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  • Chloe Chapdelaine

The Biggest Unaccounted for Road Trip Cost


Jam the trunk full, crank the tunes, pit stop at McDonalds, and you’re off! WOOHOO

You know when you’re feeling spontaneous and decide to just randomly hop in the car and drive for hours? I don’t know about you but I do it all the time.

Even though I feel like it won’t cost me much, somehow my bank account always lets out a little sob when I get back. Why? Well let me tell you.

On quick day trip roadies, all you really need to think about in terms of cost is this:

  • Gas? Fill the tank ($$)

  • Food? Pack ahead of time to save costs (or just live off of McDoubles like me) ($)

  • Excursions? Plan the trip out ahead of time so you don’t need to hire a guide

  • Snacks? Although you’d assume this would fit under food, snacks are a whole extra story. Pack more than you’d expect!!

  • Socks? A good hike with bad socks is always a bad idea. Save yourself some blisters by not needing to buy a pair halfway through your trip ($)

  • Staying overnight? Use AirBNB or Hotwire for a flash deal. ($$$)

And that’s it! Right?


On (several) occasions, this tiny accidental mistake has caused the trip to multiply drastically in cost.

You know when you’re in a great conversation with your friends

and you’re just loving life and the music,

oh the music,

it’s so upbeat and happy,

then you look at the scenery and wow,

you’re just so amazed this is where you are

and you finally feel free,

and as you scan the scenery looking for animals you suddenly you see some really pretty lights

But wait

The lights are in your rear view mirror... and they’re blue and red.

And then suddenly you realize you may have been cruising slightly over the speed limit, and that “cheap” day trip will suddenly cosy about $200 more.

Yeah. That sucks. But you know what? It happens.

(In my case several times).

So my greatest piece of financial advice on road trips is:

  1. Don’t speed unless you’re really willing to risk it (I find cops seem to cluster around tourist areas).

  2. Before you leave, always be sure that if something (such as getting a speeding ticket) were to hypothetically happen, you won’t be in a deficit by the time you get home.

  3. Obey road signs because you’re not only saving wildlife, you’re also saving your bank account.

And that’s it!


Chloë :)


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