How Much it Costs to Drive Across America

How Much it Costs to Drive Across America

Spring break is just around the corner folks!

What better way to spend a couple weeks than a good old American road trip through America’s 10 top vacation cities?

Below you’ll find the average cost to see some of the best cities and landmarks this country has to offer. The only thing that’s changed since this graphic was created, around this same date last year, is that the fuel cost has dropped by nearly half! (see revised gas estimate further down page.)

Cost of an American Road Trip




































































Average food and lodging costs haven’t changed since this graphic was released, but the gas prices sure have. And for once in close to a decade, they’ve actually changed for the better!

It’s really easy to figure out approximately how much fuel will cost for you and your family (or friends — or just you) to complete this, or any other road trip adventure.

Start with the total approximate mileage you plan to travel. Miles or kilometers.

In this case, it’s 7,600 miles.

Then divide the total distance you plan to drive by your car’s estimated or known miles-per-gallon (or kilometers-per-liter) to get the approximate amount of total fuel that will be used on the trip. The example uses 24 mpg, same that was used in the graphic:

7,600 ÷ 24 = 316.7 (rounded up from 316.66666667)

Now we’ll take the total fuel used and multiply that number by the current average national cost-per-gallon (or cost per liter) for fuel found here.

316.7 x 2.111 = $668.48 (compared to $1, 173.11 a year ago!)

You can also calculate state by state fuel costs if you want to get more exact, and even factor in city vs. highway if so inclined.

So, using the estimates in the graphic, our 10 city American road trip is even more inviting from a budget standpoint:

Fuel cost: $668.48


Food costs: $765


Lodging expenses: $2703

= $4136.48 (compared to $4641.11 a year ago.)

Not a bad time to take a road trip, am I right?

Here’s another post pointing out some of Americas most scenic highways. Some are included in the itinerary shown in the graphic, some are not.

Main image by V∆NESS∆ GERL∆CH


  1. 70c per mile all in seems not too bad ??

    • Great observation Sid and thanks! I didn’t think to add that calculation in.


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