Whee, thank you for the kind words! I'm especially glad that you liked the soundtrack, that is probably my favorite part of the game. c:
1. I totally agree. Originally, 4 levels were planned: the hometown, the grasslands, the desert and the Pacific coast, each with different sceneries and hazards. For example, the desert would have had fewer and less damaging obstacles (such as tumbleweed) but vastly increased thirst rate and distance between the gas stations, supermarkets etc. Traffic was also planned but I didn't like how the other car designs turned out...the graphics were generally one of my biggest problems and I still have a lot of room for improvement.
But when a few really annoying bugs popped up during the last days of the jam, I decided to scrap most of it and release it with the test level as the only real level.
2. I thought about that, but I wasn't really sure how to implement it. A typical arcade game would probably spawn bags with dollar signs on the road or something like that but that seemed a bit too unrealistic for what I had in mind (says the dev who lets you crash into a swarm of balloons that comes out of nowhere). Another option would have been an ATM at gas stations or supermarkets but that would probably ruin the idea of a limited budget. I also thought about a minigame at the start that lets you earn your vacation budget by working in some small job but there was simply no time for that. So ultimately I decided to just give the player a fixed budget that should (barely) be enough to reach the end of the game.
But I like your idea with the balloons in Chill Mode. Could work as a direct "CHILLING STREAK BONUS: 25$" message or something a bit more integrated into the gameplay, e.g. triggering one of your passengers "accidentally" finding money under the seats when a certain combo is reached.
Now that the jam is over, I'm planning an updated version of the game that tackles a lot of the weak spots of the game. It will also feature a bigger soundtrack with many songs that weren't finished for the current release. Again, thanks for the feedback and thanks for playing!