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How to Save Money on a Road Trip

How to save money on a road trip

Whether you’re planning a trip south during the cold winter months ahead, or already dreaming of summer plans, we could all use some budgeting tips. The price of goods continues to increase with the pandemic, so every little bit of savings helps. If you’re hitting the road anytime soon, here are some ways to save money on your trip.

Create a budget

This tip may not be very fun, but is one of the best ways to prevent excess spending on a road trip. Before leaving on a trip, plan out all of your spending. This plan should include meals, incidentals, activity costs, souvenirs, gas, lodging and extra for unexpected emergencies. Once you sit down and pencil out the actual costs, you may find yourself revising your plans to stay within a targeted cost.

Choose a smart time to travel

Traveling to certain destinations during the off-season, if you have the freedom, can save you a tremendous amount of money. Do some research of the peak and low seasons and try to avoid those peaks. As an added bonus, you will get to avoid the crowds.

Plan and Pack

Oftentimes we end up spending extra money on a road trip because we haven’t sufficiently planned and packed for a trip. Think through all the activities and destinations and pack all of the gear and clothing you will need. Make sure you have weather appropriate clothing, including items for unexpected storms. Even if you have to buy some supplies, you’re likely able to find a better deal from home than when you are on the road.

Plan out Mealtimes

One of the quickest ways to blow up your budget on the road is during mealtimes. Before leaving on your trip, plan out your meals. The more you can eat in your RV or at your campsite, the more you are going to save. However, you will want to also plan a few treats in there for when you just don’t feel like cooking. Make sure to pack plenty of grab-and-go snacks for while you’re on the road so that gas station stops are just for gas, not overpriced snacks.

Purchase a National Parks Pass

The entrance fees to National parks can quickly add up. If you’re planning on hitting several on your road trip, consider purchasing and annual pass to the National Parks. You can also often find annual passes for State Parks. These annual passes are usually significantly more affordable than paying for daily passes.

Enjoy Free Activities

Always be on the lookout for free activities, instead of just expensive tourist traps. There is a treasure trove of places to see and things to do that require zero dollars. Sometimes these activities just take a bit more hunting to find.

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