Wondering if it’s possible to tour the states on a budget? The simple answer is yes.
If you’re looking for ways that you can travel the united states without breaking the bank, these simple ideas can help make it happen.
Touring and traveling the states on a budget is a reality for thousands of people. And truth be told, everyone has some sort of budget.
Millionaires on down to blue-collar workers all have some sort of budget. But when traveling, it’s super simple for that budget to go out the window quickly.
Instead of cutting out or down on your travel plans, try these simple tips for staying on a budget instead.
Simple Ways to Tour the States on a Budget
There are not many more exciting things than planning an epic travel trip or road trip.
And then add all the sights and adventures that you’ll run into on the way and you’ll be loving life and wishing there was a way for it never to end.
Most people find that when they make a plan to travel the states, the first thought that pops into their head is the cost of this adventure and what all it will entail.
Traveling isn’t cheap which is why many people don’t attempt to do it at all.
What is budget travel?
Budget travel is actually just like it sounds. When you plan a trip and base that trip off of your budget.
Some people actually take it a step further and find ways to budget their travels by staying at cheaper hotels or finding unique ways to cut down on travel costs.
And again, while most people are on some sort of budget, budget travel is one of the least expensive travel options that adventures try to strive for.
Can you travel the world on a budget?
Absolutely. It’s 100% possible to travel the world on a budget.
There are tons of different ways to make it happen, but here are some avenues that you should consider for traveling and getting the biggest bang for your buck.
Simple Tips for Traveling the States on a Budget
- Make a budget before you leave for your trip
So many people make the mistake of planning for a trip but not factoring in the budget.
Money is one of the biggest influences of the entire trip, so failing to plan out the amount of money you and your family have to spend can wreak havoc! Instead, make your travel budget plans first.
Literally, sit down and put the pen to paper.
Write out all the costs that you can think of. Lodging, food, gasoline, snacks, games…you name.
Anything that you think could possibly cost money, write it down. It’s much better to plan a bigger budget and have some left over than to not plan enough and be short.
- Plan your travel time to best fit your budget
This can be a bit tricky, but it does work with some people.
If you are comfortable with having your sleep schedule off for a few days, flip flop your nights and days and travel that way.
That means that you’ll be driving during the night and stopping and sleeping during the day.
(keep in mind that this works best for a couple or solo traveler)
The point of traveling this way is to avoid the costs of paying for a hotel. If you can drive through the night and then stop somewhere during the day and rest in your car, you won’t have to worry about paying for any type of lodging costs at all during certain portions of your trip.
(of course, always be safe and don’t try this if you aren’t getting well rested during the day)
- Become one with nature
Most people travel and think about staying at hotels. But honestly, lodging and paying those steep fees can really cut into your budget rather quickly. Instead, stop and think about how you can become one with nature instead.
Look up campgrounds in the areas that you’re going to be traveling to and see what kind of money you’d be saving.
If you travel with a tent, some campgrounds are as cheap as $10 per night to stay there on a tent camping spot.
Compared to a $100 hotel room for one night, that’s a huge and simple tip to travel on a budget!
- Only travel to certain places during the offseason
It’s no secret that highly traveled and tourist areas are slammed during a certain time and months out of the year.
Avoid this if possible.
First off, it will be crowded.
And secondly, prices are inflated. Hotels and even some restaurants are notorious for hiking up the prices to squeeze every cent and penny that they can out of the tourists.
To avoid that from happening to you, make certain that you do your research and find areas where you can visit during the calmer months.
It’s pretty typical that campgrounds and water activities are going to be packed during the warmer months, so during those times, you’ll want to try and avoid those areas as much as possible.
- Buy your own food rather than eating out
Eating out at the local restaurants when traveling is so, so tempting. And while it is okay to do every once in a while, doing it too often can bust your budget in an instance.
Instead of buying overpriced food and honestly, sometimes less than stellar food, pack up a cooler or two for your trip.
That way, you can stop at different places along the way and see what they have to offer as far as grocery stores go.
The more food that you can pack and bring, the more dinner ideas that you can create.
One aspect to keep in mind is that if you are staying in hotels, find ones that do have a small kitchen area where you can cook.
And if you find that you’re going to travel the states and camp, you’ll have no issues finding food items that will taste delicious over an open fire.
