Tips for an Amazing Road Trip on a Budget

No matter where you are in the world, it is likely that an enjoyable and enriching road trip is possible. In fact, in many parts of the world, the “road trip,” is the most affordable way to see the country and get an experience of the culture. In the United States, budget road trips rank as one of the top options for visiting new places and for cheap travel – even if they are hours or days away by car. The national highway system makes it remarkably simple to plan a budget road trip, and to keep costs under complete control the entire time.

It also makes it very easy to navigate, even without the convenience of the modern GPS systems in most mobile phones. So, if you are looking to experience America, or any other destination, it is a good idea to think first about navigation. When there are national highways, good roads, and the ability to plan ahead, it only adds to the enjoyment of the trip and makes cheap travel even easier. It also lets you control costs by calculating the amount of gas you will use, the cost of any tolls or fees, and even the amount of food needed, versus restaurant stops.

When planning a budget road trip, you may want to:

  • Put together a group of friends or family for the trip and spend time together choosing the different destinations.
  • Make a fixed itinerary of destinations (this also allows you to determine a time for departure, when to make stops, and estimated travel times).
  • Take turns with the driving in order to make the most of the adventure (two to four people taking turns driving can allow the group to see and do much more during even a few days on the road).
  • Always have a co-pilot awake to help with navigation.
  • Work as a team to plan on activities to help driver and navigator remain lively – playlists, car games (“I Spy”, “Spot the Car” that is played by choosing a make/model/color vehicle and everyone looking for that specific vehicle and saying “SPOT THE CAR!” each time they see it, and many more).
  • Check out the “Most Instagrammable Place” on this interactive map.

In addition to mapping out the journey and working with a group to help with driving, you should always plan the packing carefully. Always pack just enough for the road trip. Making an itinerary and planning out your days you will allow you to know exactly what to bring and guarantee cheap travel by avoiding unexpected expenses (i.e. I forgot my coat/electric toothbrush/medicine, and so on).

Make a detailed list prior to packing and get all of the essentials (medication, essential travel documents, and money at the top of the list, please!). This ensures you forget nothing on the road trip.

The Car Counts

All of your planning can go to waste if you are in a vehicle that cannot handle the road trip. ensure you get a road worthy vehicle ideal for a budget road trip, you’ll still want to have all of your emergency supplies on hand.

A good emergency kit will include a car jack, antifreeze, a spare tire, an empty gas can, and some basic tools. You might also want a blanket, some water, and even a bit of outdoor gear to use during rest stops. A ball or frisbee is a great way to get the blood pumping and to stretch the legs on a budget road trip anywhere in the world.

You may want to consider a roomier vehicle when taking a road trip with a group. In the U.S., an SUV is a popular option, and the team at IAS can help you find the best vehicle for a road trip of any kind. Whether it is a temporary or permanent relocation, having a good vehicle and taking a budget road trip, or two, or ten, is a wonderful experience.

Sources and further reading:

12 Best Games to Play in the Car

Interactive Map: Most Instagrammable Place in the U.S.



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