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DCIM101GOPRO

How To Do A Road Trip On A Budget

A proper road trip is hardly about the destination. It’s about the sites, the companionship, the quick meals, the cramped legs, the aching backs, the broken air conditioner, the land, the road and well the music too, but we’ll get to that later.

First things first: the logistics. For those you love a roadside adventure here’s a quick guide to budgeting for a road trip.

Pack your food

You can save significant moolah by grocery shopping in advance rather than eating at restaurants three times a day and probably allow you to eat healthier too. It’s not hard to survive on less than $10 a day, but how much you spend is entirely according to your preference. For some people, food and travel go hand-in-hand. Others couldn’t care less about culinary indulgences and are happy to have their picnic with a view instead. No matter how you plan on eating, decide in advance how much you want to spend to save a few bucks!

Rethink accommodation

Save money by not staying in hotels. Is the weather warm? Then sleep outside. Camping is one of the cheapest sleeps you’ll ever enjoy (and one of the most adventurous and romantic, too). Don’t like critters crawling in your sleeping bag? Then stay at a hostel or check out Airbnb – usually has much cheaper options compared to hotels. Can’t afford that? Then check out couchsurfing.com and find a nice soul who will let you sleep on their couch.

Getting wheels

If you don’t have a car but aren’t too keen on riding with random strangers, you can always rent a car. Start by comparing prices from websites like Car Rental 8 to find the cheapest rates. Websites like this one give you an overview of the different rental companies have to offer and you can then easily choose whats the best deal for you.

Follow the free

If you’re not having fun, you’re missing the point. Do and see all you can along the way. Natural sites and roadside attractions generally won’t cripple your finances. Create a plan, but make sure that plan leaves room for unpredictable opportunities. Seek out freebies while you’re on the road and once you get to your destination. Take advantage of the town’s free attractions – a heritage or nature walk, check out the main street, discover local art galleries and museums, and a visit to the Visitor Information Centre don’t cost a thing!

Pick things to do that don’t cost money like going to the beach or hiking. If you’re one of those people who just needs a destination, go to a national park. There’s so much beauty out there to be seen.

Take advantage of tech

All kinds of apps are designed to keep your road trip costs down. Do your research and download the apps that will help you to search the best fuel prices in the area, save on fuel costs while idling in traffic, and more.



Profile photo of Sofia Machado

I quit my job, packed 20 kg of my life into a backpack and moved from Lisbon, Portugal to Australia.Since then my life has changed from taking trips away to nature to now being surrounded by it on a daily basis. Living in a small town, I now have a choice of jumping into a creek at the back of our house or walking to the end of my street and surf. I have been fuelled by my new life to experience more adventure rather than settle at just this. It’s no surprise that I grew up to have itchy feet. Every weekend or holiday, Mum would quickly pack the car, pick me up from school and Dad from work and we would explore new places, go skiing, snorkelling, trekking, kayaking or simply to be inside a tent somewhere in the wild. At five I somehow convinced my parents to put me on a flight by myself from Portugal to Germany to visit my aunt. It was love at first flight – I still remember feeling butterflies in my tummy and that sense of having grown-up and achieved something sitting in that window seat.I quit my job, packed 20 kg of my life into a backpack and moved from Lisbon, Portugal to Australia.This feeling of adventure has stayed with me with every trip. I have been fortunate to explore 48 countries from Australia to Mozambique, Cambodia to Morocco, Brazil to Turkey… The number doesn’t really matter. I enjoy to travel slow and try to absorb the culture, experiences and adventure



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