Saturday, August 5, 2017

Have you ever wondered how to go about planning a frugal road trip?

Road trips can be a fun way to travel, especially when you're in great company. 

Sharing driving costs with friends or family is definitely a huge financial advantage. Without doubt, it's cheaper than buying separate train or airline tickets to travel. 

Personally, I'm a big fan of road trips. 

First, you get to save money on travel costs. And second, you get to see so many different and interesting places before you even arrive to your destination!

road trip

However, even if road trips are considered frugal by definition, this particular way of travelling can get expensive if you're not careful.

Here's how I manage to keep costs down and plan a frugal road trip every single time. 

1. Saving money on gas

With a bit of planning, you can definitely manage to save money on gas! 

Here are 4 useful tips to lower the cost on fuel

- Fill up your tank when and where it's most convenient, before leaving. If you have certain gas stations in your area that drop prices on certain days, take advantage! 

- Check your tire pressure. Not only is this a recommended safety precaution (who wants to deal with flat tires), but it helps save on gas as well.

- Drive efficiently, and you'll lower your overall gas consumption. Keeping a constant speed while driving helps a great deal. Knowing when to change gears influences fuel consumption as well. All in all.. learn how to drive efficiently and you'll spend less money on gas!

- Pack light, so your car won't have to struggle to carry all the weight! It's true, it's better to be safe than sorry, especially since lots of stuff can fit in a car! But truth be told, the lighter you pack, the less fuel you'll consume.

- Avoid getting lost. Although driving around cluelessly can turn out to be an exciting experience, it can take a toll on your total gas consumption.

2. Packing food and drinks for the road

It's impossible not to find a fast food joint along the way. Or a restaurant. Or even a gas station that sells food!

Problem is, this is where road trips can drill a hole in your budget.

To save money, make sure to pack enough food to avoid buying any along the way.

frugal road trip

Personally, I plan ahead by doing some light shopping before the actual road trip. 

My shopping list includes ingredients for sandwiches to brown-bag, fruit that lasts in a cooler bag and salty or sweet snacks (what's more thrifty than brown bagging your snacks on a road trip?)

Don't forget to pack drinks as well. Buying them along the way is the opposite of frugal.

3. Budgeting for pit stops

As a bonus, packing your own food on a road trip saves time. Nevertheless, you might want to make a pit stop and stretch your legs or sit down while enjoying your lunch!

The great thing with frugal road trips is, you can plan ahead and include some pit stops beforehand!

To save money, search for affordable gas stations along the way. Pin them on your map to avoid paying ridiculous prices for gas elsewhere.

Stopping to visit a landmark can also turn out to be an interesting experience. Just make sure to budget properly if you're expected to pay entrance fees.

4. Planning ahead for sleeping arrangements

Have you thought about where will you spend the night?

If your trip takes more than 1 day before arriving to your destination, book a room in advance! 

In certain circumstances, some might consider sleeping in the car. It's a full proof way to save money, but doesn't work every single time.

By planning ahead, you'll know for sure you'll have a place to sleep waiting and you'll lower the costs by having plenty of choices to compare ahead of time. 

I'm always excited when planning a frugal road trip and can't help but look forward to what to see and do, even on a short stay! Finding ways to save money and keep travel costs to a minimum is a perky added bonus.

About the author: Adriana is an experienced web content writer, passionate about everything personal finance. She blogs about the topic over at moneyjourneytoday.com, where she covers everything from saving money and frugal living tips, to real estate and investing.

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