How to create a travel budget
So, now that you’ve decided you want to travel the states and see all the amazing sites, you may be wondering exactly how to make it happen.
When people stop and talk about creating a travel budget, you may nod your head and agree but still have no idea what they are even talking about. Don’t fret, you aren’t alone.
People tend to understand the concept of a budget, but not really how to make it a reality.
If you’re looking for ways to help you put together a travel budget to travel the states, these are the budget tips to keep in mind:
- Be realistic
First and foremost, you have to set a monetary amount that works for you and your income.
Anyone can just pick a “random” number and call it their budget, but if it doesn’t make sense financially, it isn’t going to work.
Sit down and really zone in on what you can afford for your trip. Even if the amount of money or your travels isn’t a ton, it’s a starting point for you to know and work with.
- Be logical with your travels
Once your travel budget is formed, it’s time to figure out how you can tour the states on it.
Make a note of how long you’re planning on being on the road and what you are wanting to see. Then, start looking at a route that makes sense and will be a benefit to your budget.
If you know that during your travels, you’ll be able to stop and stay with friends and family along the way, do so!
Everything that you can do to help you save money during your trip is more money that you can then spend on activities and other fun adventures!
Once you’ve created your travel budget, it’s really important that you adhere and stick to it.
There’s nothing worse than being out and traveling around the states and suddenly realizing that you have no funds or money left.
Being stranded somewhere new isn’t fun at all!
How can I travel with no money?
If you find that your budget just isn’t going to be enough for what you want to do, you can look at various ways of traveling with no money.
While it takes major planning and a little luck, it is something that many people do and do successfully.
(This is probably good tips for a solo traveler or a couple)
Traveling with no money can happen in various ways.
- Become a house sitter
Did you know that there are people literally all over the world that travel constantly and are looking for trustworthy people to come and house sit their house? It’s 100% true.
Look online in your area and you’ll find postings and listings all over.
Sometimes this can actually pay money, but most times it offers you the chance to go somewhere new, live in a nice house or apartment to house sit it, have a ton of free time to walk around and explore the area and city, and not have to worry about paying a penny for lodging.
Talk about a great way to stretch the budget, right?
And this isn’t just pertaining to the states, either. You can even do this for people in other countries, too.
- Apply to be a workcamper
If you love the outdoors and camping, and have your own RV and travel trailer, becoming a workcamper is actually a really, really cool way to travel on a budget.
There are thousands of public and private campgrounds in the states that are constantly looking for workcampers to come to their area.
What this means for you is that you get to live there for free and help out around the campgrounds.
While the tasks do vary, most are simple and easy to do. You’ll even have your own down time and days off to explore the area as well.
- Check for free attractions near you
Check major cities around you because chances are, there are free attractions that you can visit (this totally counts as travel by the way).
Cities such as Las Vegas, New York City, Kansas City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and even State or National Parks all offer free attractions or certain days where visiting select attractions are free.
Can you travel the states on a budget as a family?
Absolutely. While this may take a little more planning and prep work, it’s totally possible to do.
In order to make the trip enjoyable for everyone, it’s important to talk about the budget that is being set so everyone is aware.
Once the entire family knows that this trip is happening because of a budget, it may also help with all the questions about wanting to buy items and souvenirs at every single stop.
And if your kids are wanting to have items from different locations as a memento from the trip, let them bring along their own money to make it happen.
Better yet, have them set a travel budget for themselves as well!
Traveling the states on a budget doesn’t have to be overly difficult.
There are just a few key parts to think about and consider to ensure that everything goes smooth and according to plan.
Make certain that before you launch and leave, you have a travel budget and a plan (like this simple travel planner) of where you’re traveling set and ready to go.
Not only will this help with getting from Point A to Point B, but it will also help you stay on track and on budget.
Don’t let the budget get you down!
And last, but not least, don’t let your travel budget have you singing the blues!
Even though there may be times when you’re feeling restricted or feeling as though you’re missing out, just know that there are always going to be other adventures and opportunities along the way.
Don’t spend all of your vacation or travel money within the first few days! If you do that, then the rest of your trip is going to feel as though you’re very, very restricted in what you can see and do.
Instead, allow yourself a bit of wiggle room to see and do things that you want and sprinkle in some spending along the way!