7 Things you can do to enjoy a budget-friendly road trip

Are you dreaming of the open road? Are you thinking about that horizon stretched into the distance? What about the wind blowing at you, passing by breathtaking views? Here are 7 things that'll help you enjoy your adventure without splashing the cash...

Advertisement feature

I personally love a road trip – just heading off into the sunset with a map and a sense of adventure sounds idyllic to me. But what if you want all of this without the car? Usually, in the summer months, you’ll see motorcycles out and about doing road trips. While road trips are pretty popular and, to a degree, they can be fairly budget-friendly, the same can usually be said about motorcycle trips. 

Sure, to a degree, any trip can become less thrifty if you don’t make the right decisions, but it’s definitely possible to create a budget and stick to it during a trip. But does being careful with your money mean that the trip itself will be not so good? Well, absolutely not! It’s all about balance and not going too extreme, so with that said, here’s what you can do to have a budget-friendly road trip!

1. Plan Your Route Wisely

Start with the route. Will there be toll roads? How expensive are the hotels? What about the petrol when it’s time to fuel up? The beauty of a road trip lies in the freedom to roam, but a bit of planning can help you avoid unnecessary detours that gobble up fuel and time. Use free route planners online to map out a path that offers not just efficiency but excitement.

Also, it’s a good idea to look for scenic byways or lesser-known backroads, which are not just beautiful but often less crowded and cheaper when it comes to local accommodations and food. All of these little decisions can add up to help make your car trip or motorcycle jaunt more thrifty.

2. Try and Travel Off-Peak

All right, so this advice is pretty overused, but it still deserves some attention because of how true this is! It’s all about the timing, and it’s everything! You can make the same trip at two different times of the year, and one time will be drastically cheaper than the other. So, with that all said, you just need to keep in mind that travelling during the off-peak season can significantly cut your travel costs. 

Accommodation is cheaper, attractions are less crowded, and some places might even offer lower prices to attract more visitors during the downtime. Plus, cooler weather can make for a more comfortable ride compared to the scorching mid-summer heat. Again, just about all the views are the same, and being on a motorcycle during off-peak travel will also mean that the roads are less busy and, therefore, safer. 

3. Pack Smart

Overpacking is a common mistake – now, if you’re in a car, it’s fine. But in a motorcycle, you can’t really afford to overpack – it’s not really possible. Remember, all that weight can affect your motorcycle’s fuel efficiency. Even if you think you need everything – you don’t. You’ll need to pack light to save on fuel and make sure to bring essentials like a basic repair kit, a first-aid kit, and enough weather-appropriate gear to keep you safe and comfortable.

4. Consider Your Accommodation

Are you fine with roadside motels? You could also go for Airbnb, but the pricing for those per night can greatly vary, and they’re usually not in a convenient space like a motel or a hotel is located. In general, it’s usually the accommodation that costs the most during a trip, but you have to find somewhere to stay so do your research in advance and compare prices. It’s often possible to get the same room at the same destination but at a discounted rate when you reserve online or pay in advance.  

5. Eat Like a Local

Eating out can quickly eat up your budget. Instead of dining at tourist traps, look for where the locals eat. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s also a great way to experience the local culture and cuisine. But of course, this isn’t always possible; if you’re only going to be on the main roads, then you’ll most likely only see petrol stations and roadside restaurants, which are usually going to be pricey. So, plan a detour off the motorway and find a local pub or cafe – it’s much more enjoyable to discover a local location, too.

6. Where Do You Plan to Travel To?

So, it’s not just about the season (off-peak versus on-peak) but where you’ll be going. For example, a road trip through Ireland isn’t going to be the same price as a motorcycle trip through Florida. There are a lot of pricing differences such as accommodation, taxes, fuel and goods, and what about if the worst-case scenario happens where you need roadside assistance for your car, a motorcycle accident lawyer or specific travel or vehicle insurance?

This isn’t to say you need to pick the cheapest place; it’s more about being mindful of the extra costs associated with the location. And also how you plan to get there, such as going to another country with your bike. Basically, all of these little decisions can add up and either eat up your savings for this trip or, if you plan cleverly, they won’t impact your budget too much.

7. Keep your vehicle in tip-top shape

So, there are a lot of reasons for this, fuel efficiency just being one of them. Honestly, the last thing you need is to have your bike or car break down in the middle of the road in the middle of nowhere – it’s just a giant nightmare! Because then, multiple extra costs will come up, such as needing it to be towed, fixed, paying for the parts, being stranded in an area for a few days and having to pay for a hotel for multiple days. The list could keep going on and on. So, you’re better off making sure it’s in 100% pristine condition before you start your trip.

I hope these seven tips will help you to plan your next road trip to make sure it’s thrifty, safe and thoroughly enjoyable. Let me know your advice for enjoying a road trip in the comments below and I’d love to know where you’ve travelled to that you’d recommend, especially any scenic or exciting destinations. Please do share. 🙂

Pin it for later

This blog post is an advertisement feature that has been written in collaboration with a sponsor. The pink links in this post indicate a sponsored link 🙂

Share your comments, tips and ideas...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this article:

Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

Take care and stay safe...


Please take care, stay safe and use common sense when following the advice, projects, recipes or ideas from

Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk – so please stay safe!

New to the blog?

Popular posts

More about Cassie

Latest posts

Take care and stay safe...

Please take care, stay safe and use common sense when following the advice, projects, recipes or ideas from

Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk – so please stay safe!


Resources Library

Download free money-saving
checklists, budget planners + ebooks to inspire & motivate you!

+ Top Thrifty Tips Newsletter

A round-up of money-saving
articles & seasonal tips

GDPR Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner