Cheap US Road Trips: Gearing Up For Budget Vacations

Category: Financial News

Road trip is a classic American preoccupation. More so today, when tight money matters make it impractical for average earners to embark on a dream foreign destination. Road trips are not only fun and exciting, they can compare with top global tourist destinations at a fraction of the cost.

Adventurous ones tend to embark on their must-go road trips during spring breaks, while most American families tend to plan their road trip vacations in the summertime. Whatever time of the year one chooses, taking on a road trip is part and parcel of the American soul. In the words of American novelist Jack Kerouac, “nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”

We rounded up top online articles that lay down valuable tips and resources for an unforgettable and money-saving American road trip – from preparing your travel blueprint to on-road savings tips for a cheap vacation yet also memorable at the same time, plus how to properly use social media for your travel.

1. America’s Coolest Small Towns 2013

Budget Travel

This post unveils the result of the website’s recent readers survey on the coolest small towns in America. And survey says: Surprise, surprise! Like the rest of the world, some of America’s most divine towns are also among its smallest. Little American towns have so much character and fascination in them that could rival more popular touristy towns around the world, say, Tuscany, Northumberland or Binn. Going local is indeed the way to go and save these days.

The ‘winners ‘list’ include a gold rush town in good old California, a rolling rural farmland town in Pennsylvania and a revolutionary war period town that now boasts of the best bars and bistro in the entire nation.

Whether in the city, the mountains or the beach, this post can help one settle the ultimate dilemma in summer road trips: where to go and what to do. And if your little town, with all its secret pathways and fun surprises did not make it in the list this year, do not fret since the 2014 survey is just around the corner.

2. 10 U.S. Destinations & Budget Expectations

The Auto Insurance

This article offers a nifty infographic that lists down ten best road trip destinations with a gas-price-at-a-glance scribbles (and a source link for updated state gas prices). This infographic was combined with a more comprehensive general road trip guide that describes the listed towns in more details – what tourists go there for and suggested sights and activities.

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Both the infographic and guide offer practical frugal travel common-sense to pack along with your backpack, like opting for cheaper stops, how to save on food and practicing gas economy while on the road.

3. Road-Tripping The Southwest USA On A Budget

On The Luce

This interesting and informative blog post by travel fiend Lucy Dodsworth shares to readers the gems of criss-crossing the great American southwest on a budget.

Those planning on a southwest roadtrip can soak up in advance to what’s in store for them beyond national parks, thanks to the travel notes of Dodsworth and her friends as they traversed wild west landscapes, revisit American history and immersed in roadside adventures.

Readers get plenty of money-saving insights on to-go-to-spots that don’t cost much to visit plus personal road trip advices from actual dry road adventures – like mixing different experiences in one itinerary, not being a slave to your GPS and the joys of frugal travel basics – cooking your own food and investing in park passes.

The stunning photos of the road trip Dodsworth shared serve as enticing previews of what lies ahead for those who want to literally follow in her footprints.


4. Tips for a Budget-Friendly Road Trip

Market Wired

From packing your travel bags to heading out to the vast US highways, this post dishes out loads of road trip essentials that help ease out the stress, particularly money stress, out of an American road trip on a budget.

The article emphasized the importance of vacations and trips – life lessons, soul-searching and making memories but without the skyrocketing costs one rather wants to forget or worse, regret.

It offers tongue-in-cheek advices on injecting frugal fun in budget vacations, easing gas pump price pain, roadtrip dining and making the most out of hotel stops to rest and recharge.

5. How to Use Social Media for Travel

Caround The World

This is one engaging personal travel blog by Chris, a journalist and social media butterfly. Not confined to US destinations alone, she extends some fresh road trip essentials with this post on how to use social media when travelling, which has greatly reduced the cost of traditional communication while in transit.

The post  is aimed at families and individuals who may be new or not very familiar in social media sharing. The article helps them understand the need to protect their security while on the road and safeguard their shared materials and information passed on to friends and family using the Internet.

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Chris specifically shared pointers for sharing and making public one’s travel photos, videos or details using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Foursquare. Likewise, she gives important guides for travelers using coupon sites and sharing their experiences using travel forum and blogs, or through photo and video sites.

Are you embarking on a good old American road trip this summer?


By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

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