We’re getting towards the end of January and that means we have one more cold month of winter ahead of us. While winter is nice, it’s hard to enjoy waking up to 15 degree weather and icy windshields when you know that a quick road trip can land you smack dab in the middle of paradise. If you find yourself getting cabin fever sometime in the next few weeks, maybe a road trip is the answer you’re looking for.
Enjoy the Journey
Road trips are all about spontaneity, adventure, discovery, roughing it, being creative, and enjoying all the quirks of life that come your way. But if you’re not afraid of the occasional wrong turn, eating PB&J for a week, or trying buffalo jerky from an out-of-the-way hunting lodge, a road trip could be just the adventure you are looking for.
Road tripping can be one of the cheapest forms of vacationing. Rather than booking expensive hotels, eating at nice restaurants for every meal, and paying entrance fees to every theme park, attraction, and tourist hot-spot, road trips are about finding all the fun, free stuff. Of course, there will be expenses, the most notable gas. But between you and your friends (and phone apps that help you find the cheapest stations around), you should be able to handle the costs. Outside of that you may have to pay for a few nights at a motel or hostel and of course some food. But aside from that, you won’t have to pull your wallet out for much else.
Here are some suggestions for activities you can do to enjoy a cheap, spontaneous road-trip.
First, stock up before you go. Before you take off, stock up on your favorite foods, snacks, and music. Try to bring food that doesn’t need refrigeration and that can be enjoyed for days. PB&J works wonderfully. So do crackers, chips, popcorn, dried fruit, and trail mix. But make sure not to miss out on local cuisine as you drive through town. Many out-of-the-way cafes, restaurants, and bed and breakfasts offer great quality food for decent prices. This is your chance to sample some of the best food America has to offer. See what edible jewels you can find along the way.
Second, enjoy what is around you. There are a lot of beautiful, exciting places out in Mother Nature that are there for you to enjoy at no cost. Relax at the beach, wander through a canyon, play hide-and-seek in a small forest, or explore the streets of out-of-the-way towns. Especially during the summertime, many cities and towns throw festivals, open street markets, celebrate holidays, and hold cultural events. These usually offer free concerts, dances, cheap specialty foods, and a lot of good times. These are fun, unique, exciting opportunities to experience the diversity that exists in your own backdoor. Have fun, make new friends and enjoy a cheap, quality entertainment!
Another good tip is to ask locals what to check out. Rather than chasing after the typical tourist sites or falling for the places with the biggest advertisements, ask locals where the best food is, what locals like to do for fun, or where to go to see the best sunsets.
Follow these tips and you’ll be able to enjoy a adventurous and cheap road trip whether it’s this winter or any time of year!