Planning a road trip on a budget doesn’t mean you can;t enjoy yourself. Taking a road trip is a great way to see and experience many different things you wouldn’t otherwise. Many people like to fly instead of taking the car to get to there destination faster, for fear of getting lost, or hate the idea of fighting traffic. While you can’t control everything, with a little planning ahead, a road trip can be an adventure worth taking.
Planning ahead is always the best way to save money when taking a road trip on a budget. By planning where your going to be staying, or eating allows you to budget wisely and give you an idea what costs you can expect during your trip. While you can’t always know everything, you can get a good estimate before your trip ever begins.
Getting a good idea of where you want to stop along your route allows you to look for deals ahead of time on lodging and places to eat while your there. Check travel site like Trivago or TripAdvisor can help you find deals on hotels or other places you can stay overnight. Check Groupon for deals on not just lodging but places to eat or things to do while your there.
These website can also help you to plan your trip once youve reached your final destination. In larger areas, such as cities or near attractions, you can find more deals through coupon sites, etc. You can also search for local deals. When we used to go to Myrtle Beach every year we found a coupon book that we bought every year that was sold as a local fundraiser but it had thousands of dollars of deals in it for food, hotels, local attractions, and much more.
Get your car serviced by a trusted mechanic prior to hitting the road. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway to your destination and have a preventable mechanical issue. Be sure to check your tires and make sure they are suitable for a long trip. You don’t want to be unpacking your car along the side of the road trying to get to your spare.
You may want to look into getting AAA or s similar service that will provide assistance to you during your trip should you have a problem.
Pack Some Snacks
One of the best things with traveling, at least in my opinion is the chance to find new places to eat and have someone else do the cooking!! However, eating out constantly can get expensive quick and eat up your budget fast.
Pack a cooler in your car with you with drinks and snacks. Make some sandwiches ahead of time or carry the stuff with you to do so. It will limit the amount of stops for food along the way and save you a lot of money you can put towards other things. When we used to travel as kids with my parents my mom always had lunch meat and a loaf of bread stashed somewhere in our van. We ate plenty of meals sitting in overlooks or stopped at rest stops along the interstate. It never meant much back then, but those stops with family were some of the best times growing up.
Skip the Tolls
Some routes you take your gonna have toll roads. Sometimes your able to bypass them. This will vary based on where your going and where your coming from. On the east coast we have an EZ-Pass. it’s an RFID tag that we can put in our windshield and every time we pass and toll booth it charges the toll to our credit card linked to it, at a lower rate than if we paid cash to the attendant. The other advantage to this is the speed at which we are able to get through the toll booth, not having to wait to pay.
Know What You Have to Spend
The biggest thing is to know your budget before you leave. Know what you have and what you can realistically spend on your trip. Knowing will help give you a piece of mind while your away and keep you from spending more than your able to.
Taking a road trip on a budget doesn’t mean you get enjoy yourself for lack of money. With some planning ahead of time it will let you do much more without wasting money along the way.