When you hear the words "Road Trip", do you typically have a moment of silence for the money that you're about to spend on unnecessary items? You don't have to do this if you plan for your trip with your friends, family, or your significant other - with a little preparation, you can have even more fun when you're on the road! After all, it's fun to save money, people! Yeah!
Now road trips can be a pricey endeavour - especially when you're making frequent stops along the way. It's always important to pitch in for gas if you're not driving, so keep that in mind as well. However, when you're filling up on gas and you're feeling hungry, it can be really tempting to fork out some of your dough for some overpriced snack foods and drinks (seriously - getting some beef jerky, a bottle of pop, and a pack of gummies can easily cost about $10 with taxes included at a gas station).
You'll also be stopping for meals along the way, which can be a necessity along the way (after so many hours on the road, nothing beats a nice hot meal at a restaurant). I know I'm a sucker for Denny's, so whenever I'm one of the proud members of a road trip-related excursion, that's usually one of my favourite spots to eat during our journey.
Unfortunately, stopping at so many places along the way can really lay the smack down on your bank account (it's happened to me plenty of times). Listed below are some important tips that can help you save some money on your road trip:
- If your destination is a particularly long ways away from where you are and you need to spend a night at a hotel during your journey, try to do some proper planning so you won't pay exorbitant fees for a hotel room. Plan out your trip on Google Maps or Mapquest ahead of time so you can estimate a good in-between point where you would take a rest from driving and get some sleep. Instead of booking through the hotel directly and paying steep fees for your overnight stay, you can get a discount on plenty of hotels by using Orbitz, Hotwire, or Priceline.
- Get plenty of food and drinks for you to bring with you on your journey! This can help keep you from purchasing overpriced and unnecessary snacks (well... Doritos are always necessary) at gas stations and other locations. Get some sandwiches, fruits, veggies, drinks, granola bars, and snacks, pack them in a cooler or a cooler bag, and you should be good to go! This can help you save a substantial amount of money.
- When you're stopping at a restaurant to have a meal, pick up some affordable fast food. If you're on a diet or just don't like fast food, you can always go to a grocery store that has plenty of selections in their deli departments, or you can go to a restaurant. Just try and get something affordable so you won't spend too much before you get to your destination.
- Before purchasing any souvenirs or items during your journey, ask yourself these two questions: "Will I care about this one week after buying it?", and "Where am I going to put this when I come home?". There is a bunch of stuff that I've bought during my many road trips with friends and my girlfriend, and so much of it is just collecting dust now. So before you buy that souvenir that looks hilarious, think twice and save that money for when you arrive at your destination. After all, would you rather spend $30 on a T-shirt, or would you prefer to spend that on something that would be more exciting?
I hope that these road trip money-saving tips can help you out. If they do, feel free to comment! Also, if you have any tips on saving cash when you're on the road, post them below. Thank you, and I hope you all enjoy the rest of your day!
Photo credit: Zach Ancell