Traveling is one of the many joys in life. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be costly. This is especially true with road trips! You think that a road trip wouldn’t cost much, but high gas prices, spontaneous food runs, and unexpected mishaps happen all the time to make you think otherwise! If you’re ready to ready to embark on the open road, but want to follow a budget, check out the following tips below to help you prepare for the next trip:
Choose to drive a car with a good MPG
The better the gas mileage a car has, the more you save money. A couple of cents at the gas station can sometimes lead to exceeding your budget without even realizing! Furthermore, cars with a good MPG reduce your carbon footprint and negative effects on the environment. Also, just because a car is recognized for its MPG, it does not mean that the vehicle’s power or performance is diminished or inferior. Rather, it’s built to help you both monetary and mileage wise in the long-run! A few examples of cars with good MPG’s are the Chevy Cruz, that has 40 mpg or the Buick Encore with 33mpg.
Calculate all your costs ahead of time
Research everything you plan on purchasing during the road trip! From there, you can scope out the destination area to find deals and places that are not often visited by tourists. When you have an estimate of the costs of your future purchases, you can make well-informed decisions on investing in certain places over others and know for a fact you’re saving money.
Pack your own food and drinks
Food, in addition to lodging, can be the most expensive part of any trip for that matter! Therefore, to save yourself a good chunk of your travel fund, meal prep some food ahead of time and eat them on the road! A wattle bottle here or a granola bar there may not seem like much when you purchase them, but when looking back on your receipts, you will most likely find the majority of your cash went towards buying impulsive food.
Familiarize yourself with the route beforehand
While road trips encourage spontaneity, one thing you should always familiarize yourself beforehand is the route. When you map out the drive before a road trip, you can determine where you can stop for cheap gas, look for alternative directions in case you get lost, and find out where the best pit-stops will be on the journey. Plus, knowing your route would ease the stress in the situation where you do get lost since you would have no reason to panic since you will know the area like the back of your hand.
Avoid traveling during peak seasons or weekends
Everything, particularly gas prices, food, and lodging, is more expensive during peak season and weekends because that’s when all the tourists start to travel and weekday office workers can celebrate a few days off! While it may seem natural to take a road trip during these times, you’re going to save a lot of money if you do otherwise. Subsequently, you can avoid large and congested crowds!
Consider camping in addition to staying at lodging accommodations
Camping is inherent in road trip culture, and there’s never any harm in giving it a try. There are always camping stops on the sides of roads where you can park your car for a night and sleep under the stars. Nothing compares to the unique experience of embracing nature when camping. While you don’t necessarily have to go camping for your road trip overall, it does gives the journey a refreshing and new way to wind down and experience the world.
Going on a road trip is one of the most fun and memorable things you can do. Despite the fact that traveling can be expensive, it doesn’t mean you can’t have an equally great time on a budget! In that case, before you hit the open road, remember to carefully prep beforehand by researching future costs, destinations, and itinerary options. You won’t regret it!
Do you have more tips on how to road trip on a budget? Let us know in the comments below!