27 May A Beginner’s Guide to a US Road Trip on a Budget
One of the best ways to get a feel for a place is with a road trip. If you find yourself in America, exploring by car means you get to experience the wide open spaces, quirky small towns, and beautiful national parks. You also get the opportunity to converse and make friends with the locals and try the cuisine. Unfortunately, road trips often work out to be very expensive. On the upside, there are things you can do before and during your trip to minimize the expense.
Plan Your Route
The United States isn’t a small country to drive around. It’s so vast you could easily spend months, even years on a road trip. The key to a successful budget-friendly one is to plan your route strategically. Of course, you want to visit as many places as possible, but you seriously can’t visit them all. Try to avoid long stretches of highway and using huge amounts of gas. Google maps or a good old-fashioned roadmap will help you plan the most efficient route possible and avoid all the toll roads.
Shop for Gas
One of your biggest expenses is likely to be the cost of the fuel you use. Comparison shopping is a great way to find the best deals. It makes sense to wait for a fill up if the price of gas is cheaper further down the road or off the main highway. There are things you can do to conserve gas, which means it’s going to take you much further. Don’t speed and avoid using cruise control. If your tires are correctly inflated, it’s going to save on gas. Keep your windows open rather than using AC as this is more fuel efficient.
It’s possible to finance any kind of trip with the help of a loan, even if your credit history is poor. There are plenty of companies that offer online loans no credit check.
Look for Discount Accommodation
The second biggest expense is going to be the cost of your accommodation. It makes sense to look for the cheapest accommodation possible, as long as it’s of a certain quality. There’s little point in staying in a cheap motel if you leave the next morning scratching from the bed bugs and you didn’t get a wink of sleep because of the party going on in the room next door. Rather than choosing a city motel do some research and find somewhere along the route. There are plenty of colorful roadside motels charging less than $100 for a night.
When you’ve been driving all day, it’s very tempting to pull over when you spot the big McDonalds M in the sky. Fast food is cheap; there’s no denying that, but it’s not going to keep you healthy. Carry a cooler with some drinks and snacks for the journey, and then you won’t be tempted to pull into the next fast food drive thro when you can’t stand your hunger pains any longer. You’ll be able to wait until you can pull off the highway and choose one of the more interesting small town food options.