When it comes to vacations, there is nothing like the freeing feeling of a road trip. There is something magical about hitting the open road with your shades on, windows down, and your music blaring as you and your friends venture across the country for the trip of a lifetime. From spontaneous stops, exploring new cities, dive bars, and strange attractions, road trips can be one of the most memorable vacations you’ll ever experience. However, nothing brings the fun to a roaring halt quicker than running out of money. One wild night, a wrong turn or a poorly planned budget can leave your pockets high and dry with nothing left to do but turn around and go home. Luckily with the right guidelines, you can stick to a budget without sacrificing any fun.
So if you and your friends are planning an epic adventure across the country, follow these tips to keep the money flowing and the good times rollin’.
The first thing you want to do before venturing across the country is set a realistic budget that you will be able to follow. According to travel experts, the best way to plan a budget is to list all prepaid expenses like hotels and excursions, then estimate the rest of your expenses like meals, attractions, beach admissions, and more.
If you are planning your trip months in advance, consider putting a little bit of money to the side, each week, so you have a certain amount dedicated specifically to your trip. For example, if a trip is four months away and you save $50 every week, you’ll have $800 solely for vacation expenses.
Of course, a road trip is not a road trip without an obscene amount of snacks. However, nothing drains your pockets, more like buying something to eat every time you take a pit stop. One of the best ways to save money is by bringing your own snacks. While it is okay to grab a bite to eat once in a while, depending on buying your food every time you feel hungry can add up pretty quickly. Consider packing a cooler filled with pre-made sandwiches, chips, veggies, granola bars, and more.
Remember, gas station food tastes the same everywhere you go. Instead, spend your money on unique restaurants in cool cities you won’t be able to experience anywhere else. One of the best parts about road trips is experiencing local cuisines, so if you are going to spend money on food, make sure it counts.
When it comes to road trips, it is essential to keep it fair and split the costs whenever it is possible. You should always take turns filling up the car with gas and split hotels and any other group purchases evenly.
While hotels are necessary from time to time to sleep on a comfy bed and take a hot shower, the cost could add up, especially if you are traveling for weeks at a time. Consider bringing camping supplies and resting at campsites for a fraction of the price.
While obvious, nothing will ruin your vacation like a car accident. On top of risking injury, careless driving can lead to expensive car repairs that you may not be able to afford. Taking your time, getting enough sleep, and switching drivers can help ensure you, your friends, and your car can make it through the vacation without any pricey mishaps. It is also important to choose a car that is reliable and won’t break down.
If, for some reason, you are involved in an accident, make sure you have the proper documentation and contact a personal injury law firm immediately for legal advice you will need for your case.
It is hard to have fun on vacation when you run out of money. However, setting a budget and following these tips will ensure you’ll remember your cross country road trip for all the right reasons.