ways to save money on a road trip
My friends and I are planning a road trip from tallahassee, FL to virginia beach, atlantic city, boston, niagara falls, and then back down through gatlinburg,TN and back home. It will be for 9 days, and the only place that we are staying with someone we know is in boston. This is our first major road trip and we are trying to find ways to save money on the overall trip expenses. any ideas?
There are tons of posts about this already on these boards. You might do a search. Maybe try "budget", or "saving money", or something like that?
Some of the main ways to save are:
*eating out of a cooler instead of restaurants for most meals
*ensuring you take advantage of any discount options you might have available to you for meals/lodging/attractions, i.e. AAA, AARP, etc.
*driving an economical vehicle to lessen fuel costs
*getting a National Parks pass if you anticipate going to many parks along the way
*focusing on low-cost activities vs. high-priced activities, i.e. making a picnic lunch and buying a bottle of wine and having a romantic picnic at a park watching the sunset vs. a romantic dinner in an expensive restaurant
I hope this gives you some ideas. Enjoy!
If you're not up for camping or would like to split up your nights for a good shower check out www.priceline.com and www.hotwire.com to look for lodging in the larger towns.
Your trip sounds great! I found a cheap hotel in Atlantic City on my last trip. Great location and the room was ok.. it was the Sunset Inn at the marina. I think it was about $40 but that was off season...I know it was one of the least expensive options.
Enjoy the journey! We're taking a road trip and will be in Niagara Falls June 20 - 22.. we found a B&B up in Thorold, ON that had buy two get the third night free. It was a great deal.. but I know they're not offering it anymore. You may want to look on the Ontario side however due to the currency difference.. the rates seem to be less there.
http://www.reviewtravels.com will take you to our link for the Eastern Canada Road Trip.. daily journal and pics will be uploaded as we go!
I used to travel with my children during school vacations. The best deals I found for lodging were American youth hostels. They usually provided dorm rooms, shared kitchen facilities and big bathrooms and were clean, secure, and very inexpensive. I no longer have a membership, but plan to look up all the facts I need on the internet, as I am planning a car trip from Cape Cod to northwestern Florida in August.
The only problem I've found with hostelling in the USA is there's just not enough of them! I'd use them instead of commercial lodging most of the time if I could. Bob
like other people said, it depends on how much money you can spend/if you're into camping/if you like adventure... If you prefer motels, the cheapest and safest rooms are usually Motel 6, you can have a good night of sleep and hot shower for 30-45$ during July depending on the city/state. There's also Interstate Inn (between 25-35$) but I didn't see much of them. In SC and NC you can find very cheap rooms (25$) in Knights Inn, Econo, you name it but once you've crossed VA, it's getting expensive.
You can consider hostelling (19-30$ dorm room or 30-45$ private room shared bath), YMCA/YWCA in big cities (usually 20-35$ a night). You can go camping : free campgrounds (often unofficial) : www.freecampgrounds.com, the cheapest camping sites are usually the municipal ones and the BLM (between 5-12$) and then you have the pool-hot shower-hot tub-mini-putt-kind-of-camping like KOA for example which costs you the price of a motel room.
If you're a little bit adventurous and got a lot of space in your car, you can sleep in Truck stops for free and enjoy a clean hot shower for 5-10$ in the morning. If you're worried, you can tell the cashier or a waitress at the restaurant that you're sleeping there just in case. Truck stops waitresses are usually very nice and smily people, but be a good tipper:-) I suggest you stick to big trucks stops though (like Flying J, TA, AM Best, etc.).
The food and gas are also usually cheaper in the big trucks stops and you can ask for a frequent fueler card which gives you rebate on gas (very small but it's better than nothing).
Have a great trip!
Atlantic City Camping
I just came back from a Jersey Shore road trip that brought us into the Atlantic City area. We stayed at a campground called Whipporwill Campground which was extrememely nice. For the two of us, the cost was about $34/night for tent camping in the pristine pine woods. They have beautiful clean hot showers, a very nice heated pool, and lots of other amenities. If you don't have the equipment for tent camping, you might look into renting one of their 'camping cabins', which are small cabins with beds and a screened porch. The place was a quick 3 miles from Ocean City, and maybe 20 minutes from AC.