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Home » Live on the Road: How to Budget and Save Money While Traveling

Live on the Road: How to Budget and Save Money While Traveling

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Living on the road can be fun and exciting. It is a prospect that many people dream of, but few decide to pursue. Why? Because life on the road can be tricky. 

If you’re a person that loves traveling, wants to become a digital nomad, or simply looking to spend your retirement days traveling and seeing the world, the freedom of the open road can be an exhilarating experience. However, you can’t live on the road without money. Moreover, managing your finances while living on the road is a daunting challenge. 

But fear not, as there are ways to do it. With some planning and discipline, it’s possible to live on the road and save money simultaneously. In this article, we’ll explore what you need to live on the road and share some tips on budgeting and saving while traveling.

What Do You Need to Live on the Road? 

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of budgeting and saving while living on the road, it’s important to understand what you need to make it come true. First and foremost, you’ll need a vehicle. Those that live on the road prefer RVs, but it can also be any other vehicle, such as a truck, a camper, or your car.

You’ll also need car insurance and plenty of money for fuel and other expenses. Lastly, you’ll need to consider one very important factor – your living standards. Namely, some people live cheaply while others are accustomed to splashing the cash.

Depending on what group you find yourself in, you’ll need to adjust your budget to meet the demands of life on the road. That means stocking up on food, medical supplies, and other essentials to prepare for the journey ahead.

How to Budget and Save While Living on the Road 

Now that you have a general idea of what you need to live on the road, let’s explore some tips on budgeting and saving while traveling.

Plan Ahead 

If the goal is to save money, then you must plan ahead. Planning is a crucial component of life on the road, and it can save you plenty of trouble. In this step, you’ll need to do plenty of research. Research the route you’ll be taking, your finances, expenses, and even special discounts you might encounter while traveling. 

Careful and thorough research of every part of the trip will allow you to plan your every step. You’ll have a first-hand account of all the expenses and will know exactly how much money you’ll need to make the trip successful. 

Cook Your Meals 

Eating out might be out of the question if the goal is to live on the road and have a long journey. For those with no money issues, this step is optional. But for those on a tighter budget, cooking your meals is a great way to save a lot of money while living on the road. 

Since you’ll be making your own meals, you must stock up on groceries. To save money, buy in bulk and shop from retailers to save even more. Also, get a gas stove, as it’s the cheapest and most cost-effective way to cook your meals. 

Use Apps to Find Great Deals 

Another way to live cheaply on the road is to look for great deals while on your adventures. Luckily, we live in an age of technology, and plenty of apps exist to help you find great deals and discounts on essential and non-essential items. For example, apps like HotelTonight and Hotwire can help you find last-minute hotel deals, while GasBuddy can help you find the lowest fuel prices in your area.

Cut Unnecessary Expenses 

Living on the road isn’t cheap – a fact we’ve already established. Life on the road requires individuals to be mindful of their expenses. So, consider cutting back on stuff you don’t need, such as expensive coffee, souvenirs, and luxury items. Instead, focus on free or low-cost experiences, such as hiking, exploring local parks, and visiting museums with free admission.

The great outdoors is sufficient to keep you entertained throughout your journey. 

Consider Work-Traveling

To save money while on the road, consider work-traveling. Work-traveling is the simple practice of working while traveling, similar to being a digital nomad. But given the lifestyle choice, you can try work camping.

Work camping means working at a campground or RV park in exchange for a free or discounted campsite. It’s an excellent way to save money on lodging expenses while also earning some extra income. 

If you’re low on cash, you can also try other things, such as remote weekend jobs, landscaping, fruit picking, etc. 


Living on the road can turn into an incredible adventure. But it’s not as easy as some might think. If you want to achieve the dream of living on the road, you must prepare for it. Such an adventure requires careful planning and budgeting to make it a sustainable lifestyle. By following these tips, you can save money and enjoy the beauty the open road offers. So, remember to plan ahead, cook your meals, use apps to find deals, cut unnecessary expenses, and consider working to supplement your income. 

With a bit of discipline and creativity, living on the road can be an affordable and exciting way of life.


Is it possible to live on the road?

Yes, living on the road is possible through careful planning. As a matter of fact, over a million North Americans are permanently living on the road. To make the adventure long-lasting, you must plan ahead, cook your meals, use apps to find great deals, cut unnecessary expenses, and do side jobs for cash.

How do you live life on the road?

To live your best life on the road, you’ll need a vehicle and learn how to budget and save money. Here are a few things to do:
Plan ahead
Cook your meals
Use apps to find great deals
Cut unnecessary expenses
Consider work-traveling

How can I live on the road for cheap?

To live on the road for cheap, you’ll need a vehicle for sleeping to avoid paying for expensive hotels. But you can also find great deals on accommodations by using apps. Furthermore, you must prepare your own meals and avoid eating out. To make the adventure long-lasting, look for extra work that pays in hard cash, such as work-camping, gardening and other side jobs.

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