Updated: Sep 6, 2019
The wanderlust is real. For those who aren't financially stable, the struggle to travel is even realer.
You see an amazing place on Instagram, you start doing research on flights and hotels, but once you see how expensive it is just to get to the destination, you give up on your dream.
When you're in college, fresh out, or living paycheck to paycheck, it can be hard to find ways to travel. Road tripping is the cheapest (and honestly, most fun) way to travel. I'm going to give you some tips on how Dan and I have been able to travel to 22 different states in only one year!
1. FREE Campsites
Whoever said, "nothing is free in this world" is a liar! Free campsites exist and they are amazing! They typically have a limit to how many days you can stay, some are up to 15 days, while others are only one night.
Freecampsites.net is our go-to for finding places to rest our heads at the end of the day. There are thousands of campsites all across the US! Read reviews and take a look at the pictures from past visitors. It's important to get a feel for what you're going to be looking for, as some of these campsite aren't entirely marked out with signs (especially if you're looking to camp in the boondocks!)
We seriously have found some amazing free campsites on this website. My favorite to this day was one in Montana right by a lake with mountain views. I can't lie, the flush toilets available at the Sugar Hill campsite in New York were pretty great too!
2. Pack a Cooler
Going out to eat is a huge money waster, stick to mini "meal plan" and only go out to eat a time or two during your trip. Bring a big cooler packed with sandwich making foods, snacks and more! Depending on your cooler, you'll have to swap out your ice every 3-5 days.
We found that the best way to organize your cooler is to put your food in small storage containers. It keeps your food from getting wet when the ice melts, and its way faster to grab everything out when its time to dump and swap the ice!
Pack a camp stove if you have one, or bring aluminum foil for campfire dinners!
Oh, and don't forget the s'mores ツ
3. National Parks Annual Pass
This is a tip for those who are looking to travel to the Parks! Instead of paying for the $30 entrance fee at each park, buy an annual pass! The pass is only $80 so if you go to a few Parks in a year, it is well worth it.
4. A General Tip For Planning
Use Roadtrippers.com to plan the BEST road trip! Dan and I have used this from the start and it's helped us to find all those hidden gems. You put in your starting and ending point (or your furthest/ main destination) and the software gives you recommendations on things to see along the way!
Points of interest, hiking trails, best restaurants, and more. They've recently limited the amount of "way points" or destination points that you can use until you have to pay for their premium plan. But, it's only 20 or 30 dollars a year and it is well worth it!