How to Take a Road Trip on a Budget

Road trips are wonderful experiences that can be enjoyed as an individual but are even more memorable when a part of a group. Young men and women, college graduates in particular, often see the post-college road trip as a rite of passage. For many, it is their first experience of the United States as a whole rather than as a series of individual states and cities. For recent graduates, and young people in general, funding these trips can be hard.

It’s not easy finding work on the road and generally, road trips move too fast to make settling down for a period of time feasible. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a job that you can continue doing on the road, then you are going to have to either spend a significant amount of time beforehand saving up the necessary funds or you’re going to have to look for a way to economize. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to help you and your group reduce your expenses and make sure that you are getting the maximum possible value for the time and money you put in. Below are some of the best pieces of advice from seasoned travelers on how to save money during your road trip adventure.

Finding Cheap Accommodation

Accommodation is one of the biggest costs of any road trip. While some of the more adventurous travelers might be happy to bring along a tent and sleep in the great outdoors, this isn’t to everyone’s tastes. It also limits where you can visit as, for example, there aren’t many places to pitch a tent in New York City. Even if you do opt for a tent, there will inevitably be times when you just want a roof over your head.

Airbnb is a service that allows you to find rooms to stay in for short periods, although these mostly cater to individuals rather than groups. A common traveler’s trick that works well is to sign up (being careful to read the terms and conditions) for a hotel credit card before you embark. Many of these cards allow you to collect bonus points when you stay in hotels and some even come with generous sign-up bonuses that can afford you a weeks’ worth of accommodation for free, right off the bat!

Seeing Sights

The United States is home to a number of internationally recognizable landmarks, but some of these are quite expensive to actually visit. To save money on the sights you see, consider a national parks pass, which will give you unlimited access to the nation’s 59 national parks.


The car is the favorite mode of transportation for most road trips, but there are other options. Motorcycles are also becoming increasingly popular. Even if members of your party don’t ride, so long as you invest in a decent extra helmet, Shoei motorcycle helmets being a good example, you have a passage on your trip.

A road trip across the United States is a once in a lifetime experience, so if it is something you dream of one day doing, don’t let budgetary concerns hold you back.

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