Road Tripping in The United States should be on everyone’s bucketlist! The United States offers absolutely breathtaking views ranging from gorgeous mountains to red rock canyons. We spent two months road tripping in The United States, and ended our trip in utter amazement at how beautiful the US really is! Learn all our secrets to a cheaper roadtrip here!
FIND THE CHEAP GAS
Lord knows how expensive gas can be, especially while road tripping. And, we’ve all had the experience of filling the tank, then driving 2 more miles to find a gas station that’s 25 cents cheaper per gallon. (Yes, people… that 25 cents a gallon adds up! What are we saying?! Even 5 cents difference per gallon adds up!) Anyways… Some clever person came up with an app that tells you the price of fuel at the gas stations near you. It’s called GasBuddy and it will be your best friend on your road trip! You can find the GasBuddy app here.
GasBuddy is super easy to use. Simply search the area you’re looking for gas in, then can choose map version or distance (we like the map version, because sometimes the closest gas station is in the wrong direction), and it will show you the prices of all kinds of fuel! Find the cheapest gas near you, and save yourself a couple bucks every time you fill up!
Camping is a must do if you’re road tripping in the United States. It’s a much cheaper option than hotels, and can even be free! A few weeks back we posted on ways to camp for free in the United States, however, even if you’re not into rustic wild camping, staying at campgrounds will still save you loads of money, and provide you with great experiences!
NATIONAL PARKS HACKS
If you’re planning on going to three or more national parks on your road trip, buy the America The Beautiful Pass. It’s 80 USD and good for free entry into all national parks for an entire year. This is valid for the pass holder and anyone in their vehicle. With the average price of National Park entry being 20 USD, this pass will pay for itself rather quickly. On top of free entry to any National Park, you get free access to national service day use areas (lots of hiking areas across the states with day use fees)! For more details on this pass head here.
If you’re backpacking in the national parks, you can save money on accommodation by camping for free in the backcountry! Not all backcountry camping is free (sometimes you have to pay 5-10 USD for a permit), however, loads of parks offer free permits and thus free camping. Check out some of our free backcountry campsites in Utah, Colorado, or Virginia.
DATA USAGE.. NOT FOR YOU!
Road tripping leads to skyrocketing amounts of data usage. When you’re on the road and need to find things like campsites, directions, or things to do in the area you’re traveling, you rack up some serious data. To help prevent outrageous data usage, check out our Top Two Offline Travel Apps. You’ll find a free map app as well as a free travel app that’s full of information on thousands of cities across the world!
EAT OUT – EAT IN
We 100% think that eating out is part of traveling and experiencing a new culture/place. However, eating out for every meal adds up quickly. Cooking for yourself for some meals can save you a significant amount of cash! Don’t have a stove?? We have you covered… learn how to make your own camp stove here.
PAY FOR ICE?! YEAH RIGHT!!
Cooking your own meals typically means you’re going to have to keep food cold in some kind of cooler. Which, to most people means spending money on ice… however for us means finding a way to get ice for free! And no… that doesn’t mean go steal ice from one of those igloo containers!
First, if you have a couple days with access to a freezer before leaving for your road trip, freeze some water bottles! Once these defrost, you’ll have clean water to drink, but until then you have ice in your ice chest! If you can freeze liquid, why not freeze food too!? Prep some meals beforehand and freeze them. We made crockpot meals like chili and soup, then froze them in large Ziplock baggies. (The trick here is to freeze large portions. This way it will take longer to melt!) These meals will be for your fifth or even eighth night on the road, already prepped and ready to eat!
When we road tripped across the United States, we always filled our Nalgenes with ice at gas stations or Walmarts. We would even do it a couple times over, and just dump the ice in our ice chest before heading back in to fill up more. Not once did anyone say anything to us about doing this. Going back for a third round of ice typically resulted in some dirty looks, but as long as your buying gas or some snacks, you’re in the clear!
Pin these road tripping tips for later!!
Going on a solo road trip, family road trip, or road tripping with a group of friends is something we encourage everyone to do! You learn so much about the people you’re with, about yourself, and about the country surrounding you. We 99.999999% guarantee after a road trip in the United States, you’ll fall in love with the country and want to road trip the rest of it! After completing a two-month road trip covering nearly 10,000 miles of the United States we certainly fell in love with the beauty! Feel free to pick our brains with any further questions you have!! We would love to help you get out and explore!