Many people opt for road trips because they allow them to be in control of everything.
When traveling by train or plane, you’re limited to certain circumstances. For example, there are no stops in between, and it can be way more expensive than driving.
When preparing for a road trip, money should always be taken into consideration. So without any further ado, let’s check some of the best road trip tips that you can use to save money!
1. Set your budget and stick with it.
The best way to set your budget is to come up with a checklist of everything that you’re going or might spend money on.
For example, gas and other car expenses, food and accommodation are the most important categories, where you’re going to spend the most money.
Then you can also set a budget for activities, souvenirs and so on.
Once you have a budget for each category, add everything up, and see your final budget. Once you have your final budget, don’t forget to add some extra money if you need it for an emergency. The key here is to never spend more than the desired budget.
Extra tip: To have the most accurate budget, you also need to research your destination and its prices since they may vary.
2. Divide everything with your friends
If you’re not traveling alone, things become way easier. All the expenses won’t fall just on your head, but also on your companions for the trip.
While food and accommodation expenses may not vary, the gas you’re spending is the same whether there’s only one person inside the car or five.
Extra tip: Before the road trip, make sure you and your trip mates have Venmo, Zelle, or other money transfer apps installed so you can split expenses amongst each other within seconds.
3. Bring all the food you can from home
Normally, road trips are meant to last for a while. At some point, someone will get hungry, and everyone will stop at the nearest coffee to grab something to eat.
This type of action will only waste your time and money.
Besides, if you have space in your car, you should bring all the food you can to eat throughout your trip, not just the driving bit.
Loads of water, coffee, snacks like cookies, apples, or nuts are things that can easily survive bad weather conditions. Therefore, they are great items that you can bring from home and still manage to save a good amount of money in the end.
Extra tip: Get yourself a reusable, stainless-steel bottle to store water and other cold or hot liquids.
4. Having dinner inside your car
Since you’re already bringing food from home, why not get more ingredients and make dinner for you and your friends?
You can do many recipes just using a portable stovetop, or if you don’t have one, you can make a lot of things with just your hands, from stuffed avocados, chicken nachos, a healthy salad, tacos, to a simple sandwich.
If the plan is to spend as little as possible, you should consider having at least 80% of your meals like this. If not, we advise you to eat during the day and always have dinner in your car since restaurants usually charge more for evening reservations.
Extra tip: Install a road trip planner app like Trip-advisor or Zomato on your phone to find the best and cheapest food, and mark them down on your map, so you already know where to eat once you get there!
5. Finding the best accommodation
If you want to save money, you shouldn’t even be looking at hotels.
Hostels, guest houses, and apartments are the cheapest options, and they have some pretty cool advantages.
These types of accommodations offer a kitchen where you can cook your meals throughout the day. Besides, it’s always a great way to meet other travelers or even locals and gain some insight into the place you’re visiting.
Couchsurfing can also be a cheap option, Airbnb often offers reasonable prices, and you’re able to talk directly to the owners of the house beforehand.
Extra tip: If you’re planning on sleeping in your car, make sure you do it safely, opt by store parking lots are usually safe since cameras are all around.
6. Don’t forget about parking fees
If you’re traveling by car, parking fees are something to worry about. After all, the last thing you want is to get a ticket right?
To avoid all the anxiety and stress of looking for parking spots, why not get into road trip planner mode and take a look on google maps beforehand? You may find free parking spots or even be able to pay your fees online with good discounts.
Extra tip: Avoid parking on busy streets since these tend to have higher parking fees, and the safety of your car is never guaranteed.
7. Work while you travel
One of the smartest road trip hacks is to earn money while on the road, but how can you do that?
Delivery companies are always looking for people who don’t mind delivering stuff while traveling; it’s always cheaper for the company when carried and provided by an independent worker such as yourself.
For you, it doesn’t make a difference; you’re already traveling with a purpose, so a few stops along the way won’t cause you any hassle. And on top of that, you’re winning good money, maybe enough to cover more than half of your trip!
Extra tip: “Roadie” is a delivery company that usually resorts to ridesharing. Look it up!
Money will always be spent when traveling, and there are a few things that may cost you more money but are extremely necessary. Travel insurance is one of them.
Of course, nobody wants to think that the worst will happen, but if you end up in an accident or something happens to you, with travel insurance, you don’t have to worry about anything. Always remind yourself that it’s best to be safe than sorry, so what you’re waiting for? Plan your next vacation and start saving for it!