It’s the peak of summer. July is filled with concerts, festivals, and last minute vacations before students have to start thinking about going back to school and adults have to return to work. Nothing screams summer more than a summer road trip with friends or family, but I never realized how much went into planning a road trip. So I thought I’d write down a few tips to help people look into taking road trips outside of their state or country on the cheap and with the essentials they might need.
So, the first part, I believe, before even booking a flight is looking into a hotel. If you can’t find a reasonable place to stay then you might not end up going and will have already wasted money on a flight.
Tip 1: Don’t be afraid to look into Hostels. Hostels are very friendly and cater to the accommodation needs of young adults, but they do offer private rooms for families. Hostels are not as big in the U.S. as they are in Europe, but there are many forming in the U.S. with chic decorations that make it look like a hotel. Rooms can run as low as $20 dollars a night or up to $60 dollars a night in larger cities.
Tip 2: Another option is getting an Airbnb. Since you have a car, it will be easy to drive out to other places that are a little bit outside of the city. Airbnb provides accommodations for people to rent out vacation homes or provide part of their home to someone. That may seem daunting to some people, but you can request to have the entire home to yourself so you will not be sharing it with anyone else. I recommend this if you have a bigger group so that the cost of the rental can be split.
Tip 3: Look early. Major cities tend to go fast so it’s good to start comparing flights as early as three months in advance. A good site where you can compare prices and ratings is Booking.com. Booking.com provides a system where you can also reserve the hotel for free and can cancel it before a certain date normally about a couple weeks before you are supposed to get there. This is great because you can put a cheap place on hold that you like, without putting money down, and still continue to look for something perhaps cheaper, with the amenities you want, or closer to the city center.
Now, of course, having a car is the main thing. A good tip I like to give is using a site called www.rentalcars.com. You can put in any city in the world that you want to pick up the car from as well as a different city for the drop off and it compares all the car rental companies, even the non-major ones, and gives you a quote on the car. Not only can you choose a relatively cheap car, but you can also reserve it without putting any money down and cancel for free if you change your mind.
About the Author: The EM, Inc. Travel “Guru” Kayla Brock grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Ill. She chose to go to an international university in London for her bachelor’s degree because it offered her an opportunity to study journalism and communications in ways that she felt she would not experience in the United States. Being overseas was an easy decision for her because she had the freedom to travel and explore different cultures from her own. So far, she has been to 20 countries and also has traveled to 24 out of 50 states in the U.S. Kayla enjoys travel writing, photography (digital and film), video editing, hiking, and adventure sports.
Photo Credit: Kayla Brock