If a tight budget brings back memories of uni days where you were fuelled by two-minute noodles and anxiety, a ‘budget’ anything might fill you with a little bit of dread, and that’s okay.

Fortunately, a budget road trip doesn’t have to mean you miss out, neither on great experiences nor culinary delights.

Here’s how to drive around Australia on a budget and still enjoy the adventure of a lifetime.

Plan your route with a road trip planner

The worldwide web is a wild and wonderful thing; use it to plan your road trip ahead of time. This way, you can ensure you’re not wasting kilometres on extraneous routes, you can avoid toll roads, and you can find the best value accommodation – or better yet campsites – along your way.

Book early

It goes with the above; if you plan your trip well in advance, you will have a wider choice of (cheaper) accommodation and can avoid peak holiday periods. So, when the road trip cravings come a-calling, get on to it toot suite.

Save on fuel with fuel apps

Like the internet, your app store abounds in handy tools. Seriously, I’m yet to find an app that can’t solve any life problem. To help plan a budget road trip, find the fuel apps that can show you the cheapest places near you to fuel up.

To help find friends to road trip with you, try Tinder or Bumble. Kidding! I know you have HEAPS of friends…

Is your car road-trip ready?

Do you really want to know how much it costs to get a tow from somewhere on the Nullabor Plain?

Better to leave that a mystery and make sure your car is fully serviced and ready to take on the road before you set off. If you’re hiring a car for your Australian road trip, you can rest assured it will be.

Not exactly a free lunch, but close…

When you’re travelling on a budget, the best things you can do are going to be for free, right? Fortunately, Australia is a pretty darn beautiful country – full of rainforests, national parks, beaches, rivers, lakes, mountains and more. These magnificent things are magnificently free.

Plan your route around these great wonders and you won’t be left wondering how all your money disappeared so fast.

Thanks, I made it myself!

Many travellers know that a large slice of the travel budget usually goes to dining out. It does make sense; after all, one of the best things about exploring new destinations is tasting different cuisines.

Travelling on a budget, though, means that you can’t be trying to decipher a fancy dining menu every night. Do it once or twice if you must, but you can save a lot of cash by buying food from the grocery store and making your own exquisite dishes (noodles, anyone?).

Just stay somewhere with a fully equipped kitchen; check out Airbnbs. Campsites will often have a barbeque area where you can impress your friends with some good ol’ Aussie cuisine.

Why does sunscreen cost so much?

A packing checklist is always a good idea when it comes to travel, but especially so for budget travel. Usually, my mantra is that if you’ve got your credit card and passport, you can buy the rest… but for obvious reasons that doesn’t fly here.

Make a detailed packing list to be sure you won’t have to fork out extra for supplies at some remote and pricey convenience store.

Water, water everywhere

Finally – it’s super simple, but bringing water bottles with you to fill up at water stations and your accommodation is good for both the budget and the environment. So why not?

Find budget road trip bliss with the most affordable car hire in Australia. Talk to the friendly team at Alpha today for great rates at 11 locations nationwide.