TikTok / @travel.w.lex
- High gas prices have some Americans reconsidering their summer road trip plans.
- In a viral TikTok, Lexi Laube recorded the cost of her 54-hour road trip from Minneapolis to Colorado.
- She told Insider she balanced out her $750 gas bill by carpooling, camping, and packing groceries.
Record-breaking gas prices across the US haven’t killed the summer road trip. At least not for 22-year-old Lexi Laube, a part-time barista and content creator from Minneapolis.
While inflation has forced some Americans to reconsider their summer travel plans, Laube set out on a week-long road trip in early June to visit national parks in Colorado and Utah with her younger brother and friend.
When they returned, she posted a TikTok breaking down the total cost of the trip. It currently has 158,000 views and 18,000 likes.
“In college, I wanted to travel a lot more than I could afford to, so I just learned how to travel cheap,” Laube said in an interview with Insider. “I didn’t know there would be this much interest in it.”
Laube, who shares cheap travel tips with her 423,000 followers on the video-sharing app, grew up going on road trips with her mother. She said the no-frills trips helped inspire her to push back on the idea that traveling is only for the wealthy.
“I still think road tripping in many ways is cheaper than flying somewhere,” she said. “Especially if you’re trying to travel really cheap … if you want, you can tent out or stay in your car.”
How much money they spent during a week-long road trip
“It’s really not as expensive as it seems,” Laube told Insider. “The gas does add up though if you’re by yourself.”
Courtesy of Lexi Laube
Before hitting the road, Laube knew she wanted to keep the trip under $400 each and that gas would be the biggest expense by far.
In order to put a limit on how many miles the trio could afford to drive, she estimated that her friend’s car could drive 350 miles for every $50 spent on gas. For food, Laube said they packed a cooler full of groceries and only ate out at restaurants twice.
They were able to save the most money by camping out or sleeping in the car at night, Laub told Insider. She found most of the campsites through the app FreeRoam.
“I definitely think the key is traveling with other people,” she added. “This wouldn’t have been nearly as doable if I wasn’t in a group.”
Here’s the breakdown of Laube’s personal expenses totaling $371.66, according to iPhone notes and bank account screenshots shared with Insider.
54 hours of driving & a week long trip 🥰 follow for cheap travel tips! 🙂
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Day 1 & 2: Overnight drive from Minneapolis to Great Sand Dunes and Zapata Falls in Colorado
- Gas: $50
- Groceries: $14
- Dining out: $24
- Total: $88
Day 3 & 4: Drive three hours to Garden of the Gods and six hours to Arches National Park
- Gas: $50
- Groceries: $10
- Dining out: $9
- Park entrance fees: $10 per person
- Total: $79
Day 5: Drive five hours to Zion National Park
- Food and coffee: $9 each
- Park entrance fees: $35 per car ($11.66 per person)
- Parking: $10 per person
- Total: $30.66
Day 6: Drive 16 hours to Badlands National Park
- Gas: $100
- Groceries: $24
- Total: $124
Day 7: Drive 7 hours back to Minneapolis
- Gas: $50
Total: average of $360 per person