travelgrove the Travel Enthusiast

  • Saving Money on road Trips

    Today’s world of travel is filled with big jet planes, luxury coaches, and plenty of nice hotels, but sometimes you have to get away from all of that and get back to something that is timeless and that will never lose it’s appeal. The road trip.

    A road trip involves a few things: a car, a road, and a person or two who are willing to spend some time exploring the great highways and byways of the world. Often, for budget travelers, the idea of taking a car seems to be a bad once since the cost of petrol, parking, and the responsibility for the car can be big expenses, but there are ways to take a road trip without breaking your entire budget.

    First, let’s talk about the car. If you are in the United States, a car shouldn’t be a problem. Worst case scenario is that you can buy a junker on craigslist for a few hundred dollars and either sell, give it away, or abandon it when you reach your destination. Or, if you don’t want to go that route you can use the same site or trip sharing sites like couchsurfing or ridesharing to find someone that is heading to your destination…or just heading out of town. This is true throughout the world. Sure, you can always rent a car, but there are cheaper alternatives if you want them.

    Any way you go, make sure that your tires are inflated properly and that the car is serviced before you begin. This will increase your mileage and fuel efficiency means you spend less money.

    In terms of paying for gas you can think the same way. There are plenty of hitch hikers who are willing to chip in for gas. When you stop just tell them that you need them to share in gas expense. By searching the online sources above you can find plenty of people who will pay for part or sometimes all of the gas along the way. As a side note, this is not intended to endorse hitching. Taking rides or picking up strangers can be dangerous (though most of the time it isn’t) and you should exercise the utmost caution and good judgment.

    In terms of sleeping, I recommend sleeping in your trip vehicle. You’ve already paid for it and you can park it in rest areas, parks, or even alongside the road while you catch some sleep. Another cheap alternative is to camp along the way. Camping will cost you a fraction of the price of a hotel or hostel.

    For eating, the cheapest and least healthy way to go about it is to eat fast food. Be sure to watch Super Size Me before you choose this option. The next cheapest and much more affordable way to eat on a road trip is to make simple sandwiches or cook your meals in parks or campgrounds. I have one friend that cooks chicken wrapped in foil on top of his exhaust manifold! At the end of the day, dinner is ready!

    Finally, the expense of attractions is something you can’t escape. However, you can think ahead and find discounts on the internet or bring along your AAA card, student ID, or proof of being a Senior Citizen.

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