Shaun Robinson/Stocksy

The Best Road Trips To Take With Your Friends That Won’t Leave You Broke

By
Ad failed to load

We're all just balling on a budget. Being 20-something can be difficult, purely because you're feeling young, wild, and free, but also bogged down with bills. You want to have adventures, go to happy hours, and make all the memories with your besties, but the funds for fun aren't always there. Like the almost-adult you are, you start choosing cable over Chipotle, and electricity over experiences. You're alive, but are you living? Fortunately, you don't need to be a millionaire to be rich, or take a road trip. The best road trips to take with your friends won't leave you broke, and will be unbelievably beautiful alike.

From national parks to natural wonders, the world is perfect for your wandering soul and not-so-wealthy wallet. There are cities that get some sleep and are still beyond worth seeing, and beaches that will take your breath away.

When we think of traveling, we often think of dropping loads of our savings on plane tickets and places to stay. We forget that sometimes the best trips are those that keep us grounded -- the day-long getaways, slightly-upgraded staycations, and the trips on the roads that might be well-traveled.

Ad failed to load

So, stop counting your cash and start making some memories. These road trips will be worth your time and just a little bit of money, too.

Ad failed to load

1Acadia National Park, Maine

For just $25 per vehicle, you and your friends could have complete access to picturesque woodlands, rocky beaches, and glacier-peaked mountain climbing.

Sitting right on the Atlantic Coast, Acadia National Park is the home to Cadillac Mountain and scenic New England views. It's the perfect spot to start getting back to all sorts of nature -- with full services for camping, hiking, boating, swimming, climbing, and more. Even if you just picnic along one of the many ponds, or take a slightly chilly at Sand Beach, it's worth the road trip and picture possibilities.

2Route 66, Chicago, IL To Los Angeles, CA

Cue up Rihanna's "Desperado," because there's no road trip quite as wild as this Western one. Riding along Route 66 has become something of an American Dream for road trippers. The neon signs, family-owned motels, and roadside scenery take you on a trip through time -- and you'll finish feeling more appreciative of our modern world, having seen it's most original roots.

Nicknamed the "Main Street of America," the drive is more than 2,000 miles long, so prep a really good playlist filled with classic rock and new indie alternative tunes alike. (Maybe some Bob Dylan and Van Halen mixed with The Lumineers?)

The road trip of a lifetime will require a little budgeting for gas money, snacks, or maybe a motel stop or two, but when your bank account has had enough, just hop off the next exit. Nostalgia will have taken you millions of miles away.

3Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Life's a beach -- but when the budget calls, ditch the tropical resort for something equally as sandy and so much more scenic. Great Sand Dunes National Park is the ideal spot for sand sledding, backpacking, and photography. Home to the highest sand dunes in North America, the park is open 24/7 so that visitors can enjoy not just the sandy 'scape, but a panorama of stars as well.

Night owls craving an epic late night adventure should add stargazing or wildlife watching at this national park to the top of their bucket list. You won't want to sleep on what the Colorado night sky has to offer.

Ad failed to load

4Burlington, Vermont

Last summer I hit the road with my mom to see this quaint and artsy city amongst the green mountains. It's a quiet and easy trip up to Lake Champlain, but when you reach the city, you'll be instantly attracted to bustling farmer's markets, restaurants, breweries, and little shops along the Church Street Marketplace.

Vermont is all-in-all pretty remote. Disconnecting isn't difficult when you're driving and lose data connection. Only a day trip away for some New Englanders, I hope you hop in your car and spend just a little time and money on a place so sweet. (Vermont is the home of Ben & Jerry's, after all!)

5Joshua Tree National Park, California

Spend a day in the desert. It's worth every dime.

Two deserts diverge in this hot spot in southern California -- creating a perfect park for your next road trip plans. For just $25 per vehicle, or $40 for a yearly pass, you can have access to a natural playground for camping, stargazing, and rock climbing.

Bring your camera along for the ride, because you'll want to capture every cactus and beautiful piece of bark you pass. Geologists in particular can tell you how much this place rocks, with natural phenomena right at your fingertips.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

Cherry Print Is One Of Summer's Biggest Fashion Trends & It's So Much Sweeter Than Florals

If there's one thing that I've had my eye on this summer it's a cool, flirty cherry-print dress. Along with versatile black tops and blue denim, the color red has become a staple in my wardrobe this year and anytime I can infuse it into my daily look…
By Ariana Marsh

Your Weekly Horoscope Is Here & Your World Is About To Be Filled With Sunshine

If you've had enough of the sleepy and heavy feeling associated with Taurus season, prepare yourself for a replenishing rush of fresh energy. As of May 20, the sun has officially moved into Gemini, and the weight on your shoulders will finally start …
By Roya Backlund

