parking, visits to hot springs, the slot canyons in Arizona, renting a jeep to visit White Pocket, and our tickets for Disneyland.

Transportation

  • Total spent: $6,766.81
  • Average per day: $38.23

This cost mostly consists of the gasoline we poured in our ’91 Chevy campervan. This van took us to all the beautiful places in North America, but it burned quite some fuel in the process!

Here are some gasoline-related statistics for our trip:

  • Distance traveled: 17,506 miles (or 28,173 kilometers)
  • Fuel tanked: 1,460 gallons (or 5,528 liters)
  • Average fuel consumption: 11.99 miles per gallon (or 5.10 kilometers per liter)
  • Money spent on gas: $6,613
  • Average price of gas: $4.53 per gallon (or $1.20 per liter)
  • Average cost per 100 miles: $37.78 (or $23.47 per 100 kilometers)

Fuel costs were a massive portion of our budget. That’s caused by two reasons:

  • We drove a colossal distance, covering every corner of the USA. We started in Maine and traveled the entire east coast down south down to the Miami Keys. We then crossed the country from east to west, traversing the Rocky Mountains up and down, before traveling the west coast down from Seattle to the Mexican border in California!
  • The other reason is simple: Our campervan contained a massive 5.7 liter V8 engine. It contained plenty of power to take us over several mountain passes, but… it sure loved burning gasoline!

Here’s a map that contains our route:

map of travels through us and canada as tourists

Before you ask, the money spent and distance driven in our 4 months in Canada are not included in this post. If you want to know how much we spent in Canada, here’s the article you’re looking for! (Coming soon)

Our complete breakdown of costs

Here’s the most detailed cost breakdown of how much it costs to road trip through the entire USA with a campervan.

Here’s the data for the first 88-day period of our stay in the United States:

Date Accommodation Food & Drinks Activities Transportation State(s)
3/15/2022$80.00$62.00$160.00Maine
3/16/2022$75.00$57.00$75.00New Hampshire, Massachusetts
3/17/2022$60.00$60.00$86.00Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware
3/18/2022$60.00$60.00$20.00Maryland, Washington D.C.
3/19/2022$103.00$70.00$190.00Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina
3/20/2022$130.00$19.00Georgia, Florida
3/21/2022$180.00Florida
3/22/2022$70.00Florida
3/23/2022$70.00Florida
3/24/2022Florida
3/25/2022$76.00$8.00Florida
3/26/2022$43.00$87.00Florida
3/27/2022$100.00$140.00Florida
3/28/2022$277.49$305.00Florida
3/29/2022Florida
3/30/2022Florida
3/31/2022$15.00$120.00Florida
4/1/2022$220.00$63.00Florida
4/2/2022$26.00$88.00Florida
4/3/2022$70.00$40.00$88.00Florida
4/4/2022$4.50Florida
4/5/2022$34.00Florida
4/6/2022$9.00$94.00Florida
4/7/2022$6.00$37.00Florida
4/8/2022$125.00$72.00$71.00Florida
4/9/2022$20.00$25.00Florida
4/10/2022$76.00Florida
4/11/2022$35.00Florida
4/12/2022$40.00$20.00$85.00Florida
4/13/2022$37.00$215.15Florida, Alabama, Mississippi
4/14/2022$66.00$153.00Louisiana, Texas
4/15/2022$18.00$185.00Texas, New Mexico
4/16/2022$49.00New Mexico, Colorado
4/17/2022Colorado
4/18/2022$1987.00$5.50$87.00Colorado
4/19/2022$44.00$55.00Colorado
4/20/2022Colorado
4/21/2022$30.00Colorado
4/22/2022$130.00$73.00Colorado
4/23/2022Colorado
4/24/2022$42.00Colorado
4/25/2022$21.00Colorado
4/26/2022$31.00Colorado
4/27/2022$60.00Colorado
4/28/2022$70.00Colorado
4/29/2022$52.00$45.00Colorado
4/30/2022Colorado
5/1/2022$31.00Colorado
5/2/2022$6.00Colorado
5/3/2022$177.00Colorado, Wyoming
5/4/2022$25.00$116.32Wyoming, Utah
5/5/2022$100.00$149.00Utah
5/6/2022Utah
5/7/2022$20.00Utah
5/8/2022$40.00$95.00Utah
5/9/2022$25.00Utah
5/10/2022$30.00Utah
5/11/2022$43.00$101.00Utah
5/12/2022Utah
5/13/2022$20.00$79.00Utah
5/14/2022$27.00$20.00Utah
5/15/2022$40.00$87.00Utah
5/16/2022$10.00$69.00Utah, Colorado
5/17/2022$6.00$270.00Utah, Colorado
5/18/2022$5.00Utah, Colorado
5/19/2022$139.00$114.00Utah, Colorado
5/20/2022$55.00$12.00$75.00Utah, Colorado
5/21/2022$10.00Utah, Colorado
5/22/2022$98.00$100.00Wyoming
5/23/2022$70.00Wyoming
5/24/2022$16.00$106.00Wyoming
5/25/2022Wyoming
5/26/2022$30.00$90.17Wyoming
5/27/2022$130.00$52.19Wyoming
5/28/2022Wyoming
5/29/2022$13.00Wyoming
5/30/2022Wyoming
5/31/2022$80.00$52.00$158.82Wyoming
6/1/2022$75.00Wyoming
6/2/2022$75.00$126.00$74.00Utah
6/3/2022$40.00$25.00Idaho
6/4/2022$7.50Idaho
6/5/2022$39.00$109.00$65.00Idaho
6/6/2022$170.00$13.00$103.49Montana
6/7/2022$71.00Montana
6/8/2022Montana
6/9/2022$129.25Montana
6/10/2022Montana

