171 days in North America, how much did it cost, the highs and the lows Part 1

This blog is going to be in three parts as we covered a lot of ground approximately 10,161 miles or 16,354 kilometres. The first part covers our travels through BC, Alberta and then down into the USA through Montana, Wyoming and up to Michigan before crossing back into Canada and into Ontario.

What did 171 days cost?

I wanted to get this out of the way. We were lucky in we paid no RV hire only fuel costs. Accommodation also was low as we only stayed at hotels for two weeks of the 171 days. We also were able to stay with friends and relatives at no cost. The other major advantage was we travelled with Debbie’s parents for the five months in their 38 foot Dutch Flyer RV. Yes, I spent five months travelling with my in-laws in a small enclosed space sleeping on an air mattress. Happily, we all got along most of the time and occasionally Debbie and I took the car and spent a few days exploring specific areas, such as Nova Scotia.

The current running total of our trip is US$17,000 (excluding airfares and insurance) which works out at $99.40 cents per day. We still have a few things to pay on credit cards. I had budgeted for US$150 per day so it was nice to have a bit more in the kitty for our next few countries. We did a lot of our own cooking in the RV which kept costs down. Although we did eat out at restaurants. Usually for breakfast. Denny’s was a regular as they seem to have the best free wifi out of all the chains.


It is hard for us to believe that our North America leg of the trip is finished. The next part is Australasia. Not really looking forward to the 14 hours and 20 minutes wedged into an economy seat from LA to Sydney. Looking back on our journey through North America there have been numerous highlights. There have been a lot of new memories with some great sights, adventures, restaurants and 10000 miles travelled. We started slowly in Vancouver catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones. We did the obligatory cycle ride around Stanley Park and then we headed up to Cultus Lake before spending a few weeks in the Okanagan catching up with family, doing the Penticton tube ride, wineries and a lovely boat ride on the Lake.

The first stop we had on the road was at a campground with hot springs near Revelstoke, which was a lovely way to start the road trip. Then on to Golden for a few days seeing wolves and bears as well as some nice scenery. Then to Banff fast becoming familiar to me after other visits. We also visited the Columbian Icefield and Jasper. This was early September and we were hit by a snowfall which slowed us down a bit. After Jasper it was back to Banff and on to Calgary where I got my correct six month visa to the USA. We then got stuck in Leithbridge a few days while the RV was repaired. Not a bad place to be stuck with lots to do and then on to Montana.


Montana’s scenery was spectacular and I wish we could have spent a week here. We also found more hot springs at White Sulphur Springs and enjoyed a soak before heading to Yellowstone. Yellowstone was truly wonderful we saw grizzly, buffalo, Old Faithful and some amazing scenery. I particularly liked the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. We continued on into Wyoming to Cody where we visited Buffalo Bill’s museum and did a side trip to Custer’s Last Stand.

We then went to my favourite state South Dakota. We spent a few weeks here and there was lots to do. We visited Mount Rushmore, Needle highway, saw a buffalo round-up and did a walk up to the Crazy Horse monument.

There were some more repairs in South Dakota and we then headed across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan before returning to Canada to visit Debbie’s relatives in Ontario. I also visited an Ian an old friend in Niagara Falls and rewarded with some lovely weather.

Part 2 will cover Quebec and the Maritimes before heading down to Virginia.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s