Ways to Save Money on Your Upcoming Road Trip

Save money road trip

Save Money: Road Trip Tips

Your expenses on a cross-country road trip are mainly food, gas, lodging, and incidentals. While you can’t control all costs, you can reduce your expenses by planning ahead and taking a few extra measures to insure incidentals are less likely to happen.

Food

Obviously eating out at restaurants can take a toll on the pocket book, especially if you are on the road for most of your trip. One of the advantages of driving over flying is the ability to pack food and beverages to eat along the way. 

  • Coupon and shop deals ahead of time to plan out snacks and meals for the road.
  • Clip coupons for restaurants and grocery stores that you can use along the way.
  • Take some time to scout out deals ahead of time and plan your route to take advantage of foods in season, family/friends along the route, and events offering great food at low prices like community celebrations.
  • For a bunch of foods that travel well, check out our Travel Pinterest Board

Lodging

Finding nice place to stay and relax along the way is important, especially when driving. You need time to rest so you are safe on the road and prepared to deal with yet another “are we there yet?”.

  • Visit the websites or call ahead to the Chamber and Visitor’s Buearu’s along the way to see if they have any coupons, discounts, or specials they know of from Chamber member businesses.
  • Check your credit card company for additional perks or points that could be used that you forgot or may not even be aware exist.
  • Check other memberships and associations that may offer lodging discounts or have agreements with certain hotel chains. 
  • Don’t rule out Airbnb or other lodging options that can be cheaper and offer completely different advantages and amenities.
  • Is there a family or friend who is interested in taking a vacation at the same time that you could swap homes along the way?

Gas & TraveL

There isn’t much you can do about the ever fluctuating gas prices, but you can be proactive. Scheduling your trip at less “peak” travel times might help. Gas is typically less leading up to elections, so fall trips can save on gas too. 

  • Maximize your fuel efficiency by making sure your tires are under inflated or over inflated. Properly inflating your tires and making sure they are in good condition, will help your gas money stretch a little further.
  • There are apps for checking gas prices, such as GasBuddy. You can look ahead and plan to fuel up where gas is less, as well as find discounts and coupons along the way.
  • Don’t forget to plan for tollways or route around them. Most are minimal, but some can be several dollars each. If your road trip route as quite a bit in tolls, you’d want to budget for that.

Incidentals 

Incidentals are things you don’t anticipate happening, but know could. It’s good to plan for incidental expenses, but take as many precautions as possible to avoid unwanted “extra” expenses.

  • Proper car and tire maintenance is a must before a long road trip. Make sure your vehicle has a solid “thumbs-up” before heading out.
  • Avoid tourist seasons for where you are headed. Prices tend to be higher around peak tourist seasons.
  • While you can’t plan for all construction and detour areas, you can look ahead for any major re-routes such as bridges or interstates that might slow you down or cause extra delay.
  • Know local laws, pay parking meters, and obey speed zones, especially in construction zones. Tickets and fines are something you can hopefully avoid.

 

If the crew at the TireZoo in Anoka or Bloomington can help get your tires ready for a long road trip ahead, stop in and see us. We’re here to help you save money, get on the road fast, and find affordable tires.