And here’s the data for the second 87-day period of our stay:

Date Accommodation Food & Drinks Activities Transportation State(s)
10/7/2022$20.00$152.91Washington
10/8/2022$123.21Washington
10/9/2022$18.00$130.46Washington
10/10/2022$17.00Washington
10/11/2022$17.00Washington
10/12/2022$56.00$125.00Washington
10/13/2022$9.00Washington
10/14/2022$135.00Washington
10/15/2022$21.00$100.56Washington
10/16/2022$25.00Washington
10/17/2022$45.00$71.24Washington
10/18/2022$17.00Washington
10/19/2022$9.00$140.00Washington
10/20/2022$33.00Washington
10/21/2022$74.00Washington
10/22/2022$62.00$128.00Oregon
10/23/2022$10.00$63.50Oregon
10/24/2022$39.00Oregon
10/25/2022$48.00$22.00Oregon
10/26/2022$42.00$133.00Oregon
10/27/2022$233.00$58.00Oregon
10/28/2022$36.00Oregon
10/29/2022$31.00$139.00Oregon
10/30/2022$24.00Oregon
10/31/2022$66.00$3.00$140.00Oregon
11/1/2022$19.00Oregon
11/2/2022$18.00$41.00California
11/3/2022$18.00$13.00California
11/4/2022$26.00$153.75California
11/5/2022$138.00$105.00California
11/6/2022$317.00$44.00$77.90California
11/7/2022$31.00$80.00$155.00California
11/8/2022-$62.50$9.00California
11/9/2022$65.00$22.00California
11/10/2022$64.00$57.00$10.00California
11/11/2022$61.00California
11/12/2022$82.00California
11/13/2022$23.00$70.00$125.00California
11/14/2022$73.00$31.00California
11/15/2022$33.00California
11/16/2022$256.00$20.00California
11/17/2022$65.00California
11/18/2022$109.00$70.00California
11/19/2022$70.00California
11/20/2022$108.00$76.00California
11/21/2022$124.00$45.00California
11/22/2022$15.00$100.00California
11/23/2022$63.00California
11/24/2022$37.00$100.00California
11/25/2022$50.00California
11/26/2022$157.00California
11/27/2022$113.00$70.00California
11/28/2022$13.00$12.00California
11/29/2022$38.00$10.00California
11/30/2022$59.00$145.00California
12/1/2022$105.00$112.00California
12/2/2022$15.00California
12/3/2022$59.00California
12/4/2022$100.00$36.00California
12/5/2022$85.00$101.00$91.00California
12/6/2022$18.00$32.00California
12/7/2022$115.00$87.00California
12/8/2022$78.00$51.00California
12/9/2022$60.00California
12/10/2022$145.00$93.00Arizona
12/11/2022$210.00$34.00-$275.00Arizona
12/12/2022$47.00Arizona
12/13/2022$420.00$53.00Arizona
12/14/2022$51.00$43.00$103.00Arizona
12/15/2022$65.00$9.00$82.00Arizona
12/16/2022$7.00$19.00Arizona
12/17/2022$63.00$10.00Arizona
12/18/2022$16.00$268.00$40.00Arizona
12/19/2022$81.00$18.00Arizona
12/20/2022$30.00Arizona
12/21/2022$6.00$76.00Arizona
12/22/2022$40.00Arizona
12/23/2022$95.00$250.00Arizona
12/24/2022$42.00$55.00Las Vegas
12/25/2022$7.00Las Vegas
12/26/2022Las Vegas
12/27/2022$20.00Las Vegas
12/28/2022$20.00$25.00$10.00Las Vegas
12/29/2022$37.00$55.00Las Vegas
12/30/2022$28.00$129.00California
12/31/2022$130.00$45.00California
1/1/2023$18.00$55.00California
1/2/2023California
1/3/2023California

Our expenses per state

As you can see in the complete breakdown, we traveled to lots of states. Here are our total expenses for each state where we spent a significant amount of time:

State Total spent Number of full days in state Cost per day
Florida $2,839.99 23 $123.48
Colorado $2,769.50 16 $173.09
Utah $1,151.00 12 $95.92
Wyoming $1,071.18 11 $97.38
Montana $486.74 5 $97.35
Washington $1,339.38 15 $89.29
Oregon $1,296.50 11 $117.86
California $5,355.15 43 $124.54
Arizona $2,099.00 14 $149.93

Wrapping up

This must be the most detailed cost breakdown of how much it costs to road trip through the entire USA with a campervan. However, if I still forgot to include something that you want to know about, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll get back to you!

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