We are so excited to welcome a fabulous guest to HowDoesShe, who is going to help us all save some real money on our next road trip! I know I can sure use some help in this area! Please give a warm welcome to Paula! Paula is a young wife, mama and writer. Her passions include blogging, the hot Houston weather, watching her kids giggle, budgeting and encouraging people. You can find more of Paula’s writing on her blog Beauty Through Imperfection where she writes candidly about her life as a young wife/mama and strives to encourages others in their daily lives.
Take it away, Paula!
It’s that time of year again, time for a Summer Road Trip! Driving can be a thrifty alternative to flying, but road trips can still end up being quite pricey. That’s why we compiled this list of ways to save on every aspect of your next road trip!
- Only purchase one type of snack at each stop. Instead of buying multiple treats for every one in the car every time, limit each person to one snack category per stop. For example, Buy special drinks the first time, candy the next and chips or crackers later on.
- Bring waters and snacks from home to supplement between snack purchases on the road.
- Try eating at local diners for meals instead of chain restaurants. Oftentimes local Mom & Pop eating establishments are much cheaper than the big-name restaurants.
- Pack picnic meals for each day you’ll be on the road. PB&J sandwiches or cans of tuna fish are great options for lunches and dinners on the road. Cereal bars, fruit, banana bread, and muffins are all great breakfast options.
- Stop at a supermarket for meals, instead of expensive sit-down restaurants
Gasoline & Vehicle
- GasBuddy.com is a great resource for travel! You can use the online version or download the free app for your iphone, android or blackberry. Just enter a zip code on the site or app and it will tell you the location of the cheapest gas in the area. This can help save a lot of money on gas. Right now the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive gas in my area is 10 cents per gallon. 10 cents a gallon will really add up over a long car trip.
- Use a gas rewards card when you can. Many gas stations offer credit cards that offer a few cents off each gallon purchased at their stations nationwide. Applying for a gas reward card before your trip could mean saving a good bit of money on gas when driving across the country.
- Plan and double check your route ahead of time to avoid any toll roads and road work that you might encounter.
- Give your car a check-up before you leave to be sure you don’t run in to any unexpected vehicle trouble along the way. Fluid levels, tire pressure and all lights should be checked before leaving on a long trip.
- Consider camping at night after a drive, instead of getting a hotel room. You can use freecampsites.net to find the cheapest camping sites near your route.
- If you choose to stay in hotels during your trip, make reservations ahead of time. This will ensure that you have a room and enable you to find the cheapest rates ahead of time so that you don’t have to drive around to different hotels comparing prices when you are already tired from the long drive.
Entertainment Along the Way
- Bring along chalk, balls, or frisbees to play with during rest stops. This can help kids get some energy worked out and prepare them for another few hours in the car
- Find pet stores to visit along the way. These can serve as a free mini-zoo to entertain kids without having to pay hefty entertainment prices.
- Before the trip, stock up on cheap toys from the Dollar Store. Surprise the kids with new toys from the front seat every few hours during the trip.
Be sure to check out this post for more fun road trip activities!
Have you found any awesome ways to save money during a road trip? Share in the comments!