BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – As the end of summer vacation nears, some families are making an effort to plan one last summertime road trip before the new school year begins.
But for the many households who are trying to stick to a budget, a road trip may seem like a costly venture.
Fortunately, there are ways to save money while taking to the open road for a family adventure.
Five suggestions are listed below.
#1 Instead of stopping at restaurants, bring a cooler full of foods and snacks
You’ll be surprised how much you save if you swap restaurant stops for snacking on sandwiches, wraps, salads, and other food items that you made at home. Additionally, when you arrive at your destination you can continue to save on food by stopping by a local grocery store and buying breakfast cereal and sandwich fixings.
#2 Plan your route, and fuel stops
Instead of winging it when it comes to stopping for gas, plan out your entire route and include fuel stops at locations with inexpensive gasoline. You may want to use a gas app like GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas along your route. Or if you’re a Costco member, map out Costco locations with gas stations along your route as they typically have the cheapest prices for gas.
In addition to this, by planning your route ahead of time you can map out the quickest, and most fuel-efficient way to reach your destination, which is a great way to save a few bucks.
#3 Before taking to the road, get a tune-up
It’s likely to be far more expensive, not to mention dangerous, to have your car breakdown while you’re on a lonely road far from home than to pay for a tune-up before your road trip.
So, have a mechanic check your vehicle’s fluid levels and filters, your tires (including the condition of the spare) as well as the state of the engine and headlights.
#4 At your destination, enjoy outdoor activities
Most communities have free outdoor concerts or other low-cost events, so plan ahead to attend these instead of going to expensive amusement parks or pricey venues.
It doesn’t typically cost much to go hiking, fishing, snowshoeing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, or even simply picnicking in a local park.
#5 Pair up with another family
Another way to save money is to split the cost of accommodations and gas with another family. If possible, you can rent a large vehicle together and travel as a group in addition to dividing the cost of a cabin or Airbnb.
There are many other ways to save money while taking a road trip. For example, some families look for resorts that offer free accommodations or free tickets to amusement parks in exchange for spending an hour or two listening to one of their salesperson’s special offers. Others choose to vacation in a town just outside of a major tourist city, as it’s typically less expensive.
Those who choose to embark on an end-of-summer road trip will likely find even more ways to enjoy the adventure without breaking the bank.