6 Tips for Saving Money During Road Trips
Saving money on travel means more money to spend on your actual vacation. However, though taking a road trip may seem like a cheap vacation option, it can end up costing you far more than you’d think if you don’t properly plan. Consider all the expenses included, and make sure you budget properly before the final cost puts you in the red.
Here are some tips on saving money along the way:
1. Plan your Trip
Planning your budget ahead of time is vital to control spending, and you can start by mapping the route you plan to travel to determine how many days and miles your trip will encompass. Before leaving for a trip, especially a long one, take your vehicle to the mechanic and have it tuned up.
Once you deduce the distance and time, you can create a budget for gas, food, and lodging, and also know what you will need to pack for the trip. You can also rent a cab from Easy car club at discounted prices. Having kids in the car means you’ll have to make more stops for bathroom breaks, in addition to the stops you’d be making for yourself. If you find driving after dark to be difficult, you’ll need to make adjustments accordingly.
2. Create a Budget
Once you’ve totaled the number of days and miles of your trip, you can create a budget for gas, vehicle costs, food, cheap lodging, and sightseeing. It is also best to bring cash and stay within the budget. You may end up saving on fuel and avoid driving around in search of an ATM. Once you calculate about how much gas will cost, you can determine how much of your budget remains for food, lodging, and sightseeing. Before the trip, be sure your car is in good condition.
3. Prepare Food and Snacks
Ahead of Time Bringing your own food along is a tried and true road trip tip. Pack snacks in small containers or prepare sandwiches, so you don’t have to buy food all the time. Bring bottled water, juice, or milk and place them in a cooler. It’s a good idea to pack a few snacks, nothing too complicated and messy. This is also useful especially when you are traveling with children.
If you’re a student, bring your ID card to receive student discounts. Stop at a supermarket for meals, instead of expensive sit-down restaurants. Find coupons or vouchers that enable you to dine out for a discounted price. It’s all right to dine out once in a while.
4. Entertainment Along the Way
Sightseeing and entertainment is a part of any vacation, but it becomes especially important on road trips to break up the journey. Bring along chalk, balls, or Frisbees a football, a badminton set, or any other athletic gear that can provide you with free fun and exercise and to play with during rest stops. Travel during the summer months. Warm weather means free fairs, festivals, art shows, concerts, and more. Plus, you can save money by camping. Check out an area’s parks, art districts, or libraries, you can even book for concerts, lectures, or plays nearby.
5. Free or Cheaper Housing
Depending on the length of your road trip, you may need to stay somewhere a night or two. If you were unable to book a place to stay, contact a relative where you could crash. If you choose to stay in hotels during your trip, make reservations ahead of time.
This will ensure that you have a room and enable you to find the cheapest rates ahead of time. If your family enjoys spending time outdoors or in nature, you can also look at camping as a means to save money. Consider camping at night after a drive, instead of getting a hotel room.
6. Final word
Road trips are an exciting, fun way to spend your vacation. Rather than flying from one destination to another, traveling by car allows you to enjoy all the sights in between. Just remember to stay within your budget and, most importantly, stay safe.
Also, take frequent breaks during the day to stretch your legs and relax, and never drive if you are feeling tired. It might be tempting to try to drive just another hour or just another 50 miles, but there is no sense in putting you, your family, or other drivers at risk.