You don’t have to be a millennial to crave travel these days; with everyone you know posting stunning destination pictures on every form of social media, the travel bug is biting hard. If a full-fledged vacation isn’t in the budget, there are still ways to get in a little adventure and relaxation without breaking the bank; these tips to affordable road trips will make your next getaway pocketbook-friendly and might even let you blow off a little stress along the way. Get your camera ready, because those sights aren’t going to see themselves!
1. Save on Lodging
Hotels can be one of the most expensive parts of a trip; try to save money by staying in more affordable motels (check the reviews online first—bedbugs can really derail a trip!) or tap into your adventurous spirit by camping along the way. The cost of camping is a fraction of the cost of lodging, and it can be way more fun—as long as you prepare for it. Essentials like bug spray, warm clothes, matches, and a comfortable bedroll will help make your trip much more enjoyable.
2. Find Cheap Petrol
When road-tripping, finding cheap fuel can be a pain in your behind. Research ahead of time for towns with the cheapest petrol along your route (note: rural, out-of-the-way spots will be more expensive) or download an app that can actually tell you where the cheapest petrol is around you.
3. Plan Your Route
Planning your route ahead of time is key, for so many reasons: make a list of all the must-see locations and attractions and figure out on a map how to hit them all most efficiently. This will save you precious road-trip time and money, and it makes sure you can see everything you want. You’ll also want to set a schedule for rest stop and food breaks to avoid making too many unnecessary stops (time and money, people!!) and blowing your allotted food budget. Online tools and apps can help you plan the most efficient route and add notes for breaks and stops (gone are the days of trying to fold and re-fold worn out maps).
4. Get Your Car Checked
Never set out on a road trip without making sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape; bring it in for an inspection, change the oil, and make sure the wipers and brakes work well. You’ll also want to consider your vehicle’s interior…is it the most comfortable it can be for a long road trip? If you’re going to be sitting for hours on end, you’re going to want to be comfortable—never underestimate the frustration of a sore back or behind after a long drive! Think about installing seat covers that both cushion your derriere and protect your seats from the inevitable road trip food and drink spillage—bring your vehicle back in better condition than you left, with the help of durable seat covers that fit your vehicle perfectly.
5. Agree on a Plan
Even the best of friends and the closest of families can fall apart on a road trip—it might have something to do with being enclosed in tiny spaces for hours on end while hyped up on sugary snacks from convenience stores. Before your vehicle even leaves the driveway, make sure you’re all in agreeance when it comes to a plan for your trip. Are good hotels more important than eating well? How much time can be spent on the road before a rest is needed? Has everyone agreed on attractions they want to see? Figuring this out ahead of time can save you serious time and anguish down the line and save you from silent and seething road trip company.