Travel to discover something you didn’t know you were searching for.
Some of the best moments on road trips begin and end with proper planning. Whether it’s a day or 5 day getaway, if you aren’t financially ready for the journey ahead, then a surprise or two expenses will bring on stress, thus, taking away from the journey.
The 4 biggest expenses are food, gas, activities and shelter are going to run up your tab quicker than the amount of time it takes for you to completely fuel your car.
If you’re embarking on a 4 hour car drive or a 4 day getaway, keeping the stomachs of the driver and fellow travel passengers, definitely helps with the wear and tear of driving x amount of miles. I like to pack the usual like granola bars, almonds (my fav), bananas and apples, and whichever other munchies I’m feeling for the road.
The point is to bring as much of the snacks you like to save money! Eating out tends to run you about $10, sometimes more if dinner is the case. Budget your cash where you have at least $40 for food and drinks per day. More than likely, you’ll be looking for a food establishment at least twice a day, unless you did some super-duper smart consumer shopping at the supermarket before hand. So be realistic.
Or there’s always Groupon and LivingSocial. These sites and apps offer an array of restaurant deals. My trip to Miami last summer only cost me about $50 for 4 days because of the amazing deals online.
Not having the cash to fly may seem like a con to some, but to me, I see an opportunity for another chance to meet the road. Even though gas will be the biggest cost on the trip, it’s much cheaper than flying.
There’s a zillion fuel cost calculators, which are great. It helps when attempting to estimate what the damage will be.
FREE PLAY TIME
Road trips offer the best sightseeing opportunities, and with the Internet, finding the nearest (free) thing to do or see is becoming easier each year.
Do it the old fashion way – MapQuest. Thinking back to when I first received my driver’s license, I wonder how my friends and I found places without Siri navigating the way. The amount of countless hours lost on the roads brought on some great memories, but also wasted a lot of gas, which ends up costing money.
Plan out your route! MapQuest will show you nearby attractions along your route. Now, it does take some time, but trust me, its worth the time and effort you put in once you find the states largest nude leg in front of a nudist colony.
HOTEL… ME NOT
You got the cash and want to spend like a P. Diddy, then by all means, do you, ballaa. Don’t let me stop you. But for me and those living on a tight hobo budget, I’d rather camp it up or stay in a debatable bug infested motel than spend way too much money for just a bed.
If you’re in a big city and there’s no outdoor haven to give sanctuary, then take out that fancy mobile device of yours, and find local, last-minute deals! I’ve once stayed in a suite that normally costs over $600 per night, but due to my procrastination or subconsciously genius mind, I booked the room for less than $135.
IN A NUTSHELL
Be resourceful! Take some time to research and remember to overestimate,It’s always better to have some cash left over at the end of the trip than to resorting to that emergency credit card you swore you wouldn’t use.