Ready to hit the open road? Before you do, check out our budget-friendly road trip tips so you can set out in style and without breaking your budget!
1. Save on food costs
Here’s how to save on food costs during your road trip:
- Shop your local stores for staples before setting out.
- Get your “kitchen” into gear. A good knife, cutting board and small cooking appliances like a portable grill and plug-in burner are great starting points.
- Plan a mix of meal types, alternating between home-cooked meals, dining out on fine cuisine and tasting local street foods.
- Save the dining out for delicacies unique to your current location.
2. Camp out instead of sleeping in hotels
Sleeping under the stars when possible adds a whole new layer of awesomeness to your trip. And it can be super cheap! Check out recreation.gov, where you can book spots among 3,600 facilities and 103,000 individual sites across the country.
3. Find free attractions
Most tourist hotspots have a wide selection of free activities and sights to see at no cost. Check out local websites or ask around on the street to find the best-kept secrets at every stop.
4. Map out your route for greater savings
Instead of blowing money on gas, create a detailed schedule of all your stops before setting out, choosing the most efficient and inexpensive route. Look up local attractions in the areas you plan to stop at and book reservations in advance when possible.
5. Download GasBuddy
Download the GasBuddy app to find stations with the lowest nearby gas prices throughout your trip. You can save hundreds of dollars on gas costs using this game-changing app.
6. Check in on Sunday
For those nights when you must have a hot shower and comfortable bed, you’ll probably be checking into a hotel. If you can, check in on a Sunday. According to a study from the travel app Kayak, hotel reservation rates are lowest on Sundays.
7. Explore more and drive less
Hit the brakes and get out of the car! Spend some time covering miles on foot by hiking through local trails or backpacking through city streets. You’ll enjoy an enriching experience and save on gas costs at the same time.
Do you have more tips for budget-friendly road trips? Share them with us in the comments.