For keen travellers of the world or those seeking to explore the past and present of North America, Route 66 is the ultimate road trip. With landscapes diversifying from red dusty deserts to icy alpine ranges, you'll want to explore it all. For this reason, it's vital to formulate a trip budget that allows you to journey the Mother Road in all it's glory, without breaking the bank. Ultimately, how much you're likely to spend on a Route 66 tour depends on your personal tastes and how you like to travel.
How do I budget for a Route 66 tour?
While it's tempting to excitedly plan your trip all in one go, it's important to take time to sit down and think about the sights you want to see, your must-have stops, and how much you're willing to spend on your roadie. Some factors you should consider include:
Consider how you want to experience Route 66
Everyone has different tastes, interests and preferences when it comes to travelling. One man's comfort might be another's luxury. When planning your trip, factor in the activities you'd like to experience while exploring the Mother Road. For example, when detouring to the incomparable Grand Canyon on your voyage, you might choose to book a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter tour in advance. Of course, this will incur a greater cost than for those who are happy to view from land.
Find the deals
Route 66 can absolutely be enjoyed on a budget. In fact, the beauty of booking in advance often means that there are special early bird deals or discounted prices for certain experiences and attractions. A tried-and-true travellers tip is to hunt out the underrated locations. Often, these hidden gems are cheaper in cost, so you'll save while avoiding crowds of tourists.
Do your research
Beyond making provisions for sightseeing excursions, it pays to do your research into what you can expect to spend on your road trip. This includes cultural nuances – for one, tipping is a big thing in the States. A general rule of thumb for travellers is to tip one dollar per drink at a bar, and add a tip between 15 and 20 per cent on your bill at a restaurant.
It's also a great idea to scope out the cities where you'll start and end your tour. If you start in Chicago, for example, you might choose to check out Millennium Park or head to the Adler Planetarium before you set off. Los Angeles, where you'll conclude your road trip, is filled with attractions, including theme parks – if these are on your to-do list, it pays to book in advance.
Choose your method
There are two ways that people generally choose to explore the Mother Road – going it alone, or booking a tour. There are pros and cons to both – creating your own excursion means you can tailor it to your wants. However, you might miss out on secret hot-spots that only a Route 66 veteran would know about.
What are the benefits of booking a Route 66 tour?
For those conscious of spending, or wanting to get the most out of their Route 66 experience, booking a tour is the best way to go. With a pre-established tour, the costs are laid out in front of you, meaning you can budget around it with no nasty surprises or extra costs down the track. Furthermore, a tour guide will know all the highlights of Route 66, so you won't fall into the trap of spending money on an attraction that simply isn't worth the stop.
What are you waiting for? To get your great American road trip into gear, get in touch with the team at Route 66 tours.