Saving money on a road trip

A family packing the car for a road trip

Taking a summer road trip with your friends or the entire family can be a fun experience, but these trips will cost some serious scratch. Fueling up your car and stopping every few miles to use the restroom can result in you using more gas than you want. Furthermore, paying for hotel rooms will add up, and your vacation fund may disappear before you know it. But if you do some proper planning and allocate your funds accordingly, you won't have to stress about money and can enjoy some much-deserved relaxation. Here are a few ways you can save money on a summer road trip:

Get your car repaired before you leave
So much time in a car can cause cabin fever, but stopping too many times to stretch your legs will result in you visiting a gas station to fill up every couple miles. This can eat into your budget more than you had originally planned. To help save on gas, give your car a tune up before you head out. Getting your oil changed, checking to see that your headlights are working and putting air in your tires are quick and cheap ways you can make sure that your car is in top working condition for your trip.

Decide where your pit stops will be
Instead of just stopping whenever you need to grab a snack, try carefully planning out where all of your pit stops will take place. If you just randomly go to a convenience store on your trip you could be making more stops than you need, thus using up too much gas. Planning out your rest areas beforehand can help you determine how many miles you're going to drive in a day and help cut down on the pit stops.

Plan your meals ahead of time
While you're planning out the places you're going to stop, try to figure out your meal options, as well. How many times have you gone on a trip and randomly stopped at some restaurant in order to get a quick bite to eat? These can be convenient, but you may end up spending more money than you originally planned. Look at the area around the pit stops and see what cheap eateries are in the area. This way, you can properly plan you food budget and eat something healthier as well.

It'll pay to pack your own snacks. There are plenty of cheap snacks you can make, like vegetables and dip, fruit or almonds. Bringing a few items like these and your own reusable water bottle can last you awhile and will help you skip convenience stores.

Pick cheaper destinations
The common hot spots for a summer trip are usually places with a cool looking beach like Miami or Los Angeles. These locales are great in their own right, but the cost for hotels and food could be high, not to mention these areas will be crowded with other tourists who had the same idea as you. Skip the popular hotspots in favor of something a bit more low key. You can make your destination a cheap campground in your state or a beach in your area. Keeping your trip contained within your region can also cut down on the amount of gas you're going to use.

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