Whether your road trip’s purpose is just to get somewhere, or you love riding in the car and want to savor it, you face the challenge of making your trip as inexpensive as possible. What can you do? Here are 5 tips.
Choose A Logical Destination
Image via Flickr by Sebastian Bergmann
At first glance, this one seems obvious. Unless your heart is already set on a certain place, however, there are things you should consider before you make the choice. If you find someplace fairly local that your family has never visited, you save a lot on fuel. If you want to go farther, research the places you’ll be driving through to get an idea of how much you’ll be paying for fuel, food, and lodging. Picking a destination and planning around it is essential to preparing yourself to save money along the way.
Even if your vehicle has the space for you to pack everything you own, resist the temptation. All that stuff will make it more difficult for you to find what you need, and the weight of it will cut down on your gas mileage. At the same time, however, make sure to bring everything you need. If you forget something and have to buy it along that way, that’s money you spend on something else. It’s also prudent to bring as much of your own food as possible and not stop at restaurants along the way.
Check Your Car’s Condition
Spending endless hours on the road is tough for your vehicle, so it’s a good idea to stop at the mechanics and ask him to make sure that your car will safely get you through your road trip. Unexpected vehicle trouble is one of the costliest things you might encounter. If your plans include more road trips and your car is iffy, there are many used cars for sale that are a great value and possibly better for road trips that what you drive now.
Whatever vehicle you decide to take, make sure you’re ready for unpleasant surprises. Be sure you have everything you need to change a flat tire and make sure that your insurance is up to date.
Save on Gasoline
Moneycrashers.com offers some great tips on how to save money on gas, tips which involve both how you drive and your vehicle’s condition. One of the other tips involves the GasBuddy app, which helps you find the best prices on fuel nearby. In fact, your smart phone will be your best friend on your road trip. Visit a list of 10 top road trip apps to find apps that will help you navigate and find affordable food, entertainment, and lodging.
Staying places overnight is one of the most expensive aspects of any long road trip. While you might just switch drivers and stay on the road for the entire night, other nights you will need to stop and unwind. Consider camping instead of staying at a hotel. Your family will enjoy the beauty of nature, sit around the campfire telling stories, and save a significant amount of money.
A road trip is a great alternative to flying when you are ready for that all-important vacation. For a fun and budget-friendly cruise down the highway, follow the foregoing tips. Happy voyages!