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8 Ways to Save Money During a Road Trip

save on road trip costs

Road trips are an exciting way to explore new places and have the time of your life with your friends or family. The music booming through the speakers, the cool breeze, and the laughter makes it an unforgettable experience. 

Now, many of us may have a misconception that road trips are expensive and a luxury. However, have you ever thought that there are various ways of saving money on a road trip?

Well, if you are unaware of such tricks, keep reading to save up nicely for your next road trip. 

1. Split the Cost 

If you are traveling with a group of friends, you can split the cost with all of them. That way, each one will end up paying a small amount and still enjoy the trip. A win-win situation! 

Expensive purchases can become cheaper when you split the cost with a group. You can enjoy and experience more things with your friends because now things can be more affordable. 

There are a lot of mobile apps that can help you make the process easier. They can help you receive money from your friends then transfer it to your bank account. 

2. Make a Budget

Making your budget plan beforehand is essential for having a cheap road trip. When you make a budget plan, you will keep track of all your purchases and prevent overspending. 

Make sure you have an emergency fund in case something unexpected happened during your trip. 

3. Save Up on Lodging

Apart from road trips, lodging can take up a huge chunk of your money. So, to ensure that this does not happen, look out for reasonable hotels. 

We recommend going camping. Firstly, it will be super fun to build tents and have your own little camping session along with a road trip. So, bring your S’mores and get the party going!

If camping isn’t a feasible option for you, you can try out renting an apartment. You can also go to an Airbnb. 

Airbnb has a lot of discounts and is much cheaper than normal hotels.

4. Make a List of Necessary Items

Sometimes, it is not the huge costs that increase your budget. It is usually the repetitive unexpected small costs that result in it.

So, the best way to ensure that the budget remains intact is to make a proper list of everything you need. If it is summer, get your sunscreen and hats. If it is winter, do not forget mufflers or jackets. Also, don’t forget your charger and toiletries. 

Having a list can make packing easy-going and reduce the overall cost of such things. 

5. Get Your Parking Tickets in Advance

If you are traveling to a big crowded city, chances are you might have to pay a lot for parking tickets. Downtown parking lots can get very pricey, especially the ones near the main tourist attractions and hotels. 

However, you can always pre-order your tickets online. Online tickets can get very cheap and you can always land on a discount while you are booking. They can also save you from the hustle of standing in a line to swipe your card. 

6. Earn Some Cash 

Good news! You can earn some extra cash on your way and make back the money you are spending on the trip, or at least most of it. 

Services like can let you deliver parcels while taking your already intended trip. You can make up to $600 or more. 

7. Stack Up on Snacks

It is important to fill your bags with snacks before you head off. When you buy snacks from gas stations and other grocery shops on the road, they might overcharge you. 

Make sure you get healthy and satiating snacks that will make you feel full during the whole road. Get some fruits, protein bars, nuts, crackers, etc. 

8. Save on Fuel Costs

Lastly, the best way to reduce your budget is by reducing your fuel expenses. Now, there are various ways on how you can do it. 

Some of these options are: 

  • Get a proper car for your road trip. If you are renting a car, go for a fuel-efficient one. If you have your own car, ensure that it is in a proper working condition. 
  • Do not drive too fast and use up all the fuel. Try to enjoy the road trip by driving leisurely and looking at all the scenic views. 
  • If the weather is pleasant, why not roll down the windows and feel the cool wind? This way too you are saving up on fuel!
  • Do not waste your fuel by turning on the A/C when the car is stagnant. 

Final Words

Road trips can be a much better option than train or bus trips. You can be in control of your entire trip and stop anywhere along the road to camp or enjoy the view. However, expenses can become a problem. Follow our hacks and tricks to learn how to have a wonderful road trip while staying on budget. 

Image by Alex Jumper

Post Author: Lillia Hall

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June 2024