1. You don’t actually need a car
(I know I just complained about not
having a car, but I’m actually tied to my desk right now, so just look
at my car reference before as a metaphor for ‘the freedom to not be at
my damn desk’.) Wanna go on a road trip but your only vehicle is your ChevroLEGS? All you gotta do is ride share! That’s right, go to erideshare.com or craigslist.org
and find a ride to wherever you’re going. And if you wanna hit up
multiple locations on your trip, just set up rideshares to and from all
the different spots on your itinerary. Then your only costs are sharing
gas costs with the other riders.
2. Cheap rental cars
If you don’t have wheels but aren’t too keen on riding with random
strangers, you can always rent a car. Start by comparing prices from a
few websites like hotwire.com, expedia.com and travelocity.com
(to name a few) then find the cheapest rates. Here’s the real tip
though: If you have a major credit card and you make a car rental
reservation with it, the credit card company covers your rental
insurance! Amazing right? I just saved you like $15 a day! Just make
sure you check with your credit card company to see what they cover.
3. Car sharing
Still on the car-less theme, if you use Zipcar
or one of the countless smaller local versions of car sharing, you can
take a vehicle for multiple days at a time. This often amounts to
somewhere around $60, but that money also covers gas and insurance.
There’s typically a 3 days limit though, so it would have to be a
shorter road trip. Peer-to-peer car sharing is starting to take off in
some cities, so check out services like getaround.com for local deals on cars that are probably more interesting than the typical Ford Focus rental.
4. Pack your food
Don’t wanna spend too much loot on food while traveling? Pack your
grub and take it with you. Pick foods with a decent shelf-life and bring
a cooler. Not only will this save you money, it will probably allow you
to eat healthier too. Unless all you pack is Lunchables of course. Then
you might as well just eat at McDonalds.
5. Camping, hostels and couch surfing
You read Lonely Planet, so you know the drill, but just in case you
don’t, I’ll break it down for you. Save money by not staying in hotels.
Is the weather warm? Then sleep outside. Don’t like critters crawling in
your sleeping bag? Then stay at a hostel. Can’t afford that? Then check
out couchsurfing.com and find a nice soul who will let your weird ass sleep on their couch. Just kidding, you’re not that weird…probably.
6. Do free activities
If you wanna save money on a road trip, don’t go to Disneyland, or
any other theme park for that matter. Pick things to do that don’t cost
money like going to the beach or hiking. If you’re one of those people
who just needs a destination, go to a national park. There’s so much beauty out there to be seen.
7. Free food at happy hours
If your road trip is leading you to a city and not the wilderness, do
a little research beforehand. Every American city has bars that give
out free food at happy hour, you just need to know where to find them.
Go to yelp.com or chowhound.com and search for terms like ‘free food happy hour’ and see what you find.
8. Free and cheap websites
Same goes for cheap entertainment in the city you’re heading to.
Let’s say you’re going to Chicago, Google something like ‘free and cheap
Chicago’ and do a little research. You’re guaranteed to find websites
that cover all the cool free and cheap happenings in that city. And if
you’re going to San Francisco or New York you can just check out BrokeAssStuart.com.