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Road Trips on a Budget: How to Make Your Money Go Farther While You Travel

22 August 2016

When traveling is your passion in life you have the distinct draw to seek out other lands and discover something new. Where many of us have this drive, we do not all have the budget that matches our desires so the need for budgeting is always in order. The budget conscious traveling is able to have just as much fun as those that are able to afford the finer things in life. They just have to be mindful of when and where they choose to venture off to.

Have a Plan in Mind
Road trips are sometimes planned in a spontaneous fashion. The goal is to just get in the car and drive somewhere. This may be fine if you are a singular traveler, but if anyone else such as family or friends is coming along for the ride, you may want to have some semblance of a plan in mind. The entire trip does not need to be planned out however you will want to have the basic structure of the plan in mind and also research where you want to go to ensure that your budget can survive. 

There are things to consider when you are traveling and one of those things is admission prices to the place you want to see. You do not want to pull into a theme park while on your journey and have to disappoint the kids with the realization that you simply do not have enough money to ride the amazing new rides. That will make the rest of the trip feel less thrilling. Apart from the admission costs you also have to factor in any parking fees that may be found. You never want to park in an undesignated area and have your car towed or at the very least have to pay for an unwanted ticket.

Pack Food
While you are traveling on any road trip, a cooler can be your best friend. Packing a few handy items such as your favorite sandwich items in the cooler will allow for less breaks when people get hungry as well as reduce the amount that you may have to spend on food if you venture into some of the tourist traps that dot the nation. It is also important to not look at your snack supply as just what you like to eat. Make sure that you plan to have salty, sweet, crunchy, and even fruity snacks to account from you and your family’s changes in mood so that no matter which type of snack they are in the mood for, you are prepared.

Give Camping a Try
If you have never tried camping before, you may want to. It is understandable that camping for some people brings up images of people lost in the woods picking berries for sustenance or the campers keeping wild animals at bay, but it is important to remember that camping is not what is depicted in famous Hollywood movies. It can be a lot of fun and even if you are not accustomed to sleeping in a place that does not have a television set, you will likely find that being able to get back to the basics and look at the stars at night, is truly a freeing experience.

There is also no need to trek far back into the woods and kill yourself setting up a tent. Most tents these days are very easy to set up and there are campgrounds in every place you go that maintain their grounds very well. Some campgrounds even offer activities for the kids to keep them entertained and in the event that the weather is not so cooperative with your camping plans, most campgrounds have some form of built shelters that can be rented at a marginal price when the traditional tent is just not an option.

Get Your Vehicle Checked Out
Even if your vehicle is running perfectly fine at the moment, a road trip can be quite a long journey so you want your vehicle to be ready for the trip. Before embarking make sure that you take your vehicle to a mechanic for a proper inspection. They will be able to tell you if any of the belts and hoses need to be replaced and make sure all of the fluids are filled to the proper level. You never want to be caught out in a town that you do not know very well and have something happen to your vehicle. In addition to checking the vehicle out you may also want to think about putting a spare credit card or extra cash somewhere within your luggage just in case a mechanical failure does happen. If you have your vehicle properly checked out before you leave, it is unlikely that anything will happen, but you want to make sure you are prepared for everything.

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