Summer seems to spark an old American tradition – road trips. There’s just something about being out on the open road exploring new territory that just completes your summer. For many families, however, trying to find a feasible way to cut costs without sacrificing the full experience of a road trip can be trying. The good news is there are tons of ways to save on your next road trip while still enjoying the company of those you love most.
Check out these ten ideas below:
- Create a Budget: Budgeting is by far one of the best ways to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your vacation money. Before deciding on a location check your finances to see how much you can afford. As you’re budgeting, be sure to include things like the cost of gas, hotel stays, food, and entertainment.
- Choose the Date Wisely: What you may or may not be aware of is that the time of year you travel can have a major impact on how much your road trip will cost you. If you plan on traveling around the summer, remember to avoid major holidays like Independence Day and Labor Day as the cost gas, hotels, and attractions tend to increase.
- Check Your Insurance: To you, insurance might be nothing more than an added monthly expense. However, insurance can actually save you money in the event that you’re involved in an accident while traveling on the road. Whether you have a good driving history or are considered a high risk driver that requires a specialized insurance you can find rates online that won’t break the bank. You can easily do an internet search for SR22 insurance quote or general auto insurance.
- Take Your Own Vehicle: Renting a car can often cost you more money than its worth. Unless you intend on taking more passengers than you have room for, or your car is in poor condition, you should really consider taking your own vehicle to save on transportation costs.
- Don’t forget a Tune-up: You’re going to be traveling long distances, and there is nothing worse than ending up on the side of the road waiting for AAA to arrive when you should be enjoying your road trip. Before hitting the road, have a trusted mechanic service the car and give it a tune-up if necessary.
- Use Applications for Gas Prices – Fuel prices are likely one of the most expensive things about going on a road trip. As you’re traveling from state to state you’ll notice that gas prices fluctuate. If you want to get the best deal on gas, utilize smartphone applications that will show you where to get the best prices.
- Bring Snacks with You – Pit stops are necessary for a bathroom break and maybe even to stretch your legs. However, if you’ve been driving for miles without eating, you’re going to get hungry. Rest stop food prices can be through the roof eating into your budget faster than you might have planned. Having a cooler equipped with snacks and beverages on the other hand will save you money (and time).
- Take the Scenic Route – Major highways might be the fastest way for you to reach your destination, but they are often the areas most flooded with tolls. Depending on how many states you plan on crossing you could seriously rack up a pretty penny in toll costs alone. There are applications available that can help you avoid toll costs or you can program your GPS to avoid such roads to save you money.
- Pack Light – While you may be tempted to over pack, the more weight the car has to bear, the more it is going to cost you in gas mileage. Therefore, try to be savvy with your packing by choosing articles of clothing that are versatile and can be matched with other pieces. This will minimize the amount of clothes you need to bring along.
10.Check for Coupons – When it comes to fun and entertainment on a tight budget coupons are your best friend. There are coupons for just about any attraction or activity you can think of. Sites like Groupon make it easier to locate coupons that interest you. So when you’re planning your trip, try to find destinations along the way that are affordable or come with a reasonable discount.
Don’t let a lack of funds be the reason that you stay cooped up in the house this summer. Instead, learn to be a bit more frugal with your travels. By keeping these ten money-saving tips in mind, your family road trip can be affordable without sacrificing the fun. Now you can use all the money you’ve saved to really enjoy yourself once you’ve arrived at your final destination.