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9 Essential Items For a Budget-Friendly Road Trip

9 Essential Items For a Budget-Friendly Road Trip

Road trips are typically a budget-friendly way to travel, offering plenty of flexibility along the way. With a little planning, you can easily avoid mindless purchases that can drain your resources quicker than planned – a coffee here, a bottle of water there, and so on.

If you’re looking to keep the adventure as affordable as possible, consider packing these 9 essential items for a budget-friendly road trip!

1. Reusable water bottle.

There are plenty of places to grab some (free) H2O on your road trip that buying water along the way is completely unnecessary! Save a few bucks by packing a reusable water bottle and filling it up at public taps and fountains in places like visitor centers, campgrounds, beaches, department stores, gas stations, and so on.

2. Tea & coffee.

Every driver needs a little caffeine, but getting your fix doesn’t have to mean opening your wallet. Pack your favorite tea bags with you, and fill up your mug with boiling water at gas stations or fast food restaurants. For the coffee lovers, pack a reusable coffee filter and fresh ground coffee. Simply add ground coffee to the filter, steep in boiling water, and enjoy!

3. Snacks & meals.

There are plenty of food options that are easy to store and will keep you full for your journey ahead. Think simple, portable snacks, like granola bars, trail mix, apples, bananas, grapes, muffins, yogurt cups, oatmeal, crackers, and cheese. If you bring along a portable stove, you have plenty of simple cooking options, including bacon and eggs, sausages, chilli, soup, and so on.

If you need to purchase a few things, discover 9 healthy snack ideas and where to find them on the road.

4. Cooler & ice.

A cooler is the best (i.e. simplest!) way of preserving all your edibles. There are electric coolers that can be plugged into your car, or you can go the traditional route of a cooler with ice. Regardless, you’ll be happy you have one!

5. Thermos and/or compact mug.

A thermos is perfect for extending the life of your tea and coffee, as well as some of your warm meals like soup and chilli. If you don’t have one, be sure to pack a compact mug that can double as a bowl for breakfast cereals, soups, and so on.

6. Portable stove.

There are plenty of options for portable stoves that mean hot food is always close by. Depending on the number of people on your trip, opt for either a single or a two-burner stove, a cast iron pan, and the proper fuel. These are a few items that take up little room and will make a big difference in your comfort and culinary options on the road.

7. Utensils.

If you’re going to cook, remember to pack things like a fork, spoon, knife, and so on. For the sake of convenience, toss in a small, light cutting board, as well as a pocket knife (always a handy tool to have around!).

8. Car phone charger.

Okay, so this one might be less of a budget saver and more of a convenience, but a car phone charger can be a hugely important tool. At some point on your trip you’re likely to use your phone for GPS and mapping functionality, and maybe even a call, text, or email or two. It’s best to always have a charge in case of emergency.

9. Travel apps.

There are plenty of great apps to help with travel planning, but some of them will also help save you some dollars. Use apps like GasBuddy to find the best gas prices around, or AroundMe to save time when looking for the nearest drug store, washroom, and so on. Discover 10 travel apps for your next road trip.

Itching to hit the road? Find InTown Suites’ extended stay properties on the road; your home away from home during your next great adventure.

And before you go… run through your pre-road trip checklist, and build an inventory of 15 essential things to keep in your car.