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  • A traveler’s guide to budget road trips

    Road trips used to be one of the most affordable kinds of travel in past – all you needed was a car (your own or borrowed), money for gas and a road map. But road trips are no longer the rebellion of choice of hip teenagers looking for adventure and freedom. In fact, road trips are not that cheap anymore either, considering the price of gas.

    And yet, a road trip is an iconic travel experience, something that should be done at least in a lifetime, and not only by youngsters preparing to go off to college. If you are afraid that going on a road trip will cost you more money than it’s worth, then you might want to read this traveler’s guide to budget road trips which could help make your trip more affordable.

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    Budgeting

    One thing that you can’t really save on when it comes to road trips is gas, unless you find some nifty shortcuts, so it’s good to make a plan of the trip and see what distance you’re going to drive. Running out of gas money halfway through your trip is a huge mood killer, so even if it takes away some of the freedom of road tripping, you should definitely know how much you’re going to drive. You can find some gas price calculators online, and do some research on which gas stations have the lowest prices – on long trips it will make a difference.

    Food

    Drive-throughs might seem like a good idea to pick up food without even getting out of your car, but fast food chains can actually be more expensive than little roadside diners, or family restaurants that you find in the cities and towns you’re passing through.

    The good thing about small diners is that they tend to have specials, and you can get a big plate of decent food for little money. Pack sandwiches just to be on the sage side – they will last a day or two and they might be better than what you find on the road.

    Packing snacks

    Munching while driving is not a very good idea, but it is tempting, and you will want to snack on chips and junk food while on a long, deserted road. Don’t waste your money on buying junk food from convenience stores of gas stations on the way.

    It’s much better if you stock up on economy-sized bags of snacks. If you can’t survive without soda, investing in a cooler is not a bad idea – buy lots of cans of soda from a grocery store before leaving, and you’ll always have a small supply of cool soda with you in the car.

    Lodging

    Cheap hotels and motels are obviously the best way to save money, but sometimes they can be rather unsavory. If you’d rather not spend the night on a dingy mattress in the companionship of some bedbugs, consider camping instead. If weather is warm enough for camping, then packing a tent and an inflatable mattress could be a great way to ensure that you can get a good night of sleep on the road. Make a list of camping grounds and plan your trip accordingly.

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    Comments on A traveler’s guide to budget road trips

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    Anna Glamiis Camper wrote on December 30, 2011:

    I agree. Road trips nowadays are not very affordable anymore due to the high price of gas. I suggest that you just budget your money for a trip which can be booked by a travel and tour company. It’ll be a little above your road trip budget, but it will surely be worth it since you won’t be the one driving and it includes overnight accommodation as well as your meals. The good thing is about this is that you wont worry about gas anymore. :)

     
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