Excellent Road Trip in the USA: 6 Tips for Budget Travelers

American cities always occupy the top positions in the ranking of the world’s most expensive cities. The cost of living in the United States is high, despite the apparent availability. The unstable world politics and the exchange rate of the American dollar have led to the fact that for many a tourist trip to the USA has become incredibly expensive.

How to go on a journey and not spend a lot of money? We will share the secrets of saving in thee USA, which will be useful not only to travelers, but also to those who plan to stay in the country for a long time…


Improve your English



The best way to get to know any country is to travel independently. In this regard, the United States is also a great opportunity to improve your English, so don’t miss your chance!

If necessary, stock up on a phrasebook, but it’s better to upgrade your skills in order not to miss all the most interesting.

To do this, sign up for courses, download special applications, or at least start watching movies and reading books in English.


Plan your Route and Budget Carefully

Excellent Road Trip in the USA: 6 Tips for Budget Travelers


This is a particularly topical issue if you have your first independent trip to the USA. Careful planning is the way to save time and money, and also avoid many unpleasant surprises along the way.

On the Internet you can find a huge amount of useful information about the country – read the forums or take a walk through the channels of popular video bloggers.

It’s also recommended to book a hotel room or a camping site, and think about how to get from one American city to another.

Of course, a trip to the United States requires careful budget planning, so as not to be left without money in the middle of an unfamiliar country two weeks before the departure of the plane. After the route is ready, you can proceed to it. Calculate your housing, food, transportation, and entertainment expenses. For this, you can use the data from the Numbeo website.


Consider Renting a Vehicle

Excellent Road Trip in the USA: 6 Tips for Budget Travelers

The USA is known for its multi-mile highways connecting numerous cities. However, most of the amazing places are situated not in cities, but in nearby or fairly remote destinations.

If you want to really see a large number of attractions on a budget, then pick up a car. Are you still not an experienced driver? Don’t worry – car rental for under 25 travelers allows having an unforgettable road trip for everyone regardless of age.

It’s enough for you to book a car in advance and print a confirmation voucher. The average cost of a car is $25-35 per day for an economy or compact class.


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Keep in Mind Secondary Road Trip Expenses

Excellent Road Trip in the USA: 6 Tips for Budget Travelers

Traveling around the United States by car means not only complete freedom and independence from public transport, but also certain expenses. In addition to the cost of renting a car itself, don’t forget to include budget for gasoline, toll roads and tunnels. Some rental offices require an international driver’s license, but many suppliers ask domestic licenses only.

Another useful detail – along the road you will see such signs as Rest Area and Service Area. Rest Area allows you to relax and use the toilet, while in the Service Area it’s possible to refuel and have a bite.


Stay in Hostels, Campsites, or use Couchsurfing

Excellent Road Trip in the USA: 6 Tips for Budget Travelers


Depending on the location, budget and requirements regarding the level of comfort, you can choose between hotels, motels, hostels, rental apartments, campsites and couchsurfing.

Hostels and motels in the center will cost more than outside. Most national parks have their own cheap campsites, which need to be reserved in advance. Also along the road, there are rest areas with tables and awnings, where you can shop, eat and sleep. If you are disturbed by the police, feel free to say that you are tired, and it’s difficult for you to drive safely without rest.


Buy Products in Supermarkets

Excellent Road Trip in the USA: 6 Tips for Budget Travelers

A good way to reduce the cost of an independent trip to the United States is to buy food in supermarkets. In large stores, products are much cheaper than, for example, in small stores at gas stations. Also in supermarkets, there’s a category of goods that are produced specifically for this chain, and the cost of which is lower compared to other brands.

Among the largest and most popular are Walmart, Publix, Wholefoods, Aldi, and Costco. Their assortment is different, but the main food products are not much different.

Supermarkets are designed for different audiences: Publix and Wholefoods – for more affluent and demanding customers, but for the budget travelers Walmart and Aldi will be the best choice. The most affordable of them is Aldi.

Remember that the price is indicated without taxes, which is usually 6-10%!


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Excellent Road Trip in the USA: 6 Tips for Budget Travelers

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

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16 Replies to “Excellent Road Trip in the USA: 6 Tips for Budget Travelers”

  1. Great tips! We just finished an epic road trip and followed quite a few of these tips. We rented a car so we didn’t have to put tons of miles on our car. We traveled over 1,000 miles!

  2. Great list of tips, and I agree buying food at the grocery store is so much cheaper than eating out when you are traveling.

  3. Budget planning is so important when traveling! Gas is also cheaper away from main highways. And Airbnb can be great options for renting a room, too.

  4. I love doing road trips and I think that renting a car gives you so much more freedom, even if it comes at a higher cost. You can cut other things from your budget, like eating out every night.

  5. I agree with the idea of planning your plan and following it to the tee. This is a great post that I am going to share with my friends who are planning a west coast road trip next month.

  6. For me, the number one for budget travelling is planning. If you think ahead you can save a lot of money, simply by searching on the internet what is recommended. Google is your best friend while travelling on a budget – or at least it is my best friend in planning 🙂

  7. I did a lot of these for our vacation from Florida to New Hampshire. In total, we spent about 1000 on our trip for a week. We stayed at a campsite and it brought us closer as a family. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  8. These are great tips for someone who is on a budget to travel! When my husband and I were traveling across country (from FL to KS), we were at this small diner on a mountain in missouri and she randomly offered her pull out sofa to us. It was very tempting, and if we didn’t have enough money we would have taken her up on it. People are more welcoming than you would think!

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