One of the best parts of summer is going up north to the lake or down to visit a relative you don’t often see. Whatever your reason for taking a road trip, follow these tips to remember the trip for the memories made and not the money spent.
1. Schedule a Tune-up
An easy way to ensure you won’t encounter unforeseen expenses on your trip is to make sure your car is in working order before you leave. Once you are on the road, if a problem occurs with your vehicle, your only option may be to fork out a lot of money to make it home.
2. Use a Gas-Finding App
Apps like Gas Buddy help identify the cheapest gas around, rather than overspending at the first gas station you see. Gas finding apps often have loyalty programs or discounts to make the deals even sweeter. Making cheap gas a priority on your trip can really trim your spending.
Bonus tip: Drive sensibly to increase your highway gas mileage, driving aggressively uses more gas!
3. Cut Cargo
Unnecessary weight can increase your fuel usage. Avoid things like roof racks that can weigh down your car. Only bring what you need and pack lightly!
4. Make a List (and Check it Twice!)
Speaking of things you need, make a list to ensure you don’t forget the essentials! It can be expensive if you forget something like a swimsuit and have to buy an overpriced one at a gift shop, especially when you have a perfectly good swimsuit at home.
5. Bring your own Food and Drinks
Stock up on things like sandwiches and snacks so you don’t have to eat at a restaurant for every meal along the way (saving time and gas, too!) Once you get to your destination, consider investing in a coupon book to try some local restaurants. If it’s not in the budget, continue eating your packed food or find budget-friendly restaurants!
6. Plan your Trip Ahead of Time
Having a plan for which direction you’re headed and where you’re going to stop along the way can make your trip faster, more scenic and more fuel efficient. Sites like RoadTrippers, can help plan the perfect road trip, to get the most bang for your buck.
7. Look for Cheap Accommodations
Consider staying in an Airbnb or camping (even sleeping in your car) to save money. This extra money could be used for more fun instead of an expensive hotel. This could extend your trip and make it more memorable!
8. Save Up for the Trip Ahead of Time
Lastly, building up some cash before you hit the open road can help you avoid the burden of being strapped for cash when you get back from your awesome trip. Save a little each week to make sure you can afford the trip before you depart, and so your savings account isn’t depleted once you return.
Road trips can be fun, affordable and a great way to end the summer! Remember these tips while you’re preparing and during your trip to save the most money along the way.