How to Take a Cheap Summer Road Trip

How to Take a Cheap Summer Road Trip. It’s just the two of you, the open road, and
a limited amount of cash. Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean
you can’t have a blast. You will need An atlas and guidebooks A gas-efficient
car An emergency kit A roadside assistance program Food and a cooler A tent, sleeping
bags, cooking utensils, and additional camping gear MP3 player with an adapter or cord A
DVD player and DVDs Reading material A camera A refillable water bottle and people who are
willing to host you. Step 1. The web is a great—and free—way to research
potential stops before you leave. Step 2. Bring an up-to-date road atlas and check out
guidebooks from the library. Try to plot a route that avoids toll roads
and big cities, where parking is expensive. Borrow a friend’s GPS navigation device,
or go to a site like and purchase a refurbished one that’s much cheaper
than new and still comes with a warranty. Step 3. Since a repair on the road can eat up your
vacation time—and funds—have your car fully inspected before you leave. Ask your mechanic for a refresher course on
some basic maintenance, like checking the fluids and changing a flat. Step 4. Just in case, pack an emergency kit that includes
a flashlight and extra batteries, road flares, a first-aid kit, towels, a whistle, jumper
cables, waterproof matches, rope and bungee cords, rain gear, a box-cutter, a tool kit,
duct tape, a small shovel, some water, and cash. Step 5. Sign up for a roadside assistance plan, which
can help with emergency repairs and offer discounts and maps for your trip. Depending on where you live, AAA ranges from
about $30 to $80 for a primary account, plus a sign-up fee. BWC is similar with membership fees that start
at around $50. Step 6. Stock up on groceries, and use your supply
for all snacks and one or two meals a day. Pack perishables and meals you’ll want
to cook over a campfire in a cooler. Go for bottled drinks, and don’t forget
about paper towels, utensils, storage bags, garbage bags, and toilet paper. Bring a refillable water bottle, and fill
up wherever you can for free. Step 7. Minimize your fuel costs. Find a car with good gas mileage, drive during
the cooler parts of the day so you don’t need the AC, and maintain a steady speed or
use cruise control. Get a rough estimate of what your fuel costs
will be with the fuel cost calculator at Sites like can help
you find the cheapest gas on your route. Step 8. If you’ve got friends or relatives along
the way, ask in advance if you can stay overnight. For the adventurous, can
hook you up with a friendly stranger willing to host you for the night. Don’t wear out your welcome. Keep your visit short. Step 9. Cheap motels are great, but if the weather’s
good, why not hunker down for the night at a campsite? They generally run for less than $30 a night,
and some may even offer amenities like firewood and showers. Some campsites may require reservations in
advance, especially if it’s the busy season, so plan ahead. Step 10. National parks are beautiful, offer a variety
of activities like hiking and swimming, and are generally inexpensive. An annual pass, which gives you access to
all federal recreation sites, only costs $80. See for details. Step 11. Provide your own entertainment. Lots of cars now have built-in auxiliary jacks
for MP3 players, but you can also find relatively inexpensive car adapters at your local electronics
store. Bring reading material and a portable DVD
player plus a few of your favorite movies. Step 12. It doesn’t cost you anything to be psyched! Take pictures, make friends, see great stuff,
and enjoy the adventure! Did you know Highway routes with odd numbers
run north and south, while routes with even numbers run east and west.

69 thoughts on “How to Take a Cheap Summer Road Trip”

  1. On 3:05, the tape is playing backwards. The car at the beginning is driving in reverse. Did not believe it the first time I saw it.

  2. o cmon ppl u think the ppl of woodstock had a check list like this???? well ya….pot n acid. but other than that….just a few campin supplies is all i want. try the roadtrip like that guy did in "into the wild" but dont experiment with any damn berries.

  3. I just wouldn't go on a trip if I didn't have the money and the emergency kit is way to expensive look at all you need!

  4. Pause at 0:47 It says 2003 but according to Howcast, it's supposed to be up to date, yet this video was made in 2008…hmm

  5. i want to go on a roadtrip with my dad sigh cant fit a mattress in my car *stuffs mattress in trunk* yes gets to parking lot at midnight *opens trunk mattress pops out*

  6. HIGWAY routes with odd numbers run north-south while routes with even numbers run east-west. Dear howcast. What is a higway?

  7. national forests are free to camp at. only way to go, screw a designated pay camp site. who are you paying? for what?

  8. why on earth do I want to bring a dvd player when the point to do a road trip is to lessen the use of technology from home ?

  9. If ya get stuck in the mud pulling into a camp ground you can get yourself out by scoopin up gravelfrom the roadside and packing it under the wheels for traction

  10. This was a useful article back then NOW here's the real Things People Really Only Need to take a Road trip!!  1 Google maps on APPLE or PC!! it comes with standard GPS Navigation!! Directions!! 2 Gas Money you need to know how much fuel One Will Need!! 3 My favorite A Honda or an Nissan Altima will take you there like as far as reliability Goes but any Reliable Transportation will Cut it remember key word Reliable!! 4 COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE Red Bull Monster Energy Lipton tea!!

  11. check the car tires check the engine oil stop every 3 to 4 hours at a time but if its not that far you might wanna get there  faster just don't stop period!!

  12. Thank you for sharing, I have gathered some tips and apps to make a great roadtrip taking advantage of technology I hope it interests you, otherwise I apologize

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