Do you love to travel but you just can’t afford it? This is one of the biggest reasons I hear people say is why they don’t travel. Therefore, I have created a plan for you to get your wanderlust fill and not break your bank account. (HAPPY TRAVEL TUESDAY!) We’re talking about road trips.
First of all, you have to know that it’s going to take a lot of time to plan out your trip. If you want details and don’t like to wing the entire trip, you will have to sit down for a few hours and write down some information. Starting with…
Places: What is the general region you want to travel with? Start there and then research different attractions along the way and keep jumping from place to place until you find yourself back home. I recommend using roadtrippers.com just because it was really easy to navigate where you could go.
Time: Once you have your places down and have a good outline of where you would like to go, find out how much time you have to travel and plan accordingly. You can’t see the whole east coast in four days. You can’t see it all in a week if you are driving most of the time. Make sure you calculate how much driving you are doing a day and leave yourself enough time to not feel rushed when you reach a new attraction.
What I did was write down on paper the route I thought we could take every day, the attractions we could see and where we would sleep. I planned a ten day trip and went back to revise this whole plan just yesterday to make sure everything seemed like a good fit. At first, we only had a week and I was trying to cram 8 hours of driving and Yellowstone National Park in one day. That was obviously not a good idea considering how huge the park is.
So when I found out how much time I had, I went back and gave an abundance of time for each attraction because I know some will take longer than others and if we are too fast, we can always find another neat place to explore.
Who: Who is coming with you? One person? Two? Seven? Depending on how you work this, you can really save yourself a lot of money. A lot of the attractions and parks I am seeing cost $10 per car and allow all of the people inside to get in. Now, if I had four people including myself, we all would pay $2.50 and I would be cutting my costs in half. Same for hotel and gas.
Add it up: Figure out your approximate costs for the trip. Roadtrippers has a great feature where they tell you the approximate gas cost based off of mileage and how many miles your car gets per gallon. Then plan out where you will be sleeping every night.
A HUGE cost cut that I planned for was to sleep in a tent instead of a hotel. In the region I am roadtripping, there are camping spots everywhere that cost about $25 a night compared to hotels that range from about $90-$100 a night. For nine nights total, I cut my costs by $630. Not bad eh?
Next, figure out the costs for parking, entrance fees, etc. for each park you are going to. My trip will cost about $100 in those type of fees.
When I split everything between two people, my cost for the trip without food/water/souvenirs is starting at $400. For a ten day vacation, that is a really cheap price.
When we made our plan, we understood that we might wing some days, add or subtract some places and hit a roadblock or two. That can only be expected. However, we wanted to get a good estimate of what the trip will cost and how we can save as much as possible. Below is a list of things to look out for as your trying to save money on your trip.
2. Entrance/Parking Fees
3. Hotel Costs… can you be the camping type and save yourself a few hundred?
4. Food costs… can you survive on bread and cheese for a week?
5. Water… bring plenty of water bottles to fill up
6. Gas prices in that area
7. Extra amenities.. WIFI for example, can you live without it for a little while?
*8. Make sure you have an idea of the hours a park is open! You don’t want to get there and only have 30 minutes to explore.
If you have any further questions, I have just finished up planning my roadtrip and would love to help out in any way possible. Good luck with your planning!