With gas prices at $3+ a gallon or more across the country, you may consider road trips a thing of the past. However, using these tips to help you prepare for your next road trip will save you so much money you will want to take one every year!
1. Before your trip, head to the grocery store. Make your way to the grocery store and stock up on snacks, soft drinks, and sandwich items for your trip. Even though most snacks will only cost you a few bucks while you’re on the road, that will add up fast.
2. Avoid stops. It’s not necessary to avoid stops all together, and obviously you will need gas, but try to make the most of the few stops you do have to make. Stopping to use the bathroom every 30 minutes is going to add a lot of time (and stress!). Each time you stop, it also opens the door to “I’m hungry”s and “I’m thirsty”s – which equals money spent.
3. Save gas.Go the speed limit. Not only will you save gas by doing so, you can also save hundreds of dollars by avoiding a speeding ticket. Turn off the air conditioning if the weather is nice, and make sure your tires have the right amount of air in them.
4. Use Your Smart PhoneUse a navigation app on your smart phone so you don’t get lost! iPhones come with a Map application that acts as a GPS with real time navigation to get you where you need to go. It’s also a good idea to use your smart phone to search for nearby restaurants and entertainment in your price range (try Yelp and Urbanspoon).
5. Pack a water bottle. Buying a case of water at the start of your trip (and refilling bottles along your way) can save you lots of dough. With bottled water being nearly $3 each at some places, you can imagine how fast that could add up!
6. Bring your camera. Instead of being tempted to splurge on vacation photos at the amusement park or museum, bring your own camera and have someone snap a shot of your family. To get your photo taken at the Willis (Sears) Tower in Chicago, it can cost more than $25! Save that money by taking digital photos and printing them when you get home.
7. Save on Repairs. Visit your local mechanic’s shop and have them check your fluids, belts, battery, and tires, to ensure you’re getting off to the best possible start. Auto repairs can be extremely costly, especially when they involve an out of town shop.
8. Consider roughing it.If you’re really tough, pack a tent and find a camp site along the way to your destination. Camping for one night can save you over $100!
9. Get discounts. Joining a travel club like AAA is an easy way to save money on lodging and more. If you find a hotel with free breakfast and you use your AAA discount, you can save twice as much!
There are so many ways to save on your road trip this summer, there’s no reason to let high gas prices discourage you from taking a family vacation. Remember, you’ll be creating memories that you and your family will cherish for years to come!
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