7 Fun Ways to Save Money on A Road Trip
A Road Trip and Being Cheap Is A “Thing” During Inflation!
Do you realize learning ways to save money on a road trip can be cheap fun when you economize on accommodations, food, and gas costs?
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Considering how the current economy appears to be reeling from inflation, there’s even more reason to worry about rising costs.
You may have planned day-to-day activities that require you to dip deeper into your pockets.
And if you’re finding ways to earn money while on the road, your expenses can easily overwhelm you, even if you have a budget.
But don’t let that discourage you. With proper planning, you can find ways to save while on the road and reduce your road trip expenses.
So, are you planning a road trip any time soon? Are you concerned about expenses? Here are seven ways you can save money on a road trip.
1. Prepare Your budget
Setting a budget for your road trip will help you hold yourself accountable and avoid wasting money.
Your budget should cover your gas, food, accommodation, food, entertainment, road tolls, and miscellaneous spending.
It’s also important to make room in your budget for emergencies or unforeseen events, as anything can happen on the road.
Emergencies may include speeding or parking tickets, tows, bus accidents, medical expenses, and so on.
Accidents can drain your wallet, especially if you’re at fault.
These include medical expenses and repair costs.
So, budget for them even if you’re the best defensive driver.
2. Get a Pass
Do you plan to visit several national parks and camps?
Then invest in park passes, which can save you from paying multiple entrance fees.
If you’re traveling with elderly people and kids, you may be able to pay lower ticket prices or reduced rate passes for them.
So, before you set off, take the time to check on discounts and passes for every national park or campsite you wish to visit, as they can help you save some money.
3. Prepare Roadside Emergency
No one wants to waste time waiting for roadside assistance.
You can also avoid such situations.
It’s a good idea to take an emergency toolkit along.
This way, you can deal with minor car issues on the road without needing to call a mechanic.
Some things worth having in your car include a spare tire and equipment for changing your tire, a new oil and filter, a fire extinguisher, a flashlight, and a triangle.
And be sure to keep a spare battery inside your car, just in case.
Don’t forget to strap it down to secure it.
Also, ensure that your spare battery is in a secure compartment and away from your passengers.
4. Take Your Food, Drink and Water Along
Stopping by restaurants, ordering fast food, and buying bottled water can cost you more than you think on a road trip.
Even worse, you can’t be fully certain how much you may end up spending on food and drinks until you’re already on the road.
Most people budget for these things and realize too late that their budget isn’t enough.
You can eliminate the costs of food, drink, and water by making your meals.
You can also find creative ways to cook your favorite delicacies on the road.
Regarding water and drinks, try to stay away from bottled water.
They’re convenient, but they can also take up space and cost you a lot of money.
Instead, take a refillable water bottle along in addition to a gallon or a container of water. You can also make your drinks if you want.
For example, you can squeeze natural fruit juices or make smoothies.
You can take a traditional cooler along to keep your drinks cool.
5. Save Money on Gas
Gas prices are escalating these days and could take up a huge chunk of your expenses if you don’t plan adequately.
You can do several things to help you save gas money while on the road.
For example, you might want to avoid over speeding or accelerating, as the faster you drive, the more gas you use, and the more you’ll have to refill.
Also, plan your route.
It makes sense, for example, to avoid routes that attract heavy vehicular traffic, as they could delay you and cause you to use more gas.
Additionally, ensure that your car gets all the necessary inspections, from your tire pressure to your engine.
This way, you can avoid sudden car breakdowns and expensive repairs while on the road.
You can also consider using gas reward cards to get cheaper fuel prices or fill up your tank and buy extra when you find cheap gas.
Apps like Gas Buddy can help you find the cheapest gas prices on your route before you set off.
6. Split the Cost with Your Friends
If you’ve always preferred going on road trips alone, you may want to consider taking some friends along this time.
Road-tripping with friends is a great way to reduce your costs significantly and enjoy great company.
Of course, you’ll first need to ensure that your friends are compatible travelers and agree to split the expenses with you.
Traveling with compatible travel friends is important as that will help prevent unwanted surprises on the road.
Also, discuss in detail what every member wants from the trip and what expectations they’re supposed to meet.
7. Camp Instead of Staying in Hotels
Camping during a road trip offers two main benefits.
First, you get to save the money you would’ve spent on hotel bills and accommodation; that’s a lot of money.
The second benefit is that camping is way more fun than sleeping in a hotel.
You get to enjoy a new and different experience and even make friends with other campers.
However, camping isn’t for everybody, admittedly.
So, if you’d rather stay in a hotel, then take the time to find the cheaper ones and compare prices from as many options as possible.
Also, consider alternatives like Airbnbs, hostels, and dorms, as they are more affordable than traditional hotels.
And be sure to book your hotels in advance to avoid paying extra upon arrival.