For us here in North America we have the luxory of the most vast highway and road network in the world, most of us use these highways to get back and forth to work or to take short vacations...well I have an idea for some great North American Travel..( This has been inspired by Cincy-LSD)
In Canada (And prob cheaper in the US) you can get a good beater car on the road, certified (safety), and emmisions tested for about 1000-1500$ CDN, you can insure it with any number of insurance companies, and off you go, the initial cost of the vehicle is the biggest expence, but remember when have finished your trip, you can sell it and hopfully get more than half of that back.
You can start this trip from anywhere in the US, Canada, or Mexico, and basically you just drive, drive where ever the hell you want, see the Canadian Rockies, or the Hoover Dam, or the Accient Inca ruins in Mexico, it doesn't matter, you go where you wanna go.
The key to the Road Trip is time, you have to have the time to do it, weeks are great, but months are better, This is a big continent with lots to see...you should never be bored thats for sure.
Our fuel prices are cheap compared to anywhere else in the world, and there is some pride in saying, " I have been there"
I think this would be a great trip, for basically the same cost as a trip over seas....all the same concepts apply, hostels, budget food, parties, bars, sights, safety..its all the same but right here in North America.
Take a look at the North American map, its frik'n huge, and you can go anywhere on those 4 wheels!!!!! 1000 miles or 50,000 miles, it doesn't matter, just don't forget the oil change!!!!