If you’re checking out our site or Instagram hopefully we’ve inspired you to start planning a grand trip of your own. So how do we do it? Three words: BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET.
GAS. For a big trip, you’re gonna need money for gas. There’s no avoiding it. If you can borrow someone’s hybrid you could probably save half your budget right there, but unfortunately we’re fans of hitting the road in our favorite truck that gets less than stellar gas mileage. So what do we do? BUDGET FOR IT. Save up those nickels and dimes until you have a good chunk of change and then you know you’re ready for the next step.
**For reference, for our big trips between the three of us we’ll spend somewhere from $400-800. Obviously, this depends on the distance you’ll be traveling and the number of people coming with. The bigger the group, the lower the costs (just make sure you pick the right people).
Our road trip routes are based off of two very important things:
- Where we want to go and
- Who we know we can stay with along the way
LODGING. Staying with people you know can literally save you hundreds. You might’ve seen some of our tips to being good guests in our videos, but have trouble thinking of who you can even stay with in the first place. Get your group together and brainstorm. Where do you have family? Close friends? Friends you’d like to visit you haven’t in a while? Friends that moved out of state? If you’re still stuck when it comes to a certain area, have friends and family ask around. The world’s not that big a place. Somebody must know someone. And if it just so happens they don’t, camping’s always a fun, low-dough option.
Choose your hosts wisely. Ideally, they know the area really well and can point you in the right direction, making sure you do the important things as a tourist in their area. Hopefully they have an extra bed or couch, but hey, don’t be picky. Bring your sleeping bag if you have to. Bring a tent you can pitch. YOU’RE A ROAD TRIPPER NOW. Road trippers don’t whine because they have to sleep on the floor, or it’s the middle of summer and there’s no ac. They profusely thank their hosts and shower them with adorable gifts and hand-written notes. Be gracious and they might just throw in a hot breakfast, apples for the road or coupons to some awesome local attraction. Never underestimate the power of staying with a good host, or being a good guest.
Most importantly, BE OPEN MINDED. You may want to spend the night in the city but if you have a good friend an hour beyond it that’s willing to open up their home for you, go for it. Save your hotel money for eating out. You’ll need it.
FOOD. This is where it gets a little tricky. Many people have written about what it takes to eat cheaply on the road and honestly, they’re probably better experts on it than we are. This all depends on how much you’re willing to spend. If the answer is next to zero, you’d better get ready for a lot of pb&j sandwiches and pretzels. If the answer is a little bit more than that, stock up on the cheap (but healthy) snacks and get ready to eat those things for 1-3 meals a day. If everyone brings their own food back, you’ll have some stuff to share, some of your own favorite foods, and even if you don’t have the time or money to stop for a real dinner you’ll survive. But please eat. Half the adventure is going somewhere you’ve never been before and seeing what it’s like. Thai food in Las Vegas? Yes please. Hint: We use Yelp a lot.
SOUVENIRS. Remember, college budget. Don’t go splurging on some ridiculous memento you’re just going to throw out in a couple years. Use your money for something that’s meaningful. Something you’ll actually use. Something you’ll look at and smile every time thinking of the crazy adventure you went on to find this thing. Don’t be afraid to spend money, but do spend wisely. You’ll regret the beautiful necklace you didn’t get but not the sweatshirt.
OUTINGS. This is an adventure, after all. There will be excursions you feel the need to go on the get the full experience, and you will do some of them just to say you did. But also, be creative. Sure, you could spend $50 on lift tickets for a nice hike to the top, but maybe you’ll have just as great a time doing the $15 hour and a half of stand up paddle boarding. Or don’t spend any money at all and opt for a self-guided sight-seeing tour, or a hike if you’re in a scenic area. Have a mini-dance party to let loose. Paint Rite-Aid shoes and throw them in a tree. Stop and take 100 pictures of you guys by putting it on timer. This is your trip. You can do whatever the heck you want. Remember that.
Good luck out there, don’t blow all your savings, and let us know where we should go next!
xoxo, the babes