When it comes to exploring America, there is no better way than to hit the road. And as a student, when you’re low on cash and high on the vigour to explore new places, there is nothing better than affordable road trips. The US has everything you’d want- sandy beaches, conifer-clad mountains, crystal clear lakes and otherworldly views, and when you go for a road trip, chances are you’ll get to explore most of these places. So pack your bags, tie your hair up and get the wheels running because we’re here with a list of the 5 most affordable road trips across the US for students to help you plan your next holiday:
1. Route 66
For students in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Texas and California
One of the most popular road trips in the United States for a road trip is the historic route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica. The beauty of this road trip is that you customize and make it as short or as long as you want. And if you’re on a budget, this flexible road trip will give you ample chances to camp in Arizona, eat at roadside cafes and travel at a minimal cost. And if you’re looking to save some more money on gas and rented car, try apps like GasBuddy and Turo. Some of the best things to explore on this route are the Mississippi river, the Petrified forest, Mojave Desert, Painted Desert and if you’re ready to take a slight detour- the Grand Canyon.
2. Route 1
For students in Florida, Georgia, Carolina, the Mid-Atlantic region and New England
If you’re a student living in Florida, take a road trip from the Florida Keys to Maine if you have 2-3 days to take a break. This 545-mile long route is filled with some very exquisite views of the Atlantic coast and the blue ocean. And if you’re a beach bum, this road trip will be one you will never forget. With beaches like Daytona, Cocoa, Plam and Miami, you will be hopping from one beach to another all days. This combined with the cheap camping options along the way makes this road trip one of the best ones for students in the US.
3. Pacific Coast Highway 1
For students in Los Angeles, Central Coast and San Francisco
As the name suggests, this route runs along the Pacific coast, from Seattle to San Diego and serves stunning views of the blue ocean. What it doesn’t tell you is that it also runs from some huge cities and gives you a chance to explore these twinkling concrete jungles. You can either complete this entire trip in 5-7 days or choose to go for smaller stretches like Crescent City to San Diego or San Francisco to San Diego. The best bit about this road trip is that it gives you a chance to camp in the mountains in places like Carmel, and go whale watching. Don’t miss out on the beautiful panoramic views of the ocean from Bixby Bridge! And if you’re looking to hire a car for this trip on a budget, try Student Universe.
Psst. Students living in San Francisco, check out this awesome city guide.
4. Lewis & Clark Trail
For students in Missouri, Iowa, and Oregon
The coast, mountains, plains, cities and everything in between- this route from Illinois to Oregon has it all. You can spend anywhere between 3 days to a couple of weeks covering up this route. You will have the option to explore places like Knife River Indian Village, Nez Perce National Historical Park, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, a part of the Pacific Coast Highway and Cape Disappointment State Park. The route also homes several affordable motels and camping sites for you to stay in.
5. Washington’s Olympic Peninsula
For students in Seattle and Aberdeen
One of the most popular and the most affordable road trips in the US, the Olympic Peninsula offers the most beautiful views of falls, forests, beaches and mountains. Running from Port Angeles to Aberdeen on Highway 101, this trail is home to some of the most breathtaking forests and lakes in the country. Some of these are Lake Quinault, Ruby Beach, Sol Duc Falls and Hoh Rain Forest which is one of the largest temperate rain forests in the US. You can choose to camp at various sites along the route and save money having breakfasts at the affordable cafes and restaurants along the highway.
So what are you waiting for? Get planning for the next road trip, we know you really need it after a year of online schooling!