“People don’t take trips, trips take people.”
If you are as much of a travel lover as some of us are you have, most probably, thought of the ways to save some money to afford a trip or five. Traveling, even within the borders of your native country, is not a cheap affair, especially so if the country is as big as the United States of America. But, as with almost everything nowadays, there is a cheaper alternative to almost everything you think you may need. So how do you make a comfortable trip with a limited budget? Here are a couple tips.
A rental might cost you less than driving your own car
At the very least, you will be free of post-trip maintenance, an almost inevitable thing when your trip is long and goes through wilder parts of the country. No need for cleaning or bothersome check-ups, you just return the car to the rental place and go your way. There are even options to rent from people without turning to official rental places. Direct dealing is usually even cheaper, though slightly more unpredictable; if you are up to a dare, though, it might save you quite a bit of money. Also, you can rent an SUV equipped with a place to sleep and maybe store food, thus saving on camping gear and making the trip just a tad more comfortable. To make a cheap seat of the rental less of a pain in your neck, literally, take your seat massager for a car with you.
There are great alternatives to a hotel
Aside of the SUV-based sleeping place we’ve already mentioned, when you need a nap, you can save on hotel accomodations by choosing either a motel (less comfortable, yes, but not an all-bad choice still), a hostel, or even a couchsurfing option. The latter is sometimes incredibly cheap, you just contact the person willing to offer their couch to a stranger, set the dates, strike a deal. That’s it. (We do recommend checking the person’s rating and reviews, though, just in case! Services like Airbnb and such can help you with every question you have.
Buy non-spoiling food beforehand
And do it in cheaper shops like Walmart. Shopping in the stores at gas stations and the likes will most certainly be at least a bit more costly, and if your trip is a long one, the costs will accumulate. At the end, if you stock up on long-lasting meals and snacks beforehand, the trip might be cheaper up to a couple hundred dollars depending on its duration. If you don’t want or can’t take a lot of food from the start, instead of dining in restaurants and cafes, go for a takeout. This will keep a couple bucks you might have spent on tipping in your pocket.
Get a pass
City and National parks passes are a great economy for anyone whose plans include visiting such attractions on their way, they often cover most of the possible tourist points and some transport. A National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass only costs $80 per vehicle, meaning if you travel as a family of, say, four, you will only need a single pass.
Plan your trip on a less festive date if you can
If the Independence Day is not your one and only time open for traveling freely, it will be cheaper to travel when the majority of population is working. On festive days, everything is a lot more expensive not only in your own city but just about everywhere in the States.
And, the advice we personally find one of the most important: keep your phone with emergency numbers charged and don’t forget to hydrate.