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Budgeting for Your Post-Camp Road Trip

Planing a road trip after your time at camp comes to an end? Find out how to afford to travel when the time comes.

Author: Camp Leaders
05 Jan 16:24

Planning a road trip after your time at camp comes to an end?

Best. Idea. Ever.

You’ve got flights home sorted already, so spending some time exploring before heading home is a no-brainer. But working out the complicated costs involved in the road trip itself can be a bit of a minefield. You’ll need to figure out a route and places to stay, where you’ll eat, how you’ll get from place to place…

Here’s where our good friends at TrekAmerica come in. With their group adventures, the ‘big costs’ are covered as part of your trip, making it much easier to budget!


It just wouldn’t be a road trip without time on the road – but hiring a car can come in pricey, especially if you’re under 25 in the States. You could opt for train travel or coaches, but that’s a lot of logistics. Joining a group tour, however, the transport is taken care of for you as you sit back and enjoy the views. The only concern you’ll have is which songs to add to the van playlist…


Accommodation adds up when you’re road tripping, even if you’re staying in budget hotels. While you’re on a TrekAmerica tour, all of this is taken care of for you, but you may need to budget for any pre- and post- tour hotel nights at either side of the tour.

Food & Drink

On a TrekAmerica camping-based tour, it’s easy to keep costs down with the daily ‘food kitty’. At the beginning of your tour, you pay $10 per day to your tour leader, to cover the costs of all food when camping. Easy! The kitty will cover breakfast, most lunches on the road and dinner when you’re at camp – but we’d advise adding $10-15 a day for snacks and drinks.

For budget lodging and hotel nights, costs will vary depending on your tastes and bargain hunting skills. As a rough guide, we recommend you budget an average of US$50 per day to cover meals (where not included), snacks, drinks, tips and general spending.


After being out in the States a while at camp, the idea of tipping will become second nature, as it’s a normal and expected part of their culture. This includes your tour leader – we advise putting $5-7 per day aside for this.

Optional Activities

As well as some included activities, there are also loads of optional extras to make your tour even more special. We’d recommend checking out your itinerary, noting down the cost of everything you think you might like to do. Easy!

General Spending

This one’s all about you! Everyone’s different, so if you’re a souvenir buyer or a clothes shopping addict, take that into account.


Chances are, something will pop up along the way that you’ll need a bit of extra cash for. We’d recommend putting an extra $50-$100 per week aside for anything unexpected. And if you’ve got cash left at the end, you’ll have one big blow-out final night in store!

TrekAmerica run small group road trips in North, South and Central America and Canada. If you’ve got any questions about budgeting for their trips, they’re always happy to help you get on the road!

Camp Leaders
With over 20 years of J1 travel experience, the Camp Leaders team has the answers to almost anything you can think of. We're here to help you sort your ultimate J1 adventure - feel free to ask us anything.

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