The trip was just around the corner. We had tentatively set a budget of $100 per day (for everything from gas, food, lodging, entertainment, sounvenirs, gifts, supplies, snacks, etc) as any extra dollar per day would snowball to an avalanche for 112 days. This meant that we had to find cheap lodging and perhaps cook a lot ourselves (fast food everyday was out of questions.) Cheap lodging, asides from staying with friends/relatives, meant camping—a lot of camping. We were thinking that we may need to camp about a half of our trip; that still would be 56 days of camping, a lot even for us who do like camping and had done a few 10+ days of camping trips in the past. It would be a big challenge to pull it off; especially we had never camped with 2 kids before.

Camping also led to the following question about our transportation: should we take our van or get an RV? Our van would get better mileage and it was ready as we already owned it; an RV would be more comfortable but it would cost more and we still had to find one. After poking around on the internet for information on RV, we decided it would be too costly, both the initial cost of getting/renting one and the gas cost. Another good decision in retrospect as our van allowed us to get to many more places where an RV would not be able to do.