Ah, the open road! For me, it doesn’t feel like summer unless there’s at least one road-trip planned! There are so many reasons why you might want to plan a
Select Less-Busy Times to Travel
It may seem obvious to you, but
Make sure your Vehicle is Road-Ready
A few days before I leave on a road-trip I make sure that my car is going to get me to and from my destination safely. Hope for the best but plan for the worst. A few things that I check out:
- Do I need an oil change?
- How is the tire pressure?
- Do the headlights work?
- Have I tested the windshield wipers?
- How are the fluid levels?
Plan your Route and Itinerary
I’m all for having a spontaneous trip, but when it comes to road-trips, it’s a good idea to have at least a rough plan of the route you’ll take and a few places you’ll stop along the way. This is a good idea for a couple reasons: both you and your travel companions will be able to shake out your legs during the drive and you’ll also be able to keep up the fun and excitement, since you’ll have several places to look forward to stopping along the way.
To keep on-budget, plan on stopping at a few free sightseeing spots along the way: waterfalls, short hiking trails, lakes or rivers. Small towns also make for fun, free or inexpensive places to stop. I love walking along the (usually) one main street in a small town and window shopping or going into the little shops and also grabbing a coffee from a local coffee shop.
If you really want to keep the budget down, camping is free or inexpensive and a really fun way to enjoy nature. You’ll be able to cook your own food, which will also help to keep costs down.
Choose Free or Cheap Activities
Small towns often have free or inexpensive art galleries and museums, or other events and activities going on that are in keeping with your budget. I like to check the local event listings before head out on my trip. When I’ve reached my destination, however, I tend to look at a map and choose a few parks or lakes to spend time at, so that not everything is planned out beforehand.
I also recommend bringing snacks and drinks with you to limit the number of times you need to eat out at restaurants. When I reach my destination, I drop by a grocery store for additional food items that I can keep in my hotel’s fridge.
I’d love to hear from you – do you have budget road-trip tips to share?
If you haven’t yet enjoyed the pleasures of a road-trip because you think it’s too expensive, by planning ahead, making sure your vehicle is road-ready, and packing food with you, you can have fun on your next road-trip while staying on a budget!