We made it home last night. Our whirlwind trip looked something like Idaho-Utah-Colorado-New Mexico-Texas-Louisiana-Mississippi-Arkansas-Missouri-Iowa-South Dakota-Wyoming-Montana- and home.
The cheapest gas along the way was Roswell, New Mexico at 3.34. It was 3.59 virtually everywhere else.
I used to have a hard and fast travel rule. If I could drive there in one day- I would not fly. I can break that rule now that I am retired and I have time. Driving to Louisiana was made possible by the comfortable 40 MPG Hyundai Elantra which is still covered with bugs and road slime as it sits in my driveway.
Beating the airlines out of 1300 bucks and the TSA tax is always nice.
Local governments discovered a way to screw non residents years ago. Since tax weary and vigilant citizens were tired of being taxed to death- politicians came up with local taxes primarily targeting hotels and rentals cars. This way they can gouge the shit out of non citizens- tax payers who don't have the ability to vote because they are non residents. Taxing tourists is the quintessential definition of "taxation without representation." http://www.crcmich.org/Almanac/Taxes/Lodging.htm
Just for shits and giggles- I'm gonna throw in this rental car tax table. http://www.crcmich.org/Almanac/Taxes/carrental.html
State and local taxes are truly out of control. We did not stay any where- where taxes on our hotel room were less than double digits, except Butte, Mt. which checked in at 7%. The high hotel was 16.75% in San Antonio. http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2010/09/20/texas-hotels-more-progressive-san-franciscos Three nights in New Orleans at the Ambassador was supposed to be 267.00. After taxes it was 301.00. (Parking was an extra 28 bucks a day) New Orleans levies a 9.75 tax on everything else. With the items we bought (meals, groceries, and souvenirs) we easily paid over 100 dollars in taxes just in New Orleans.
All of those taxes- oddly enough- cannot be written off on the taxes we file each year. Like gas taxes.
Traveling during this time of the year is gorgeous. Fall colors are beautiful. But it's good to be back home where I can at least avoid paying hotel taxes in lieu of property taxes and sleep in my own bed. Driving 5000 miles in 9 days was probably a little bit more than I care to do anymore. I am sore after being cramped up in a car for all of that time.
I gotta get the car serviced again today. I laugh when the technicians change my oil and rotate the tires two weeks apart. Didn't we just do this car?