Guide to Planning an Affordable Road Trip

A road trip through the USA is one that best gives the traveler a sweeping but also detailed view of the many unique charms and diverse landscapes of each state, town or city. Travelling by car provides a deeper appreciation of the vastness of the land and geography and also the interesting mix of cultures and histories. The benefits one gets from a truly exploratory road trip far outweighs the investment in time and effort.

To make the trip more affordable is one way to make the trip cover more ground or more areas of interest and so should be done not only with careful and systematic planning but also with some dare thrown in.

Here are a few tips to serve as guide for the best affordable road trip for individuals or families:

1. Planning and Research

Like any daring explorer, one must not venture into uncharted territories without first reading through all the available information on the area. If the goal is to cover most of the States within one month of travel, then it is important to identify which areas of the USA one intends to focus on given the available time frame. Perhaps, a week can be devoted for each part and one can fly in and rent an RV or car to travel through that vicinity. From there gather all the background information one can find on the chosen city/town/state and explore the possibilities. If interested in nature then plan the trip to include as much as nature destinations as possible like parks and wildlife. If one is interested in culture then museums, historical landmarks and local markets and towns may be the highlight of the itinerary. Include a healthy mix into the travel plan to give a well-rounded view of the place.

2. Pack up and go!

Travelling light is most important when on a road trip. Easy to unpack and pack from one place to another makes the trip light and breezy. Bring only essentials and one week’s worth of clothing. Do the laundry in each place as most inns and hotels have coin-operated or self-service laundries. To maximize luggage space and lessen wrinkles fold clothes in three, roll up then stack up. Bring food that one can conveniently consume while on the road just in case the food in the destination is not to one’s liking or one finds no diner in sight or on the next stop. Stock them up in a nice cooler and also have a thermos handy for some hot drinks on the go. Save up also on gas by replenishing when outside the cities as prices are found to be lower there.

3. Take advantage of last minute hotel deals

One may find cheaper hotel rates while already on the place of destination and the rates are even more affordable than having them booked a month early. This could be risky but this is also convenient for those last minute decisions to take a different route from what was originally planned. It is good to study the hotel rates and availability in advance and whether one can book ahead with good rates. But it is also okay to change course at the last minute when one finds the place not to one’s liking or as expected. If one is headed for the nature parks, these destinations even offer more attractive accommodation rates with options to sleep under the stars and close to nature.

With careful thought and systematic planning one can accomplish a healthy, fun and fulfilling road trip that is easy on the budget but heavy on worthy experiences. The best thing is when in doubt one can seek help from the locals. They may even shed light on what is the best spot or activity to absorb more of the local flavor or more safe and fun routes to off-the-beaten tracks that are not available online or on the travel books.

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