There’s perhaps nothing that encapsulates summer quite like loading the kids in the car, packing a cooler, and driving off to the beach for a weekend! If you’re planning a longer holiday, however, it’s all too easy to underestimate the expense involved. Road tripping can be a great way to save money on travel, but there are a number of costs both obvious and hidden that can derail your budget. Keep the following tips in mind to leave more money in your wallet for souvenirs and ice cream.
Image Source: Nils Fretwurst/Wikimedia Commons
Travel in a crowd.
Team up with your friends and neighbours for your next road trip, and you could save a bundle. Carpooling can help you save money on fuel, while sharing the cost of accommodation allows you to gain access to a hotel room, large rental house or condo at a lower cost per person. When it comes to attractions and entertainment, you could also benefit from group entry discounts.
Download money-saving apps.
There are a number of smartphone apps specifically designed to help you save money while travelling, many of which are completely free to download! Try using apps like Gas Buddy to compare fuel prices, or read reviews of local dining establishments using apps like Yelp to find cost-effective and delicious options in your area.
Avoid rest stop treats.
Venturing off the beaten path is all part of the fun, but it can also leave you with few options when it comes to dining. In truly remote areas, you may be hard-pressed to find lunch outside of a rest stop vending machine. Bear in mind that these tend to carry steep prices and little nutritional value. As you start planning your journey, think ahead and locate larger supermarkets along the way where you can stock up on sandwich fixings and healthy snacks ahead of time.
Fuel is one of the major expenses on a road trip. In addition to using apps to find cheaper fuel on your route, the type of car you drive and your driving style can reduce gas costs. Check out sites like Carsales to compare efficiency ratings before you choose a car for your journey, and maximize your efficiency by driving at a smooth, even pace whenever possible. Avoid slamming on the brakes and take your time on the motorway to get more bang for your buck.
Leave room in the budget for tolls and parking fees.
When you’re working out a budget for your next adventure, you’ll undoubtedly factor in costs like food, accommodation, and fuel. However, don’t forget the smaller costs that can really add up over the course of a few weeks. Bridge and road tolls are commonplace in many countries, and if you’re visiting big cities you’ll need to cough up money for secure parking garages while you go exploring. Many national parks and campgrounds also charge daily parking fees, so always try to have some spare change on hand.
By considering all of these costs ahead of time, you can work them into your budget and hit the road on a fun family adventure that won’t break the bank!