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Budget Breakdown: Yellowstone edition

Budget Breakdown: Yellowstone edition
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In early August my fiance and I embarked on our first, romantic road trip together! (Earlier in the year, we had road tripped earlier with friends and family). We decided to embark on a western road trip stopping in Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks. We stayed out in the wilderness for 10 days. 

Here’s a breakdown of what we spent while on the road:

Gas: $500

We drove over 3,900 miles on our trip. Not maybe ideal for every traveler, but we were OK putting some extra miles on one of our vehicles. It saved on cost because ultimately you’re going to need a car to venture through these national parks. 

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Lodging: $100, $10 per night

We lucked out, and with certain access passes, you received a discount on campground rates inside national parks as well. For us, that meant camping only cost $10 a night. That’s a steal of a deal! You can’t even camp in a national forest for that cheap.

If camping isn’t your thing, you can stay at many Airbnbs and VRBOs near the national park. (Use my Airbnb referral code to redeem $40 off your stay.) 

Attractions: $10

My fiance and I are Access Pass owners and don’t have to pay admission to the three national parks we visited. The only admission that we had to pay was at Mount Rushmore, which was one $10 per car and is valid for an entire year. That’s a steal! 

For more information on national park access passes and to see whether you qualify, check out the National Park Service’s website.

Food: $200

We bought a lot of our food ahead of time at the grocery store. We purchased fresh fruits and veggies so we could have a semi-healthy lifestyle while on the road. This total also includes purchasing matches, paper plates, camp fuel, etc. 

Firewood: $40

We weren’t able to have campfires at Glacier National Park because of the high fire risk. Luckily we had a camp stove and could have hot meals! At Yellowstone we filled grilled some s’mores over an open flame and went through quite a few bundles. We were able to purchase bundles of wood for $7 outside the park in West Yellowstone at the grocery store. Inside the park, firewood cost about $8 and the bundles were smaller. We didn’t camp at Grand Teton, so I’m not sure if you can build fires there or not. 

Souvenirs: $75

I usually don’t include this sections in my budget breakdowns, but out of reader curiosity, I will start doing so! We only purchased a t-shirt, sweatshirt, Christmas ornament and fridge magnet on this trip. We collect magnets and ornaments, so we’re always picking those up. But we decided to splurge and get a t-shirt and sweatshirt on this trip as well.

The souvenir price will not be included in the grand total. 

GRAND TOTAL: $850 for 10-days, average of $85 per day

What we would’ve done differently

The only area that we could’ve saved on is food. For us, we had decided beforehand that we would like to eat more extravagant dinners and treat ourselves to ice cream instead of following a strict budget. Otherwise, this is realistically the only area that we could’ve saved on.

The trip was perfect and a great way to bookend our summer!

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