There’s something very special about taking a family road trip. Everyone piles into the family car and off you go. It’s time together where memories are made and adventures are had. While the costs of taking the entire family on a trip can add up, there are some tricks you can use to come back with cash in your wallet. Here are four tips to help you save money on your next road trip.
Time Your Trip Right
We all know that hotel rates and fuel prices cost more during peak season, so research where you want to go first and find out when off-season is for that locale. For instance, rates at the beach will always be more expensive during summer and spring break, so if you can plan a trip a week or two after spring break or a week or two before or after summer, you’ll find much better deals.
You can also save money on gas by avoiding unnecessary traffic, as idling burns gas quickly. If possible, leave early in the morning or late at night to avoid rush hour.
Find Cheap Gas
When you’re planning out a road trip, it’s necessary to factor in gas prices so you’ll know what you need to budget for the trip. By downloading one of the many gas price apps, it’s easy to find the best fuel prices along your route. These apps show prices in real-time and will help you determine if adjusting your route slightly is in your wallet’s best interest. Apps like GasBuddy and Waze are crowdsourced, meaning drivers enter in the price they paid so you’ll know the most current prices. As a bonus, not only can you save money this way, but you can also make money! Become a registered used with GasBuddy, log prices you’ve paid, and you’ll be entered into weekly drawings for gas cards. It’s a win-win situation!
Sleep on the Cheap
If you’re road tripping with another family, it may be more economical to rent a house or condo. Even if it’s just your family it may be cheaper to rent one as opposed to booking several hotel rooms. Additionally, by booking a condo or house you’ll also have access to a kitchen, which means you can save money on food by cooking your own.
Enjoy Cheap Entertainment
You’d be surprised how many entertainment options out there are either free or cost next to nothing. Do your research before leaving to find out if there are museums, parks, festivals, etc. Oftentimes, museums are either free or ask for a nominal donation, and you can easily spend hours meandering the galleries. State parks are very affordable as well and offer numerous recreational options for fun in the sun. If you’re heading to the beach, you can dig your jump the waves and build sandcastles for free.
By timing your next road trip right, researching, and planning ahead, your vacation won’t cost an arm and leg. Instead of watching the cash flow, you’ll be able to enjoy this special time with your family.