Road Tripping (On a Budget!): How To Nail It, Without Breaking The Bank

The following is a guest post from Lauryn Krause.

If there’s one thing that for certain, it’s that road trips are expensive. Fortunately, you’ll find many ways to cut costs if you look hard enough. And when you do it right, your budget road trip won’t be any less fun than if you’d spent big bucks.

Road trips are the ultimate adventure. They give you the opportunity to truly enjoy the beauty of our country in ways that nothing else can. Not only do you get to avoid the nightmarish experience that is a visit to the airport (and the expensive flight), but you get to see things you otherwise wouldn’t get to see.

And if you plan a budget road trip, you get to see more — or at least not break the bank.

road trip pin

5 Tips for Planning a Budget Road Trip

Planning a budget road trip doesn’t have to be hard. And you don’t even need to give up anything important. Here are some great tips on making the most of your trip on a smaller budget.

1. RV choice matters

Find yourself tempted to go “all out” and rent a monstrous Class A RV? You want your trip to be special, but the disparity in pricing between Class A and B or C vehicles is, to say the least, staggering. You’ll find this just as true whether you plan to rent or buy.

Sure, you’ll lose out on some of the amenities offered by higher-priced vehicles, but you’ll keep a bunch of money in your bank account.

Bonus Tip: Boondocking, or dry camping, overnight is FREE in many locations, like most WalMarts. Save a ton on campground fees by making your travel days and nights as cheap as possible!

RV driving mountainous road
RV Road Trip

2. Snack time

You’re driving along and the kids are hungry. Or you’re hungry. A trip to a fast-food restaurant or gas station may not seem like an expensive endeavor, but those add up — especially over the course of a two-week road trip.

You can save potentially hundreds of dollars by making your own food. Many if not most RVs have refrigerators. Take advantage of this by stocking up on lunch meats, bread, cheese, and drinks before you embark on your journey.

Not only will you be able to make healthier meals than are offered at a fast food joint, but you’ll have more cash to do other things with.

And if you want to do more than snack in your RV, remember that you probably have a whole kitchen along for the ride. Invest in more substantial foods to cook and skip restaurants altogether!

Read More:  10 Things You Need to Bring for a Road Trip

3. Taking a break

Parking an RV overnight can actually be a tricky situation. You would hate to end up with an expensive fine for illegally resting the vehicle somewhere! Fortunately, there are many RV friendly stops across the globe.

Some of the best locations to park RV’s are actually campgrounds. Most campgrounds accommodate RV’s, and for a fraction of the price of a hotel, you can have access to some nice amenities. 

RV lit up at night with stars in empty parking lot
Boondocking in an RV

Alternatively, some businesses will set aside large spaces for RVers. Walmart, for example, regularly welcomes truckers and RVers on their lots. This gives you a good opportunity to restock the fridge too.

Most truck stops will also welcome RVers. Since those, like Walmarts, are seemingly everywhere, you should have no issues locating one.

Some casinos are extremely RV-friendly and even offer full hookups. The best part is that gaming isn’t even required. At all of these locations, it’s best to call ahead and ask permission.

4. Gas

Gas is expensive. No matter what, you’ll always find it expensive. However, if you download an app like Gas Buddy, you can easily find the cheapest gas around — no matter where you are. We all know the cheapest station in our neighborhood, but while traveling rely on tech to know where that cheaper gas is.

empty gas station
The best gas stations are the empty ones with an epic mountain view

5. Don’t be afraid to “cheap out”

Planning a trip to the zoo? A museum? A waterpark? No matter what you plan to do, you’ll probably find that the establishment has discount days or times. Plan your stops around those and you could potentially save a lot of money.

Do this right and saving money will be a lot of fun!

Enjoy Your (Budget) Trip!

Rock formations behind trees on road
Some of the best road trips take you past giant rock formations

Now that you know the basics of how to save money for an RV road trip, it’s time to plan one for yourself. Use these tips and tricks to ensure that you not only enjoy yourself but that you save as much money as possible.

After all, the more money you save, the more money you will have to plan your next trip.

Do you have any tips or tricks? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.

Don’t forget to pin this post for later and share it with your road trip buddy!

Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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