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How to Budget for a Road Trip in the US



Having a good road trip can make all the difference in your life. It might even turn out to be the best vacation you’ve ever had. That said, a road trip can be quite expensive. This is especially if you do not have a precise budget. This article will help you carefully plan and prioritize your road trip expenses such that you will be able to enjoy an amazing trip at an ideal and pocket-friendly budget.

Prioritize your destinations

First off, you need to pre-plan your preferred destinations before you even think of taking off. When it comes to road trips, there are just so many places to go and so many things to do, including camping in Pennsylvania. That said, you cannot go everywhere or do everything. As a pointer, you should find out what you are most interested in and how important it is for you to meet these expectations during your trip. This will enable you to successfully plan for your road trip route as well as assess your budget for achieving your road trip goals. If you are unsure of your route, you can contact professional camping and glamping companies like Tentrr. These firms can help you with this decision. You cannot just jump in when it comes to road trips or you will find yourself overspending on your trip.

Avoid peak times of the year during trips

Another great tip that can help you save on costs for your trip is to avoid peak times of the year. You will find that during celebrated holidays or popular vacation times, item prices, as well as service prices, tend to go a tad higher than normal. These can be a real inconvenience as you will probably be paying more for services that you would have spent way less and still get to enjoy them anyway. Some of the peak times to avoid in the US include 4th of July, Memorial Day, Summer Weekends, Christmas, among others.

Another great way to save while planning your road trip is to look for hotels that offer deals with nearby attractions you want to visit. Many hotels that are located near tourist attractions will often offer discounted packages that include room and board and access to the attraction. Deals like this are especially great during the off-seasons as both the hotel and the attraction will look for more customers. These package deals are really good for family trips as many of these attractions are kid-friendly and you can save more when you have a larger group. 

Run a complete car servicing before your trip

It probably seems like a less important thing to do. However, you should most definitely have your car completely serviced before you even think of starting out your road trip. There is nothing worse than your car breaking down in the middle of the trip and other than enjoying the trip, you end up stranded and looking for ways of getting back to having a good time. Make sure you pack light as well in case you need to carry your things from your car if it breaks down. Not only should you have your car serviced before your trip, but you should also learn some basic car maintenance techniques yourself. This might come in handy and save you more than you think.

Plan your restaurant and hotel stops beforehand

A road trip around the US will typically involve you spending many days on the road. Therefore, you will have to plan for how you spend your nights or generally, your resting protocols. For some of you, sleeping in your car can be a good option that will save a lot on motel costs. If you have an RV, you are in an even better position as you will find the comfort of a bed and a few utilities in your vehicle. Nonetheless, if you do not have car accommodation plans, you should plan out your motel and restaurant stops as you plan your route beforehand.

There are some areas of the US that are really popular for road trippers. These locations include national parks and monuments. If you’re planning a road trip to visit natural sites of the US, get a National Park Pass so you don’t have to pay for admission for every park you visit. These passes last a year and you have unlimited entry to the parks. This is also great if you are planning on going camping, but keep in mind many National Parks including the Grand Canyon and Big Bend have cabins and hotels nearby you can stay at if you don’t want to camp. 

Carry cash

The last tip that we are going to share with you when you embark on a road trip is to set aside physical cash for emergencies. You never know when your credit card will stop functioning or simply find places that your credit card is just not one of their preferred payment methods. In this instance, a little cash might help alleviate the situation and save you a big hustle for your trip across the US. Carry enough to help you get through a couple of days if necessary, but be sure to still use anti-theft carriers such as fanny packs and inner pockets to hold your cash, especially in busy locations with many tourists. 


It is a common mistake for people to underestimate the amount of money actually required for a successful road trip. Most people end up spending extra money intended for other needs. You will find that if you carefully follow our guide on how to budget for road trips in the US, you might even have some remaining balance to your initial budgeting costs at the end of your trip. It is therefore important that you adhere carefully to the steps outlined in this guide and you might just have yourself a trip of a lifetime.