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  1. Default Lots of questions? Please help! A couple on a small budget!

    Hello...I am planning a trip around the country for Sept. 2007, I have been saving like crazy because this is my dream. I will be driving around the country for one month. Stoping at Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, etc... It will be my girlfriend, dog, and I! Now, my questions are these...
    How much should I budget for food? I will be camping most of the days with a few days at hotels (maybe five at the most) I plan to make breakfast at the campsite, eat a nice lunch out, and most likely eat dinner at the campsites as well...
    Also...any recommendations for money saving. I am most likely driving a car and tenting it at the there a cheaper way...I want to save money where I can so I can use the money for enterance fees and enjoying the sites....

    Any suggestions are welcome...thank you in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Lots of resources here for you!

    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzy1977
    Hello...I am planning a trip around the country for Sept. 2007,
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! There are hundreds of posts and ideas for saving money on a roadtrip here. Here is one of them. Here is an article, with some more.

    Have a wonderful adventure!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Budgeting!

    Don't forget to check out Judy's excellent tips on budgeting as well!

    Happy planning!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Chicago Suburbs, IL



    I had a few ideas about getting a good discount while you are in Chicago. I would check out this website: The one in elgin in my personal favorite. You can buy hotels, tickets to things, restaurants, fun things to do, for SUPER cheap. You can listen online to their show or just call up during their show times. To buy the items since you live far away you can send them a check and they will mail you your certificates. It is a very good deal.

    Also, on the Metrarail site there are some special promotions, where you can get a coupon book sent to you for 50% off or buy one get one free attractions around the area and restaurant coupons as well.

    Have fun!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-25-2006 at 12:01 AM. Reason: changed format -- original post very close to SPAM

  5. Default You're on the right track for budget travel...

    Fuzzy --- You're got the right attitude and approach I think for budget road trips. Camping and not doing a lot of eating out in restaurants is the quickest way to save money while traveling.

    Secondly, give some thought as to where you want to stay and what you want to do in the big cities. That's where a chunk of your money will go, on hotels/motels and on the expenses of staying in big cities. But with a little bit of planning in figuring out what you want to see, where you might stay to minimze costs, and doing some looking around for bargains etc you can do OK in my experience.

    One other thing you might do, depending upon your circumstance is to stay with friends and relatives a few nights. I alway bring a gift for them or do something for them in exchange for their hospitality (nice bottle of wine, dinner, or etc) so its not free -- but its one way to stretch your budget a bit farther. And the personal sightseeing tours and experiences you get introduced to by your friends and relatives who are natives to the area can be amazing....

    Car camping/ road tripping in my opinion is about the cheapest and most flexible way you can really see the world. There are some options of getting a month's unlimited usage pass on Grayhound or Amtrak and you should really check those out -- but they'll run around $2000 for you and your girlfriend if memory serves, and you won't be able to take the dog. I've known other people who've tried to major national tours in the US by train or bus. It's very doable, but they end up somewhat restricted by transportation availability, and it doesn't really cost them much less.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Hint for cheaper rates in the cities

    If you need to stay in a motel near a city, and the prices are jacked up because of that, any little bit saved helps. Check out the various webpages of the more inexpensive hotel chains like Motel 6, Super 8, etc. You will find that they usually have an internet rate that is cheaper than you can get with either a call-in reservation or walking into the lobby. Make note of the ones that have locations near where you will want to stay. You might even request their books with their listings to take with you.

    Since I usually don't like to bother with reservations ahead of time so my schedule stays flexible, I will call home and tell them what hotel I want to stay in and have them get on the internet and make my reservation for me to save a few bucks. Of course, you could also stop at most public libraries and use their computer to do this as well but that takes too much time out of my day for me. Also internet cafes, etc.

    It doesn't save you much but, since I'm a tightwad, it's worth it to me.

    Also, if you are a member of AAA, you can get a discount at many motels.

  7. Default

    Thanks alot everyone! Getting alot of great answers!

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