Road Trip on a Budget

A road trip can make for a great vacation, especially if you’re on a budget, but you should plan ahead to avoid overspending. Here are a few ways you can save money on your next four-wheeled adventure.

1) Plan beforehand

An important step in planning a road trip is to set a budget. Be realistic as to what you will spend by calculating all of your expected costs. This way, you will know how much you need to save between now and the start of your trip. By setting a budget and sticking to it, you can create great memories without the trip weighing on your finances.

2) Bring your own food

A big expense on a road trip can be food, especially if you eat out at restaurants. A way to save is to bring your own food along for the ride. Consider preparing an assortment of picnic food and snacks — everything from a bunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to fruits and granola bars. The money you save will be well worth the time.

3) Get your car ready

Nothing will influence the road trip experience more than the condition of your vehicle. This is where you’ll be for several hours a day, so you’ll want to make sure it’s as comfortable as possible. Beyond a car wash, consider what maintenance tasks might be needed. Rotate the tires and change the oil before you leave to help avoid paying for expensive repairs on the road.

Additionally, call your car insurance company to make sure you’re covered if someone else is driving your car. Confirm that you have the most current insurance card handy. Taking these steps can put your mind at ease while driving.

4) Find the best prices

This doesn’t have to mean touring your town in search of the best deal on crayons. Instead, search for specials in the Sunday paper, weekly circulars, and online.