There are times in all of our lives – usually when procrastinating through an afternoon in the office – when we wish we could just leave our worries behind and hit the road – not stopping until we see the gleam of the Pacific Ocean or perhaps New York’s skyline, depending on which direction you are heading.
Many things stop us actually realizing this dream: fear is perhaps one of them, time another, and money a third. However, the last point is something we can help with! So overcome your doubts and clear some space in your schedule. Here are three ways to ensure you don’t break the bank when hitting the highway.
Do Your Research
Research is key to a lot of money-saving strategies. Careful planning to counter nasty surprises can save a bundle. The most damaging raids on our wallets come when we least expect them, and wreak more havoc than they would if we had established some kind of barrier. Plan your trip carefully so you can calculate a meticulous budget. By knowing how many miles you are to drive each day, you should be able to estimate gas costs; by knowing your route, you will have an idea of where you are to eat and which activities you want to try out, and roughly how much all of that will set you back – not to mention lessen the likelihood of getting lost! Throwing caution to the wind may be more fun, but it is not cheaper. When you get into a pickle – and you will find yourself in a pickle or two, no matter how much you planned – you will thank yourself for having some money in the bank to get yourself out of that situation. Plan ahead to avoid hiccups and spare your finances.
Ensure your car is in mint condition
We have already looked at how to keep your car clean. Now it is time to ensure it is running correctly on the inside. It is best to carry out a professional vehicle inspection in a garage before you set off, to ensure that your car is in a safe and functioning state for the long road ahead. Having any rough edges smoothed out now will be cheaper than having to call for emergency help when things start falling apart in the desert. Also, consider what tinkering you can do by yourself, so to avoid unnecessary costs at the garage. If your vehicle needs additional components, do some research on sites like Mister Auto. Often these will be cheaper than buying them in store.
Be adventurous with accommodations
Look into comfortable budget accommodations before setting off. Consider camp sites, and when and where it may be preferable to spend a night in the car – either sleeping or driving through till dawn. If you have time on your hands, you can also consider volunteering at guesthouses and farms on the way, which will give you bed and board in exchange.