Budget Winter Road Trips

US budget road trip

The United States in winter is an unmissable road trip venture. From New York to Montreal and the stunning Pacific Coast Highway, there are some road trips in the US that you have to go on at least once in your life. Although the U.S. is known to be an expensive place to visit, it's possible to go on a budget road trip. From some handy money-saving tips, to the perfect road trips to go on, VroomVroomVroom is here to make those road trip dreams you have a magical winter reality.

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Money saving tips

  • Hire a fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive: There's no doubt that a road trip means that you will be driving long distances. Hire a car like a Subaru Outback that is fuel efficient and a great size.
  • Look for budget-friendly ski resorts: Alpine Meadows in California, Ski Cooper in Colorado and Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana are amazing budget-friendly ski resorts.
  • Give hostels a go: As we all know, hostels are significantly cheaper than hotels. If you are stopping in overnight somewhere, consider trying them out.
  • Hire a campervan: Transport + accommodation all in one = a big money saver. All you need to do is find a place to park overnight - easy!
  • Cook your own food: If you have a campervan with kitchen amenities - make the most of them. Campsites and some hotels may also come with places you can cook your own food.
  • Plan ahead: Research your road trip. From places to stay to how long you will be in each area - make sure you have a plan. If you don't, you could be wasting money on expensive accommodation, food and fuel.

Recommended winter road trip routes

Pacific Coast Highway

bixby bridge and coastline at big sur

Although the West Coast of America doesn't see as much snow as other areas, this road trip has the perfect balance between, city and nature and hot and cold temperatures. Starting off in Seattle, you will be able to witness winter at its best. From there you will travel down the coast to see the iconic Yosemite National Park, amazing San Francisco and Malibu, ending your trip in L.A.

Road trip route:

  1. Seattle
  2. Portland
  3. Napa Valley and Lake Tahoe
  4. Yosemite National Park
  5. San Francisco
  6. Monterey
  7. Pismo Beach
  8. Malibu
  9. Los Angeles

Road trip tip: Did you know that you can purchase a National Park Pass that allows you access to countless national parks all over the U.S.?For 12 months, you are able to use your pass to see some of the most stunning scenery in the world and save money at the same time.

L.A. to Lake Tahoe

lake tahoe sierra nevada california

Perfect for a romantic getaway, L.A. to Lake Tahoe is a winter wonderland. Go skiing, discover Emerald Bay State Park, see the Desolation Wilderness and check out the town that borders Nevada and California.

Road trip route:

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Death Valley
  3. Lone Pine
  4. Mammoth Lakes
  5. Lake Tahoe

Road trip tip: Lake Tahoe is home to an endless array of amazing accommodation options. Book well in advance for a large selection of places to stay and for cheaper choices as well.

New York to Montreal

snowing winter at boston

Technically this road trip includes Canada however, this drive is too good not to include! Taking about six to seven hours on Interstate 87, there are some awesome places to stop along the way. From the dreamy New York City to Boston and even the interesting Burlington - you will be in awe of the winter scenery here.

Road trip route:

  1. New York City
  2. Long Island
  3. Cape Cod
  4. Boston
  5. Maine
  6. Mount Washington
  7. Burlington
  8. Montreal

Road trip tip: In places such as New York City and Montreal, it can be difficult to find places to park your hire car. Make sure to do your research to find budget friendly parking options to ensure you aren't faced with unexpected costs or even fines.

Orlando to Key West

aerial view of miami beach at sunset

Looking to escape the cold this winter? A road trip from Orlando to Key West is where you will want to be. Averaging around 70 degrees fahrenheit you can still enjoy all that is on offer. From the epic Universal Studios to South Beach in Miami and the coral reefs in Key West, this road trip is perfect for those trying stay warm this this winter.

Road trip route:

  1. Orlando
  2. Miami
  3. Key West

Road trip tip: Visiting Florida in its 'off' season is the best way to save some cash. This time of the year is still warm enough to enjoy the area to its fullest and explore to your hearts content.

Blue Ridge Parkway

linn cove viaduct blue ridge parkway

From Virginia to North Carolina, Blue Ridge Parkway is filled with awe-inspiring scenery. From charming towns to world-class hikes, you'll want to make sure you bring your camera on this road trip. Depending on how long you want to spend and explore Blue Ridge Parkway, your trip may range between three to six days.

Road trip route:

  1. Charlottesville
  2. Roanoke Mountain
  3. Linville Falls
  4. Asheville

Road trip tip: The most scenic time to visit Blue Ridge Parkway is fall. However, by going right at the beginning of winter, you can still experience the stunning golden tones that cover the parkway (plus the roads aren't as busy).

L.A. to Zion National Park

zion national park in winter utah

If you are after a road trip filled with national parks, hikes and endless scenery then you need to go on the road trip from L.A. to Zion National Park. Once you reach Zion, make sure to check out Canyon Overlook Trail, Kolob Canyon, The Subway, Angel's Landing, West Rim Trail and the Narrows.

Road trip route:

  1. L.A.
  2. Las Vegas
  3. Valley of Fire
  4. Zion National Park

Road trip tip: Avoid tourist traps and focus on exploring nature instead. By doing this, you will be able to discover some of the best scenery in the world and stick to your budget.

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