Money Saving Tips for Your Summer Road Trip

save money travel by carLooking for money-saving summer travel tips?

With weather that is, for once, not only warm but occasionally downright balmy, the summer is undoubtedly here once again. For many families that means that it is time to hit the road for a much deserved road trip vacation. If you are planning a summer road trip in the near future, here are a few tips to ensure that your vacation is kind to your bank account.

Plan Your Gas Spending Ahead of Time

Car travel is often cheaper than air travel, but it still comes with its own set of formidable expenses, namely gas. Gas prices are seem to be rising these days, and the price per gallon varies from city to city and state to state. Instead of relying on luck to try and find cheaper gas prices, there are actually ways to research the cheapest gas stations in an area ahead of time, such as GasBuddy.com and the US government’s fuel economy map. We’d be remiss if (being the TireZoo) if we didn’t mention checking your tires over for proper inflation and other concerns. Proper inflation will help with gas mileage, and obviously safe tires should help you avoid wasting time and money repairing tires when you’d rather be enjoying your vacation.

Pack Snacks Ahead of Time

Gas station stores make a tidy profit from hungry road trippers willing to pay a markup for convenience. However, you can save a surprising amount by packing your own snacks ahead of time, including cold drinks in a cooler – ice is less expensive than food and drinks on the road.

Avoid Tolls When Possible

The revenue from tolls helps keep certain roads maintained and operational, but that does not mean that you have to use those roads. With GPS units and smartphone apps, along with online trip planning sites, finding toll-free alternatives has never been easier.

There is No Rush

While it seems like getting there as quickly as possible may seem cheaper, and otherwise preferable, to spending more time on the road, flooring the pedal and far exceeding the speed limit is not necessarily the way to go. Not only is speeding dangerous and potentially very costly if you get caught, but high speeds are much less fuel efficient for most vehicles.

Avoid Fast Food Chains

While you or your family may get the craving for a specific type of fast food while on the road, stopping at chains regularly gets expensive and tedious. Local businesses often offer better tasting, more interesting and potentially healthier fare for the same price if not cheaper.

What is your favorite tip for saving money while on the road with the family?