13 Must-Have Experiences You Should Buy In Your 20s, Instead Of A New Couch

Life is one big experience. When you hit your 20s, though, you start getting pulled in the direction of your responsibilities. It isn't totally a bad thing, but you don't want to get so wrapped into adulting that you forget life's zest. Amazing exper…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

I Tried Kim Kardashian's Weird Beauty Obsession & I Can't Stop Taking Selfies

You've been there before: You're scrolling through your Instagram feed when you see your favorite celeb post about their favorite new product — a face serum, vitamins that will make your skin brighter, or a specialty food service. You can't help but …
By Stephanie Montes

Where You Should Vacation This Summer, According To Your Zodiac Sign

Summer is so much more than just sweating in 90 degree weather and enjoying a long, lazy break from school (if you're lucky enough to still be in school). It's a time for making exciting new plans, falling madly and hopelessly in love, opening your m…
By Roya Backlund

Wander or Bust: The Amalfi Coast May Just Be The Most Beautiful Thing You'll Ever See

Wander or Bust is an Elite Daily travel series that follows young women all over the globe to record their journeys as they experience the thrill of the far-flung and unknown. They'll track their budgets, where they stay, where they eat and drink, a…
By Kaylin Pound

6 Brutally Honest Phases Of Life After A Breakup, Because You Will Survive 

If you've ever been through a bad breakup, you know that the struggle is real. For the weeks (or possibly months, if it was a really bad one) that follow, life can be rough, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Don't believe me? Just l…
By Rachel Shatto

Here's How You Can Find Out What Your Aura Color Is

Do you remember that movie Almost Famous? More specifically, the scene where William is trying to have a phone call with his mom, but a clairvoyant Band-Aid keeps shouting "Your aura is purple!" in his face? Well, that was the first time I had ever h…
By Roya Backlund

9 Women In Their 20s Reflect On The Advice They Wish They Had At Graduation

Graduating college can feel seriously scary. You've spent your entire life in school, working and preparing for the moment you enter the real world, but what happens when you get there? What if things don't go totally according to plan? You may have …
By Brittney Morgan

3 Early Signs You Are Going To Have Undeniable Chemistry With Your Crush

I don't know if there's anything better than the excitement of having a new crush — especially when that feeling's reciprocated. The butterflies that rush through your stomach as soon as they enter a room. The electricity that zips through your veins…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Emoji Pool Floats Are Here To Match Every Mood You’re In This Summer

Searching for the perfect poolside accessory to lounge around in this summer? This year’s hottest warm weather water trend isn’t a big floppy hat or designer sunglasses — it’s an emoji pool float. That’s right: Your favorite little digital expression…
By Rachel Murphy

Here's How Your Mood & Your Favorite Music Are Secretly Connected, According To Science

If you're someone who's likely to be found with ear buds in her ears at all times, you might not realize just how often you listen to music, or the ways in which it's really affecting you. From your morning commute to the tunes you blast while you co…
By Caroline Burke

This Is How Long It Takes For A Partner To Really Trust You, According To Experts

Trust is easily one of the most important parts of a healthy relationship, but typically, it's not something that's fully there from the start because it takes some time to build. How long it takes for a partner to trust you is a question that doesn'…
By Tayi Sanusi

7 Things You Forgot To Thank Your High School Friends For & Should ASAP

Friends are a dime a dozen, but a solid, genuine group of girlfriends can be difficult to come by. When you find your tribe, you need to stick with them until the end. For some lucky people, your high school friends have been your besties since day o…
By Rachel Chapman

These 3 Zodiac Signs Will Have The Best Week, So Bask In The Glory

It's officially the second week of May, and the warmth of spring has finally arrived. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the bright weather is allowing everyone to finally break out their favorite pair of shorts. If you think the gorgeou…
By Roya Backlund

7 Men Reveal What Attracted Them To Their Last Crush & They'll Make You Swoon

He reminded me of Nate Archibald from Gossip Girl. That's legitimately what I found appealing about my most recent crush. Sorry, but it doesn't get any deeper than that. In other instances though, when I'm not trying to live out my lustful, adolescen…
By Sydnee Lyons

A Relationship Expert Reveals His Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide

"Long-distance relationships are extremely relaxing and easy to navigate," said no one in a long-distance relationship ever. Whether you are bicoastal babes or a quick two-hour train ride apart, distance makes the heart grow fonder, but it also makes…
By Kimmy Foskett

How To Start Reading Tarot When You Have No Clue Where To Begin

I've been practicing tarot almost daily as part of my self-care routine for years. My favorite part of the day is putting on a face mask, pouring myself a blushing mimosa or some coffee, busting out a few crystals, and sitting down to spend a little …
By Minerva Siegel

7 Questions You Should Be Able To Answer About Your Life By The Time You Hit 30

Nobody has all of the answers in life, but you're probably pretty proud of yourself for how far you've come. Somewhere along the way, some of us got the hang of adulting and began to appreciate the unexpected things that come with being 20-something.…
By Marisa Casciano
)}