We live on the road for around 5 months. Neither one of us makes tons of money, so many people often ask how we made it work? Here are some tips for traveling cheap or living on the road for a long duration.
Make Your Only Expenses Be Variable (Food & Gas)
You have to give up luxury to travel like this on a really cheap budget. Otherwise, you will see your expenses add up quick. If you have the money to spend, great. We didnt. So, our only costs included gas & food. These were the unavoidables. Anything else could be deleted. Yes, we spent a few bucks on other things, but not much. For instance, once, we spent $2.00 on a shower because it had been a while.
Never Pay for Water
By using a filter system, we were able to filter our water the whole trip. We could use this water for drinking & cooking, etc. We had to be vigilant to make sure we filtered lots of water when there was a water source available. A few times, we assumed there would be another water source & found ourselves “up a creek,” or not.
Never Pay for Lodging (Place to Sleep or Camp)
We built a bed in the back of our Ford Escape so we could sleep in it, if needed. However, most of the time we camped in our tent. We found camping spots in National Forest & other public lands, for FREE. So, we never paid for lodging. What this meant was that we would have to be prepared for almost all weather conditions (except extreme winter, because this was from about May to October) but we would get to see some of the most amazing places out there! Perfect tradeoff!
Never Pay for Fun (Have Cheap Hobbies)
If you want to do things during your travels that cost a lot of money, you wont be able to afford “fun” for long. This means many of the popular tourist attractions are out. We passed on most of these. However, we did purchase a National Park Pass so that we could go into U.S. National Parks & Lands on an unlimited basis. This cost ~$80.00 & it’s totally worth it. Otherwise, Wilderness Areas are free and offer some scenery that is just as amazing as the National Parks and often less crowded.
Of Course, DO Have a Small Safety Net
We were lucky. We had almost no issues along the way. There were only minor bumps that forced us to dig into our pockets. One of those was an issue with our cigarette lighter. For safety reasons & so we could pump our tires in case of a flat, we got it fixed.