Tips & Q&As Travel

Seven Week Road Trip Costs – Tips for Staying on a Budget

  • October 9, 2018

So many people have asked us how we managed to travel for seven weeks this summer with our kids. We got questions like: “Are you teachers?”, “Are you independently wealthy?” (We laughed at that one!), “How are you doing this?” was another common question. So here it goes. This is how we did it!

First off — We are not teachers, but we do work remotely as consultants in our respected fields. I work for an IT company doing Industry Analyst Relations. Other than traveling for meetings, my job can pretty much be done anywhere as long as I have a phone and internet connection. My husband does film, branding and story work for primarily non-profits. His job was definitely harder to do on the road, and we both took a hit in terms of our normal income over the two months. This trip took a lot of advanced planning and coordinating of home exchanges and camping spots. So if you are planning to do a longer road trip, I suggest giving yourself at least six months of time to get things booked.

portland water fountain
Tip: look for fun free activities in cities. Portland has lots of these water fountain play areas that are great for beating the heat

To ensure we stayed on budget we did a few major things:

-We did home exchanges — saving probably somewhere in the range of 3-5K (vs. hotels or Airbnb)

-We camped – we did camping stays in four locations.

-We did mostly free outdoor activities like hiking, biking and river and lake adventures.

-We cooked a lot! I love to cook so this was not a bad thing. We often loaded up on local produce and made some amazing meals.

Even though we were on a budget, we did NOT suffer. We ate out at fun restaurants, we did wine tasting, and went to 12 breweries. We ate ice cream EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. We did nightly happy hour with amazing cheese and local fruit.  (Did I mention I gained 5 pounds? It was worth it — currently getting back into fighting shape, ha!) We hiked, biked, floated and canoed. In our home exchanges we watched lots of movies on Netflix and we played games.

ice cream in portland
Daily ice cream – Sucked up a lot of our budget lol

Our Total Trip Cost for 7 weeks was: $4,870 — This includes food, gas, eating out, travel adventures, camping and lodging cost, and misc.  — I think its pretty amazing – if you break that down it was 695$ a week!

Eating out/ Restaurants: $1,214

Gas: $790

Camping: $300

Groceries: $1,971

Travel expenses (like canoeing etc): $575

I am so glad we did this road trip — I can’t wait to do another one. If you are interested in learning more about our trip, read this post I did a few weeks back. 

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