A road trip can be an adventure all its own. It’s a respite from pricey airline tickets and other costs associated with flying vacations.
The iconic American road trip is the subject of countless songs and the focus of a new photography exhibition at Crystal Bridges. It’s a time of discovery, with every mile revealing unexpected beauty.
Traveling on a Budget
Whether you’re traveling solo, with family, or friends, there are lots of ways to save money on road trip costs. For example, splitting up expenses with a travel buddy or staying off the beaten path can help lower the cost of everything from meals to admission tickets.
Also, try to avoid tourist-heavy destinations and be prepared to haggle if you’re buying souvenirs or other discretionary items from local shops. Lastly, keep in mind that fuel prices are always a big expense when traveling by car. GasBuddy has a helpful tool to estimate the cost of fuel for your trip.
For the cheapest rates, it might be worth looking into a rental car instead of driving your own vehicle. Many major car rental companies have loyalty programs that can help you get discounts on future rentals. You can also consider a rideshare app like Turo or Lyft to reduce your costs by sharing rides with other travelers.
Planning a Road Trip
If you’re going to spend time on the road, it helps to have some plans in place. Start with a general itinerary and then narrow it down as you research, says Revolinski.
For instance, if your trip includes national parks, you may need to book accommodations or reservations well in advance. And if you’re traveling during the winter, you may need to check if roads in certain parts of the country are closed because of snow.
You’ll also want to consider what kind of car you’ll need for your trip. It might be easier to drive a smaller, fuel efficient vehicle rather than a larger SUV that’s not designed for off-road driving. Use apps like GasBuddy to see the real-time prices of gasoline and plan accordingly. And don’t forget to pack a cooler for your beverages and snacks, a pillow and blankets and a couple of good books to read while you’re on the road.
Traveling with Kids
When you travel with kids, everything is a bit more complicated than just throwing some clothes in a bag and hitting the road. There’s a lot more planning involved, especially when it comes to kid-related necessities like diapers and wipes. You also have to make sure you’ve got enough toys and entertainment options to keep them happy.
Long plane flights are another challenge. It’s important to plan out what kind of distractions are going to work best for your family and create an activity bag that you can distribute throughout the trip. It can include everything from new games to new Lego sets. You can also download movies and music to keep them occupied on the plane.
Taking kids on trips cultivates their independence and teaches them how to deal with different situations. These are skills and characteristics that will stick with them throughout their lives. They will remember their adventures traveling with their parents as something that shaped who they are today.
Traveling as a Couple
There are many benefits to traveling as a couple. One is that it can be much more cost-effective if you are able to split things like ride-shares, tuk-tuks and accommodation. Additionally, having a travel buddy can help with homesickness.
Traveling as a couple also forces you to talk about things that might be stressors in your relationship. This is not always easy, but it is essential for a healthy relationship.
Finally, it is nice to have someone to share the experience of a lifetime with! Whether it’s staring at a stunning sunset or getting lost in the stars of the African bush, those moments are made even more special when shared with your partner.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be arguments. That’s part of the process, but it is important to know that you can lean on each other for support during tough times.