Lonely Planet Writer

Tight on leave and money? Discover the best road trip for your budget and holiday time

Hitting the pavement on a road trip can be the ultimate way to see a new destination. So travellers looking for a bit of inspiration for their next journey can use a new tool that will help plan the perfect road trip based on time and budget.

Trollstigen twisty mountain road in Norway.
Trollstigen twisty mountain road in Norway. Image by ©Natalia Eriksson/500px

Price comparison site GoCompare.com has created a road trip calculator tool that allows users to compare 48 different road trips from around the world based on price, driving distance, the local weather and how much time you have to complete your trip.

The tool can be set to include the price of flights to the start of the trips, which are all around the world. From there, it will help you narrow down exactly where you want to take your next road trip with information like the the local driving laws, cost of hiring a vehicle, average amount to spend a day on food, how many stops along the way and more.

Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria.
Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria. Image by ©Arto Hakola/500px

For travellers looking for good weather, the Oman Circle provides an average temperature of 25.6°C and incredible views of deserts, cave systems and more. If you want to stay dry, the trip that has the least amount of rain is the road to Mount Nebo in Jordan, a spot that is said to be the final resting place of Moses.

Cabot Trail Highway in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Cabot Trail Highway in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. Image by ©Vadim.Petrov/Shutterstock

For people looking for something a bit cooler, they can head to the Cabot Trail and Powder Highway in Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Canada. While temperatures can drop below zero, there is a lot of wildlife and scenery to enjoy and the region is known for its incredible fall colours. Iceland’s Ring Road gets the most rain, but it will take you around the country to see volcanic craters, lava fields, snow-capped mountains and deep blue fjords.

Boxy Bridge on Big Sur, California.
Boxy Bridge on Big Sur, California. Image by ©Phitha Tanpairoj/Shutterstock

If you’re worried about making the time for a trip, there’s also a range of spots that will fit your holiday time. The shortest trip of all, at only 6km is the Trollstigen route, in Norway, which only takes a day. California’s Big Sur will only take about four days, while Route 66 will take nearly a month. If you’re feeling truly ambitious, the Pan-American Highway, which crosses two whole continents, will take about 281 days and set you back an estimated £30,000.

Farmers from the village lining the Avenue des Baobabs make their way to their fields as the sun rises, Morondava, Madagascar.
Farmers from the village lining the Avenue des Baobabs make their way to their fields as the sun rises, Morondava, Madagascar. Image by ©Justin Foulkes/Lonely Planet

Since naturally budget will likely be the biggest challenge for most travellers, you can also adjust the tool based on what you can spend. For travellers in the UK, the cheapest trip overall is the Black Mountain Pass, in Wales, which only costs £151.89, including petrol (£3.58), the price of a hostel (£45), and no flight costs necessary. To go abroad, Brits can get a flight to Spain for £145, where they can drive the Basque Circuit. To go a bit further, travellers can fly to Madagascar to drive the stunning Avenue of the Baobab, though flights will cost £1166.

If you want to find out the best road trip for your time and budget, try out the tool here.