Travel isn’t free, but you can help the budget along by filling your itinerary with as many free
things as possible. Road trips are amazing because they are so naturally full of adventure.
Adventure may cost you, but what it rarely does is charge you. You can have the time of your
life on the open road and pay very little out of your pocket. I’ll leave the gas fill-ups and the meal stops up to you. In between those necessary breaks, here are some free road trip ideas to keep your vacation as cheap as possible.
Free Road Trip Stops and Suggestions for the Budget Traveler
This is arguably the point of a road trip. There are so many scenic byways to take all around the
country. From Ocean Drive Rhode Island to the Pacific Coast Highway You can take your pick
of view including the desert landscape of New Mexico and the mountain peaks of Montana.
Coastal views, lakes, canyons, and more wait just for you to find them on your way. Try routes
that offer a lot to look at from your car without requiring you to stop. Some roads have natural
and manmade works of art to marvel at as you drive by. Like the weird, but nonetheless famous
Seven Magic Mountains. It’s not Bryce Canyon, but it’s… colorful?
When you travel to more famous places like The Grand Canyon, take a detour to seek out less
popular free locations that are also stunning, such as Horseshoe Bend in Page, AZ. There are
lots of places you can stop where you don’t have to pay and you can still take in some sights
and enjoy the outdoors. When you plan your road trip, use an app to find the best places you
can go with no admission or parking fee.
When you roll into town, wherever you are, look for the museums. Make it a part of your trip
planning to find out what days and hours the local museums offer free admission. Almost every
museum in the world has a free day of some sort. Many destinations in America are steeped in
history. The best places for American history are on the east coast, New England, and the Deep
South have tons of history. Native American History Museums are all across the country. Follow
the trails of pioneers to find tributes along the way. Some places have niche museums
dedicated to random collections. Others boast impressive art displays. Find the ones that you
don’t have to pay for during your stint in the city.
Take a Downtown Stroll
Another thing to do while you’re stopped in a particular city is to explore the downtown area on
foot. Do some window shopping and experience the culture right in the midst of the hustle and
bustle. You can also lookup where you can get free samples and other stuff in your temporary
city on the Foursquare City Guide. When you make your way around town on foot, you get to
absorb and appreciate more of the city around you and you never have to pay a cent, unless
you have to pay for parking, but there’s an app for that, too.
Stretch Your Legs at the Public Parks
Finally, while you are off the road and away from nature, seek out public parks. They are an
excellent free place to stop and regroup, plot the next leg of your journey, or just give your legs
a stretch. They’re also usually a great place for a barbecue or a picnic which is a huge money
saver when you are away from home. If you stopped at Whole Foods for the free samples,
maybe buy a few things to make a sandwich instead of ordering curbside pickup at the local