Today, many are smitten with the idea of traveling. Traveling is a fun and learning experience and nothing beats a classic road trip. However, the only problem with traveling is the money. If you are in college, freshly graduated or perhaps even trying to stand on your feet with a new job, you possibly have debt. Ideally, you need to save up and do your best not to blow away money. This includes avoiding a trip that could drain your finances and put you under more debt.
Still, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy and travel. Here’s how you can go for a road trip and yet manage to not get swallowed by debt.
Be a Traveler with a Plan
Ask any veteran traveler and you’ll learn the best way to keep the cost low is to plan.
– The Route
Decide on the travel route you want to take. Alberta has some amazing travel routes. Huffington Post has a great article on the best road trip routes in Alberta which you should read. At least have a destination settled on before you jump into the car or on the bike.
– Where are you going to stay?
If the road trip is going to be an overnight or a really long one, you need to plan out where you are going to stay. Finding a decent roof over your head will take a big bite out of your budget, but you do have options.
Couchsurfing is a good way to meet people and getting a roof over your head.
There are hostels always littered all over the place.
Motels are cheaper than hotels and you’ll find them on the road. Just do a little research and find out which ones are the cheapest.
– Know where you are going to eat
Every location has those expensive and cheap joints with good food. Do a little bit of research and find out those cheap restaurants you can drop into and treat yourself to an amazing food experience.
Check The Car!
Before you leave, make certain you take the car or your bike to the garage for a checkup. If you car suffers a breakdown on the road, it is going to cost you a bomb to have it picked up and repaired.
Saving on Fuel
Unfortunately, we aren’t in Saudi where gas is cheaper than water. So you need to cut down on it as much as possible.
– Avoid a Fuel Guzzler: You may want to take an SUV on a road trip because it is fun, but SUVs consume plenty of fuel. Instead, go for an economic car which can manage a long drive.
– Turn off the AC/ Heater: The air conditioner/ heater is going to drink up your fuel. If you’re traveling in good weather, turn it off and enjoy the fresh breeze from outside.
Go with Friends
Not only is going with friends fun, it’s cheaper too. You get to split the fuel bill, the stay at the motel will be cheaper and eating at restaurants is lighter on the pocket.
Lastly, and Most Importantly – Avoid Using your Credit Card
It can’t be stated more than enough. If you are going on a road trip, put your credit card away. Don’t pay for the trip with money you don’t have. Take your time and collect money together. In the mean time, you can research about where you’re going, staying and eating.
Don’t let money or debt stop you from an awesome road trip, just plan it well so it doesn’t come around to bite you back later.