5 Frugal Road Trip Tips
As the days lengthen and the weather gets warmer, there’s nothing quite like taking to the open road for a much needed respite from the daily grind. With the price of flights getting more expensive with odd, often unpredictable fees, many families are opting to go the old school route, packing up the car and driving to their destination. So what’s the best way to do it without spending a fortune? Here’s 6 tips to help you keep that peaceful, easy feeling (cue The Eagles):
Use a Checklist. How many times have you stopped at an overpriced convenience store to purchase an ill-fitting bathing suit, sunscreen or charcoal? We’re human. It’s easy to leave even the most essential items behind (or in the dryer) while packing, but you’re more likely to do so without a checklist.
Open a Savings Account. Even if you start saving just a few months before your planned road trip, opening a Savings Account with the Credit Union and depositing a set amount each pay period will help defray the cost of food, gas and lodging.
Plan Your Gas Stops. Speaking of gas, if you’re traveling a long distance, do some research on the best gas prices before you leave. Prices can vary by 20-30 cents per gallon, which adds up over the long haul! GasBuddy is an awesome way to search for the best prices by location.
Know Your Route. While part of the charm of a road trip is being able to wander off the beaten path, planning your driving route is a must. Research roads that might be closed for construction or repair—especially if you’re driving through large cities that you’re unfamiliar with. Google Maps and Waze are excellent free apps that give live, real-time updates on traffic, construction, accidents, etc.
Bring a Cooler. Nothing drains a budget faster than stopping to eat. While part of the fun of a road trip is experiencing cute little roadside diners, bringing some quick and easy sandwich making supplies, fresh water and fresh fruit and veggies will help keep your mind, body and wallet full.
What are your go-to tips for a successful, frugal road trip? Tell us in the comments!