Summer is the perfect time for a road trip with friends or family. Make sure your road trip doesn’t break the bank with these money-saving tips:
Save on gas
Shop around for the best prices using an app like Gas Buddy. Use coupons or gas station loyalty cards to get discounts on gas. Pay with a credit card that gives you cash back on gas fill-ups.
Get your car ready for the trip. A well-maintained car means better gas mileage and prevents you from having to deal with expensive repairs on the road.
Drive responsibly. Speed limits aren’t just there for safety - they help make sure you’re driving at optimal speeds for fuel efficiency too. Get better gas mileage by avoiding sudden stops and starts, speeding, and riding the brakes. Pack light to improve your mileage, too!
Buddy up. Road trips are more fun with friends! Bring some friends on your trip and you can split the cost of gas and lodging, and share driving duties.
Save on lodging
You’ll sleep better when you find great deals on places to stay. You can use websites like Priceline or Hotels.com to find deals on lodging, or you can contact the hotel directly to see what kind of deals are available. If you’re a member of AAA, in the military, or over the age of 55, you may be eligible for additional discounts. You can also look for homes or apartments to rent.
If you’re on a tight budget, arrange to stay with friends and family. Just be sure to help out however you can and don’t overstay your welcome.
And if you’re feeling very adventurous, you can go camping. Invest in a tent, some sleeping bags, and some camp cookware and you’ve got the makings of inexpensive road trips for years to come.
Save on food
You have to eat, but you don’t have to spend all your vacation money on food.
Pack Your own snacks and drinks. You’ll save a fortune compared to what you’d pay at convenience stores. A reusable water bottle will also save you money.
Stay at hotels that offer free breakfast. If you have kids, look for places to stay where they can eat free at other mealtimes.
If your room has a microwave and a fridge, you can easily make a meal in your room. Bring a few convenience items from home or stop at the grocery store on your way into town.
Sign up for the e-mail lists of numerous restaurants in the area and use the coupons you get to save. And don’t forget to ask the locals. They’ll tell you where to get the best food for the best prices.
Save on entertainment
Of course, once you get to your destination, you’ll want to explore.
Pick up the local newspaper or check the local tourism websites to find free or low-cost activities to do. Check the hotel lobby, the public library and gas stations for flyers and coupons to local venues. Stroll through a local park or explore the local music scene at a coffee shop or bar. And remember: Your hotel probably offers some amenities (like a pool) for you to enjoy.
A few other ways to save
Ask for discounts everywhere you go. The worst that can happen is that you’re told “No.”
Travel during off-peak times. You can save a lot of money on lodging if you travel during the week instead of on the weekend. Avoid overpriced souvenirs and take lots of photographs instead.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun! It’s not how much money you spend, it’s how many memories you create!
Read more frugal living tips and money-saving ideas at http://www.northerncheapskate.com.