If you’re between jobs or feel stuck at your current position, consider hitting the road. Maybe you’ll have better luck in a new city. If not, keep moving until you do.Store Your Stuff
To make long-term travel affordable, you need to cut your bills. This means cancelling all subscriptions, utilities and even your rent or mortgage payment. If you can’t get out of the lease or sell your house because of financial constraints, sublease it.
You also need a place to store your stuff. Ask friends and family if they have space in their garages, yards, basements, attics or closets. Anything you can’t store for free, you’ll have to either rent a storage space ($20-200/month) or sell/donate. Be sure to keep a receipt for tax purposes on any donations.
Prepare Your Vehicle
You need a running vehicle. Air conditioning, radio and other accessories are secondary to a mechanically sound ride. If you don’t trust your current vehicle to drive across the country at 80/mph, trade up. Either way, keep up on the maintenance, and check your tire condition before every trip.
Remember Gas and Parking
Your three biggest concerns when living on the road are affording gas, finding a place to park and recharging your gadgets. A day of driving will cost you anywhere from $50-$300, and you’ll need to park eventually. Parking your car uses no gas, but you’ll need to occasionally run the engine to charge your devices.
In major cities, gas is normally cheaper, but parking is a premium. In more rural areas, you can often park on the side of the road, but you’ll spend upwards of 20 cents extra per gallon. When planning destinations, pay close attention to free places to park and routes that use gas most efficiently to see everything you want to see.
Plan for Eating and Recharging
Electrical outlets aren’t easy to find outside your home or office, but you can usually find them when visiting restaurants. Eating out at local holes in the wall can get pricey ($10-20 per meal), but you find a free place to sit, eat, recharge your electronics and even surf the web.
Your budget will limit eating out between once a week and once a month. Keep hydrated, and buy bulk protein powder, trail mixes, peanut butter and bread. For $20, you can eat for 10 days.
Traveling is an adventure where you learn about yourself by immersing yourself in other cultures. It’s difficult to find both time and money, but if you’re willing to take the leap and have an adventure on a budget, it can be accomplished. Map out a destination you’ve always wanted to visit and just drive there for a week. Each week you travel, you learn something new and are better prepared for next time.