Home THE JOURNEY Road Trip How to Plan for a Road Trip on a Budget

How to Plan for a Road Trip on a Budget

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A road trip is a great way to spend a stretch of downtime. You’ll be able to see the countryside, and parts of the world that you might not have considered in isolation. Pick a route (the UK is full of them), book some accommodation in a few towns along the way, and get driving. You’ll be amazed at what a fulfilling experience it can be – especially if you don’t often take road trips.

If you’re going to get the most from the experience, some planning and preparation is more than worthwhile. But what does that preparation actually look like?

Make sure the car is in good shape

If you’re going to be putting in hundreds of miles, then it’s a good idea to spend a few minutes making sure that the car is up to the job. Ideally, you’ll time a service so that it’s carried out just before you set out. There are also several small steps you might take to optimise your vehicle, from the point of view of efficiency, comfort and performance.

You should check that your lights are working, and that you have a supply of spare bulbs. Similarly, you’ll want to inflate your tyres, and check the treads to ensure that you’re within the legal limit. If it looks like you’re due a replacement, then you can fit new tyres yourself, thereby saving a considerable amount.

Invite your friends

If you’re going to be driving a long way, then it makes sense to fill every available seat. That way, you can split the cost of everything, especially fuel. You might also split the driving duties, allowing you to cover a greater distance in the same span of time.

Plan ahead

Pay for your accommodation in advance, and you’ll tend to enjoy a more attractive deal. Plus, there’s limited chance of the hotel filling up and turning you away. You might also be able to research where to stop for food, fuel and entertainment. Build an itinerary – but make sure there’s room for spontaneity, too.

Bring some camping gear

Cutting costs is easy if you’re willing to pitch a tent. Invest a little bit in a quality tent, and you’ll save hundreds, or even thousands, on hotels. You might even split the cost of your tent with your fellow travellers.

Research free activities

If you’re travelling a significant distance, then there stands a strong chance that you’ll find some affordable, or even free, activities to do along the way. Whether it’s a museum, a walk in the woods, or a complimentary round of golf, it pays to be on the lookout for freebies!