Ten Financial Observations from My 50th Birthday Road Trip

Ten Financial Observations from My 50th Birthday Road Trip
Eileen St. Pierre, The Everyday Financial Planner

My husband and I just returned from one of our road trips – 10 states in 25 days. For my 50th birthday, I wanted to see where Lewis & Clark ended their journey (I have never been to the Northwest) and visit some national parks. I thought I would share with you a few financial observations we made along the way.

  1. You have no choice – you must get full service gas in Oregon (this is also true in New Jersey). State law does not allow customers to touch the gas pumps.
  2. We saw more foreigners at the national parks we visited than Americans. We made this same observation several years ago when we visited the Grand Canyon.
  3. If you put a convenience store in the middle of nowhere, people will find it.
  4. Hotels really need to have more than one washing machine and dryer available, especially if they are frequented by foreign tour groups.
  5. In-N-Out Burger always has a crowd, but no one was at the McDonald’s across the street.
  6. It’s too hot in Death Valley to have a park ranger man the payment booth so they have self-service kiosks set up. We paid our fee but most people do not.
  7. As my husband and I drove along the Las Vegas strip, we thought about all the employees it takes to run a casino and how big their electric bill must be – you know, the typical stuff tourists think about.
  8. We paid nothing for our hotel rooms. We had lots of reward points saved up.
  9. There is no sales tax in Oregon – boy, I could get used to that! The residents told us their property taxes are pretty high though.
  10. In a week after we returned, this was in my mailbox:AARP