Ways To Save On Road Trips
Taking a road trip is definitely fun, but it can sometimes cost a lot of money! I’m going to show you several ways to save money on your road trip so that your wallet doesn’t come back looking deflated.
Saving money while traveling might be one persons’ way of actually getting to vacation or it might be someone else’s way of having extra cash at the destination spot, either way let us help you.
Plan your trip. I know this sounds simple but some people decide they are going on a road trip and leave. It sounds fun and may be loads of fun however; you will probably incur more costs. Planning your trip ahead of time will allow you to figure out where you’re going, what’s along the way and will give you time to catch the best prices on hotels or activities at your destination.
Don’t travel near a holiday/event. Around the holidays gas prices go up, the cost of motel rooms go up or for that matter everything goes up. The goal is to save as much as you can so let’s not pay those inflated prices. Also, big events in the area you are going to will cause prices to be inflated there. Let’s avoid them.
Pack a cooler. Traveling in a car it can be so tempting to pull through a drive-thru and grab some food. Stopping by the drive-thru is not only unhealthy it’s also costly. Pack a cooler with sandwiches, snacks, drinks and plenty of water.
*think about grabbing food like snacks (those capri sun juice box deals) from your stockpile to take with you!
How much money will a cooler save you? Ex. If you have a family of 4 on a road trip and you are traveling a long distance you will probably stop at least 2 times in a day. If you make those 2 stops and spend about $4 per person each stop you have just spent $16 in food and that could have been 4 gallons of gas or extra spending money.
Saving on Food
Start buying Sunday papers, and find some great deals on snacks to take on the road with you. Then, about a week before you leave, check for the best sales on the products you have coupons for. You may find that you can find some items for free, or that may pay you cash back. Remember, Walmart has price match! You can also find great coupon savings for fast food, and restaurants in the newspapers, too. Clip coupons, and save! If you’re looking for better tasting, better for you food, hit up the smaller cafe’s. Sometimes you can find amazing prices on a ton of food, that tastes amazing!
Saving on Lodging
If you’re going on a road trip where it’s warm, or during the summer months, you can find cheap or free campgrounds online before you leave. You can either print out the names of the campgrounds you find, or just write down the names of the towns that they’re in. Sometimes, a big tent outside is better than an overpriced hotel room. If you don’t like camping, you can use the internet, and find great hotel prices on sites like Priceline, or Expedia, or Travelocity.
Camping. If you are on a long trip and you need to stay overnight to get some rest before getting back on the road check out places that you can camp for free or cheap. This will save you at least $60-$100 depending on what kind of hotel room you would have rented that night. Not to mention most kids love to camp. Make things Adventurous.
Saving on Gas
Gas prices have been pretty high lately, but there are ways to save. If you live near a Kroger, or Giant Eagle, or any place that offers fuel points, be sure to shop there for the entire month before you leave. Any money you spend converts into fuel points, and can end up saving you a ton of money. Be sure to fill up before you leave at the gas station that you’ve added up fuel points. There are also iPhone apps to find the cheapest gas around while you’re in unfamiliar territory. Apps like GasBuddy and Fuel Finder will find you the cheapest prices in the area that you’re in.
Check gas prices before crossing state lines. As we all know gas prices are high just about everywhere, however, in some states it’s more expensive than others. If you are running low on gas, pull out your phone, look up current gas prices where you are and in the next state and fill up where it’s the cheapest.
*use sites like gasbuddy.com to help plan how much gas will be along the way!
Take Advantage of Memberships
If you belong to AAA, there is more to that membership than just road assistance. You can check out their website, and find the “benefits” section, and find out what places you can stop and save. You can save at tons of places, including museums, to make your road trip both educational, and more interesting! Plus, you know your kids are going to want great stories for “How I spent my vacation/summer!”
Saving on Sanity
If you’re traveling with children, you’re going to want to bring something to distract them from asking “Are we there, yet?” This is 2013, so it’s not as bad as when I was a kid! Pack books, iPads, iPhones, iPods, MP3 players, and CD’s or tapes that your children like to listen to. Plus, if they already have things to do in the car, they’re not going to be complaining of boredom every 10 minutes, plus, there’s not much they can ask for when they already have everything they need. If you’re bringing a music player, be sure to give them time to download some extra tunes for the trip!
There are plenty of ways to save money, time, and sanity on road trips, and these are just six of them. Research before you leave, and make sure that everyone knows what to pack. Are you taking a road trip soon? If so, where are you going? Let me know in the comment section!
Have Fun. Having fun is free and probably the number one reason you are heading out on a road trip. This is a must. You have to have fun no matter how stressed traveling can get, after all, it’s why you started driving anyways, right?