How to plan a US cross-country road trip on a budget

If you are considering a US cross-country road trip on a budget, you probably have a few questions about what to expect. Here are 7 ways for a successful road trip that will not break the bank.

FIND THE RIGHT TRAVEL BUDDY ON YOUR ROAD TRIP

Wanderlust Tips Travel Magazine | How to plan a US cross-country road trip on a budget

While solo cross-country road trips are doable, road trips are always more fun when you have someone to share it with. Plus, you can split the drive and take away the boredom of hour-long drives. Each additional person in the car also cuts down travel expenses. You will be spending almost your entire day with this person, so find someone who you are comfortable with and actually likes road trips. Start telling your friends about your road trip and asking them to spread the word to find others that would be interested.

PLAN YOUR ROUTE

Wanderlust Tips Travel Magazine | How to plan a US cross-country road trip on a budget

There are thousands of places to stop as you travel along the nation’s highways. Take some time before your road trip to see what locations might interest you along your route. If the driving portion is going to take too much time or money, scale back the distance and do a segment of the route, so you can really enjoy the road trip. There are so many favourite cross-country road trips, including Route 66, The Lincoln Highway, The Dixie Highway and Pacific Coast Highway. Today, there are many different apps that can gives you tons of information about the mileage, route and stops, Mapquest, for instance.

ASSESS YOUR BUDGET

Wanderlust Tips Travel Magazine | How to plan a US cross-country road trip on a budget

When planning a cross-country road trip, it is difficult to estimate how much the whole thing will cost. However, having a realistic road trip budget is essential for most people. Break down your road trip budget into 5 categories, including food, lodging, fuel, entertainment and other expenses. If you are travelling with friends, make sure everyone is on the same page, nothing can sour a trip and a friendship more than a misunderstanding about money. Before you finish your budget, be sure to consider any other equipment you might need to buy like camping gear. Additionally, do not forget about costs for entry into state and national parks that might be on your route.

FIND LODGING

Wanderlust Tips Travel Magazine | How to plan a US cross-country road trip on a budget

Camping is one of the cheapest, most adventurous and romantic sleeps you will ever enjoy. The US offers some incredible and affordable overnight camping options in every single state. National parks will guarantee you the most beautiful surroundings. Options and requirements can vary, so be sure to check about the parks along your route. If you plan to stay at a special hotel that is iconic or part of the destination experience, then sign up for a rewards program before your trip, you will be able to rack up free nights, gift cards and many other rewards.

CHOOSE A RIDE FOR YOUR ROAD TRIP

Wanderlust Tips Travel Magazine | How to plan a US cross-country road trip on a budget

Depending on the size of your group, the location you are planning to visit and the time you have for your road trip, you probably give the best choice. Whether it is your own vehicle or a rental RV, make sure to have a mechanic check your car’s brakes and spare tires. What’s more, you can get an app on your phone so that you will always know where the best gas prices are and buy an atlas in case you lose GPS service in an area you are lost in.

FOOD PLAYS AN IMPORTANT PART ON YOUR ROAD TRIP

Wanderlust Tips Travel Magazine | How to plan a US cross-country travel on a budget

Food is always an indispensable part of any real road trip. The obvious and easy solution to dodge this expense is to pack a coolers with sandwich fixings that can be replenished at local grocery stores along the way. In most rental RVs, you will have a full kitchen and be able to save a lot by cooking meals ‘at home’. If you are staying at hotels, make sure to take advantage of their morning breakfast before you hit the road. Additionally, you can stop in towns or cities where you can find and sample their speciality, you are sure to get a lot of local flavours.

IT IS ABOUT THE JOURNEY, NOT THE DESTINATION

Wanderlust Tips Travel Magazine | How to plan a US cross-country travel on a budget

Road trips are a great way to spend time with your family and friends while seeing all the amazing things that you might miss, so make the most of your journey, for instance, singing along in the car, stopping off at roadside attractions or taking some extra time to visit small towns. Although planning for the road trip is essential, we know that things will not always go perfectly right and it is best to be flexible.

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