Practical ways to live better on less.
Nothing says summer more than a fun road trip. Even though road trips are considerably cheaper than flying, they can still get pretty expensive, especially with rising gas prices. I have compiled a list of my 10 favorite strategies for cutting down expenses on your summer road trips!
1. Use Gas Buddy – Gas Buddy is a great app which helps you find the cheapest gas stations along your route. Download the free Gas Buddy app.
2. Load a cooler with sandwiches and snacks – Bringing with your own food is one of the top ways to reduce your trip costs. Lunch and dinners out can easily add up to 100s of dollars in extra costs. Cut down your costs by filling up a cooler with pre made sandwiches, drinks, and snacks.
3. Plan out your hotel in advance – Booking your hotel in advance will be much cheaper than randomly stopping on the road. This tactic will also allow you to find any special deals or promotions that may not be available by walking in. Kayak is a fantastic site which allows you to compare dozens of travel sites at the same time.
4. Purchase a toll pass – The EZ pass has saved me a lot of money over the years; tolls are often discounted up to 50% for pass holders. Tolls can quickly add up, especially with any lengthy drive. Check your route beforehand to determine how many tolls will be on your route and whether you can justify buying a pass.
5. Don’t stop for coffee – Make your own coffee at home before you leave. Use an insulated mug to keep your drink warm. Contigo makes fantastic travel mugs, which keep your drinks hot for hours.
6. Bring with reading material from home – Resist the temptation to purchase expensive books and magazines. Bring reading material from home or out free magazines, books, and DVDs from your library in advance.
7. Research pet friendly hotels before you leave– Many motels/hotels do not take pets, which can lead to unnecessary hassle and extra costs incurred from driving around searching for a place. A nice, affordable hotel which accepts pets for free is La Quinta Inn and Suites. Red Roof Inn is another budget hotel which accepts pets for free. You can also check petfriendlyhotels.com to search for hotels in your destination city.
8. Make sure your car is tuned up – Inspect your tires the day prior to make sure there aren’t any flats. Be sure to check your air filter. Both of these can negatively affect your gas mileage. Also take any unnecessary bulk out of the trunk to reduce the weight.
9. Drive smart – Using cruise control, driving under 65 mph, keeping your windows rolled up, and avoiding driving during rush hour are a few of the tips which will help prolong the life of your tank.
10. Split driving costs – Driving with family or friends and splitting the cost is always cheaper than traveling alone! Split the costs of gas, food, and lodging for a budget friendly trip.
Hopefully these trips will help you save a bundle on your next summer vacation. Do you have any additional tips to add to the list? Comment below with some of your favorite money saving road travel tips.