Sunset over lake with reflection

Boise, Idaho

In Boise, Idaho, we stayed at Gowen Field which is an Air Force Reserve Base, located right next to the Boise Airport. It is a nice, small area which has a small problem in that it is right next to the Boise Airport. We loved the place except for the noise.  We frequent Boise, because of family, in town and next time we visit we are going to find a quieter place.

How we decide where to travel, how much does it cost to travel

I have a tremendous list of places I want to go and I have to say, I have no idea how to get to them all.  Our plan isn’t a precise method but let me break down some of the methodologies.

Start with the budget: 

My daughter asked me and I get asked the same question about once a month. How many miles per gallon do you get? My response is somewhat flippant sorry about that I don’t intend to offend. My response to my daughter was “more miles per gallon than your house”.  For people I don’t know, I changed it a little to “more miles per gallon than most houses”.  Since I live here it is a valid comparison, if I was using it for a camper on the weekend, then the comparison becomes less valid because I would then have to compare it to other camping options.  When fuel prices are $3.00 per gallon of gas, it cost us $0.60 per mile, give or take, depending mostly on hills. You don’t save enough on the downhills, to balance out the up-hill cost.

I am choosing $3.00 per gallon and 5 miles per gallon as round numbers. I know that I sometimes get gas for less than $3.00 and so far I have always more than 5 miles per gallon. These numbers are not accurate, but close, and demonstrate my logic.

1000 miles

So let us say you are going to drive from Las Vegas to Portland and then return to Las Vegas and that is your trip. I picked these two cities because they are almost perfectly 1000 miles apart. Thus if I were to drive this route in one year, or one week, assuming $3.00 per gallon, my fuel costs remain the same. The result is $1200.  It doesn’t matter if I do the trip in one week or one year.

At the beginning of the year, I could drive to Portland and then stay in Portland for the year and then drive back to Las Vegas at the end of the year. It costs $1200. OR, I could break the trip to Portland into smaller bites, say moving 50 miles each time and then pause for an extended time at each stop. The same trip would then include 40 stops and then at the end of the year–I have spent the identical $1200 for fuel that year. At each stop, I would then have 9 days to pause and explore along the way. 

4000 miles

My expense/movement plan is about 4000 miles and if you look at our trip starting at the beginning of the year, we have gone a little further than half in the first 138 days.  I have been attempting to stay at a location for one day for every 25 miles we move. Thus if we move 100 miles, then we stay for four days. This is an average it is not a rule, we don’t want to stay four days in Crane Oregon (our next stop). Nothing personal, I intend to stay longer than most people would.

How is the plan working out? 

So far this year we have traveled 2000 miles and our fuel costs are about $1200 and we plan to leave Boise on May 18 thus we have moved on average 14.5 miles per day. We have moved 25 times so far this year, thus we have stayed on average 5 days in each location. We have stayed as long as 30 days at one location and as little as 1 day at other locations.   

Since my “fuel budget” (I don’t really have a fuel budget) projects $2400 per year, this projects for fuel costs of $6.58 per day and it makes it easy to identify that our per-night charge has a much greater influence on our annual budget than our fuel costs.

How much does it cost to stay the night? 

When we leave Boise, we will be on the road for 138 days so far this year.  Sometimes camping is free and sometimes expensive. Next year I hope that our cost per night will be lower due to having solar panels and being willing to camp without electricity hook-ups more often.  So far we have spent $3,893 on campsites and this equals $28.62 per night. We are keeping a running total and will report again at the end of the year.  So far this year our most expensive stay was right on the beach south of Coronado Island at $45 per night.  Some low-cost places were at Navajo National Monument (free) and some other nights at BLM and Forest Service campsites for $5 to $7 per night.

We have not, and do not intend to stay in Walmart parking lots, just to save money, but rather we are members of a club, that give us opportunities to stay at low price locations, occasionally for free.

Here is a link to the google map for the area.

Link to our 2018 Route.

Link to our route Salt Lake to Boise

Our blog page doesn’t allow comments after one month…  So much for me controlling it – I am not a coder…  Please comment anyway, by filling out the form at the bottom. Be sure to mention which post you are commenting on, I will be glad to manually insert them.   

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