As the weather heats up, so do our desires to hit the road this summer

The summer road trip is one of the bucket list vacations for countless Americans. Whether it be traversing the country on the famous Route 66 or coming up with your own journey that goes down the east or west coast takes in all the sights and states that you’ve always wanted to see, it’s one of the best ways to see the United States in all its glory.

It is, however, a vacation that comes with a lot of planning. When to go and where to stay are considerations that have to be made along with where exactly you are going to go and how easy it is to get there. All of that can make it quite an expensive trip by the time you’ve added everything up.

With that in mind, here’s how to have the ultimate American road trip on a budget.

Get the Right Vehicle

Okay, ironically in an article about budgeting, we’re going to start with an area in which you really shouldn’t try and save money – the car. Your road trip could be made or broken by the type of vehicle you select as really; the driving is what it is all about. If you’ve always dreamed of cruising Route 66 in a classic American car for a US road trip such as a Pontiac Firebird or a Ford Mustang, then do it. You’ll remember the joy of being behind the wheel of such a classic car far more than you’ll remember any other part of the vacation. You can always find other areas of the budget to trim in order to give you the chance to drive your dream car and if you still can’t afford it, then use a credit card or look at easy payday loans to fund it.

Research Gas prices

You’ll be doing thousands of kilometers on your road trip and that means gas prices can soon add up. The price fluctuates from state to state and you could find yourself paying $2 to $3 more per gallon from one state to another. There are plenty of online gas price maps and apps which can help you work out where it is cheaper to fill up.

Seek out Budget Accommodation

After the car and gas, accommodation will be one of your biggest expenses, but this is actually an easy one to bring under control. If you’re traveling in good weather through warm states, then camping can bring the cost of the road trip right down and it’s probably the most authentic way to do it as well. There are some relatively cheap yet stunning Airbnb properties across America if you are going for the traditional hotel or motel route, look for limited service properties and booking in advance can save you both time and money.

Have One Big Meal Out a Day

If you are eating three meals a day whilst on the road, then that is a cost that is going to add up. You can try and eliminate a couple of those meals by finding hotels that include breakfast and shopping in grocery stores for lunches, buying sandwich making items and snacks which you can have over the course of the day. That way, you’ll be saving money which can instead go towards one big dinner wherever you are staying that evening.

Visit Iconic American Attractions

Adding some spice to your itinerary by touring iconic museums and roadside attractions will help you gain a better understanding of the areas you’re visiting and significant historical figures and artifacts. Our free guide lists hundreds of things to do across the U.S. and is a great place to start your research!