Are you planning on going on a road trip soon? With the ease of travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people can now go to different places such as tourist spots to unwind, relax, and enjoy new adventures after being cooped up in their homes due to the quarantine restrictions. However, if this is your first time planning a road trip, you need to focus mainly on budgeting. After all, you need to be able to afford to travel for you to go to places. If you need a guide on how to plan your road trip budget, you’ve come to the right place. Read the article below to know how to make a road trip budget.
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Typical Costs to Consider When Planning a Road Trip
Road trips are a fun way to enjoy the journey towards your destination. However, road trips can cost some money and resources and you need to be prepared to pay for these expenses or else the biggest disaster of going broke in the middle of nowhere is going to happen and that is the experience you need to avoid the most. Here are some things you need to consider when making a road trip.
Gas is an important resource that you must have if you’re going on a long road trip. You don’t want to be unprepared and have your car run out of gas in the middle of the highway so it’s important to estimate how much gas you will need. Factors such as the route, weight of your vehicle, and gas price on different gas stations may influence the cost. To calculate the cost of gas, estimate the total mileage of your route. divide it by the miles per gallon of your vehicle and then multiply it by the cost per gallon. Aside from gas, make sure other components of your vehicle are all in working condition, have spare water, wheels, and other car maintenance tools to bring on your trip.
2. Food and Beverage
This factor is one of the things you’ll be spending the most so make sure to divide your money well on bringing your food and drinks and setting aside money for eating out. You need to prepare your food just in case you don’t get to see any restaurants nearby while you’re on the road.
3. Toll Fee
You’re way likely to encounter toll fees in your trip, so plan and look into Google maps to see any tollways in your route. Identify all the toll costs on the way so you can incorporate these costs into your budget.
Accommodation is another important factor to consider in your budget. To save money, you can camp to keep your costs low or you can book in advance on booking websites where you can choose different accommodations with low prices and you can get discounts and let you confirm your booking before you travel which will help settle your mind on where you will stay for your trip.
5. Entertainment and Other Activities
Another factor to consider in your budget is the activities, must-see attractions, and other activities you will come across on your road trip. Set aside some budget for these types of activities since some of them may cost you some money.
You may not realize it right away but parking is one of the costs you must consider. Know where you can park for free and know how much is the parking fee of the accommodation you booked so you can incorporate this cost into your budget.
How to Make a Road Trip Budget Worksheet
1. Create a Document for Your Budget Worksheet
Prepare a sheet of paper and a pen where you will write down your budget for your road trip. If you want to do it digitally, you can use a spreadsheet or the printable road trip budget planner above that you can download for free.
2. Set an Overall Budget and Estimate the Expenses of the Trip
Do your research on the costs of the journey to your destination. After that, decide then on a total budget that you will need since this be your basis for the rest of your planning. Break down the overall budget into a daily budget while you’re on your trip for essential costs such as accommodation, food, and gas. This breakdown will be an estimate first and not your final set budget since you will have to plan on the activities you plan to undertake during your trip.
3. Finalize Your Itineraries
Plan with your buddies or your family who will be going with you on the road trip on which places you want to visit, the routes you’re going to take, the activities you want to do, and the restaurants you want to try. This will help you create your itinerary for your whole road trip and help you find out how much each place, activity, and restaurant costs you. Make sure to research each cost of those things.
4. Add the Costs of All Activities
Now that you have a set itinerary planned for your road trip, it’s time to calculate all the costs of every expense you will have. This will let you know the amount of money you’re going to need to afford your trip. If you think that the costs are too much for your estimated budget, you can look up online to find good deals such as discounts so you can save some money.
How can one travel cheap?
If you’re on an extremely tight budget but would still want to go travel to different places and enjoy the experience, here are several things you can do:
- Couchsurfing. Make sure you find yourself a trustworthy person who would welcome you to share their home with you and stay away from any shady people and their propositions.
- Research all the free places in the destination you’re going to.
- Travel somewhere less expensive such as rural areas.
- Consider hitchhiking but be careful to do this activity.
- Volunteer in outreach work where you can travel to places.
- Only bring the most essential stuff you will need for your trip.
- Find the lowest airfare tickets.
What is the cheapest country to visit?
There are a lot of cheap countries to visit around the world if you plan to go abroad. Some of the cheapest countries you can travel to are Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nepal, Morocco, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.
Make sure to have an extra budget left over for you to use just in case if you want to buy more souvenirs, or discover a fun attraction, or encounter any situations that may cost you money. Traveling with the extra cash help you relax better and enjoy your trip scot-free without you being worried that your money may run out. To help you get started making your budget for your next road trip, download our free sample templates above to use as your reference!
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