I’m back from my four-day road trip to Georgia and while I’m glad to be back home, I admit I still wish I was sleeping in that little cabin in the middle of the woods.

On this trip I was able to explore downtown Atlanta, take a trip into the mountains to go horseback riding, visit Stone Mountain, experience a Wild Safari zoo ride, and more. We stayed in a comfortable cabin during a half-off special, rented a full-sized car, paid for gas and food, and still managed to spend less than an average round trip plane ticket. How did I do it? Simple: I went with a group of friends.

Our little cottage

The beauty of going on a road trip with four other people is that everything gets split up evenly. It’s not a huge secret or an amazing reveal, but I love its simplicity. The fact of the matter is that things are a lot more affordable when everyone shares some part of the cost. And the more people the better.

Here’s the breakdown of what was spent these four days:

  1. Cabin for 5 for three nights and four days: $177
  2. Full-sized rental car: $311 (Note that $100 of this cost was an underage fee. If you’re between the ages of 21-24, you get charged a fee. In this case we were charged $25 extra a day.)
  3. Gas: $105
  4. Groceries: $30

Total Cost: $623

Split up into five people the total came out to: $124.60

I spent about $25 eating out, $35 horseback riding, $20 for the Wild Safari, $9 for the mountain trip, and $25 in miscellaneous items. My total cost for the trip? About $230. If I would have bought a round trip ticket to Atlanta I would have spent about $275 (or more), and that’s without the added costs of the rental car, gas, groceries, and cabin.

Of course, I didn’t have to go on those tourist excursions or spend money eating out, but I could afford those things (I saved $250 for the trip) so I took advantage and enjoyed every second. I tried to save money in other ways. For example, I took pictures with my camera instead of buying souvenirs or post cards. If I had leftovers while eating out I would save them for lunch or dinner later on in the day, and instead of going out and watching movies we brought a bunch of DVD’s with us.

Overall I think I did pretty well for myself. I had a blast and I saved a lot of money in the long run just by renting a car and going with a group of friends.

How do you usually save money while traveling? Have you ever split costs between a group before and saved big?