One of the most fun ways to explore a new location, or even an old one that you think is pretty familiar to you already, is by road. When you take a road trip, you get to savor every step of the journey, find interesting attractions that you might not have noticed when traveling by other means, and you get to do it all on your terms with no itinerary to stick to (unless you want to). Best of all, you can do pretty much any road trip on a budget!
Whether you’d like to drive across Australia or do Route 66 in the USA, here are some road tripping tips to help you make your dreams a reality on any budget:
PLAN YOUR ROUTE
If you plan your route to a greater degree, you can look up all of the accommodations, places to eat and attractions along the way, work out which you most want to see and find a way to pack those things you will enjoy doing most into your journey on a budget. Of course, you should give yourself a little leeway to explore those unexpected roadside attractions or spend longer in a place you love but having a basic plan is a great way to keep your spending on track.
USE A FUEL COST CALCULATOR
When you’re planning to drive long distances, it’s always worth using a fuel calculator to see how much filling up the tank is going to cost you on any given route and with any given vehicle (if you’re renting a car). That way, you can plan your journey to maximize fuel efficiency and be sure that you rent a suitable vehicle that will take you further for less. All you have to do is input the cost of fuel and you’re vehicle’s consumption, along with your route, to get that golden number then you can adjust your plans or not as you see fit.
DOWNLOAD MAPS ON YOUR SMARTPHONE
If you already have a smartphone, it is usually far cheaper to download GPS maps into your device than it is to buy a satellite navigation system. Not only that, but you can use apps like MapQuest to find local amenities such as ATM locations, restaurants, gas stations and parks along the way. Having your phone available at all times is the best way to stay on budget most of the time.
PACK A TENT
Although in most places, you can find cheap motels and hostels along the way, if you aren’t traveling in your own camper, the cheapest way to get an uncramped night’s sleep on your road trip is to simply camp out. You can often pick up cheap tents and camping equipment on Craiglist or eBay and it will give you much more flexibility even on the smallest budget.
When you’re going on a road trip, you should ensure that your tires are fully inflated an that you are carrying as little baggage as possible because the lighter your load and the more efficient your tires, the less fuel you will use overall.
Now, time to think about that all important road trip playlist!
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