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Tiny budget travel tips

When you come to college, textbook rentals are expected and all-nighters are almost planned. But traveling on a college budget is a new, generally unexpected challenge. Rest assured, these small-budget trips can be exciting. Whether you’re driving, backpacking or flying, follow these essential tips and your $5-a-day budget can never go wrong.

Skip the hotel: bring a tent
For new campers, this can be slightly terrifying. But a hotel stay of $100-plus versus an overnight camping stay of $13 is a no-brainer. If backwoods camping doesn’t sound ideal, many campsites have bathrooms and showers. Websites like and can help reduce costs associated with lodging and guide travelers to nearby sights.

Brown bag it
Americans spend an average of $12.75 per meal eating out. By planning ahead, packing a cooler and cooking over a campfire, $8.75 of that total could be saved for more exciting endeavors, like bungee jumping or touring the Corvette factory.

Plan ahead… a little
Contrary to popular belief, cellphones don’t have a data connection all the time, especially when trips venture off the beaten path. Routing the road map and printing directions could save a horrible run-in with the middle-of-nowhere and an empty tank of gas. Sites like list step-by-step directions and estimate the cost of fuel for trips while highlighting points of interest along the way.

Love your vehicle
Before a grand adventure, take the car to a mechanic for a general inspection including an oil change, tire pressure check and fluid check. A little love before will spare a run-in with AAA.

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