Update: With my definition of a road trip as three or more overnight stops, there's nothing in the original publication I would change.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Taking a Budget Road Trip: Part 1: The Basics
What is a "road trip"?
I define "road trip" to mean:
A trip one takes in a personal motor vehicle that includes:
- Overnight stops in three or more locations; and
- Considerable driving distance between the overnight stops.
I leave the definition of "considerable" to the driver. For some, considerable might mean two hours; to others, it might mean eight.
|2006 road trip to Nova Scotia: Camp Meade, Vermont|
What is a "budget trip"?
Definition: A trip that I can afford.
Afford means I have the money on hand, and its not from my emergency or long-term savings accounts. It's OK if I need to charge some trip expenses, but only if I know I'll be able to pay the charges in full after I return from the trip.
These are what consume a road trip budget:
- Alcohol consumption, if any
- Admissions and activity fees
Below are general tips I follow to manage my road trip budget:
- Use lodging that costs $70 or less per night, though I always strive for $50.
- Eat in a restaurant only once per day, occasionally twice. Go picnic-style for my other meals.
- In a restaurant, drink water instead of soda, iced tea, or alcohol.
- Bring my own alcohol, if any.
- Avoid souvenir purchases.
- Choose and ration my splurge activities carefully.
- Choose my travel partners carefully. By this I mean: Select a travel partner whose definition of "budget" is similar to mine.
I'll talk about some of the above in more detail, later.
|2006 road trip to Nova Scotia: Cape Breton bakery|