How to Save Money on a Road Trip

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Road Trip/Image Credit: AnthonyRosenberg

The weather is heating up and road trip season is right around the corner. But before you head out into the great, wide world on your travel adventures, we’ve got a few tips to help you minimize the spending without minimizing the fun. Read on to learn how you can save money on your next road trip.

Road Trip Preparation

Travel Plan/Image Credit: StockSnap

The first and most important step in a low-cost trip is the preparation phase. It may seem like a lot of fun to just go with the flow and figure things out along the way, but if you want to get the most out of your trip AND your budget, then you should prepare in advance.

Ensure that you know where you are headed, where you might want to stop, and what you will want to do along the way. It is much harder to find good prices when you are under pressure and on the road. A little bit of work and planning now will help minimize costly mistakes so you can fully enjoy the trip.

Save Money on Food

Drive-Thru/Image Credit: NeonJellyfish

Packing Food

If you ensure that you’ve packed enough food ahead of time, you’ll save a ton of money down the road (pun intended). Make sure to pack a variety of snacks and drinks that are easy to share and won’t make too much of a mess in your car. You may even want to pack some travel-friendly meals, like sandwiches.

When to Eat Out

Eating out isn’t all bad. In fact, it can be a huge part of the road trip experience! If this is something you want for your trip, don’t be afraid to splurge a little. It’s possible to even work eating out at specific restaurants into your travel itinerary. You can find many good restaurant recommendations on social media, or you could even ask the locals for the best spots to eat. Doing this will help you make the experience count, and you won’t feel guilty about doing a little extra spending.

Finding Low-Cost Lodging

Old Hotel Sign/Image Credit: ryandeberardinisphotos

Try to Stick to the Schedule

Hotels know that they can charge the full price to someone desperately needing rest. If you stop in at a busy time, you certainly won’t be getting any discounts. Try your hardest to stick to the schedule, but don’t overdo it. If you NEED to stop for rest, don’t risk your safety by pressing forward. In cases like this, consider whether you will need a full night’s rest or a little power nap. Then choose the best option available.

Travel with a Buddy

What’s a road trip without your family or a few of your best friends?! A trip can be much more fun with a buddy, and you have the added benefit of having a second driver. This minimizes the need for frequent stops, as one person can drive while the other rests.


You can find plenty of good hotel deals by searching online ahead of time. When you know where you will be stopping ahead of time, it’s much easier to look at the reviews and find the best options. If you are staying with the same chain frequently, you might want to consider enrolling in their rewards program.

If you are staying for a longer period, you should consider searching for special long-term rates. Many hotels will offer a discount for weekly stays. You can find some good deals by googling the area you are staying in, along with the term “weekly rates.”

Other Options

Remember that hotels are NOT the only option for lodging. You can consider alternative options like Airbnb, homestays, and even camping! Camping provides one of the cheapest and most memorable trip experiences, though some may find the lack of amenities may be less appealing. You can find many cheap, or even free campsites to set up for the night. If the weather is nice, you can pack a tent, or you could consider taking a van or an RV. The options are endless!

Budget for Gas

Gas Money/Image Credit: Ronira

Unfortunately, gas prices are pretty high right now, and this will be a big cost on your trip. But fear not, there are still plenty of ways that you can save on gas. Consider getting an app like GasBuddy that helps you save and find the best prices. Plan your stops in advance to get the most out of your money. You can also increase your efficiency by planning your route ahead of time. Careful planning can go a long way.

You can absolutely have an amazing road trip that doesn’t break the bank. If you’re still looking for the perfect vehicle for you to TAKE that trip, we can help you with that too. Visit us today at, where we can help you search for a car that meets all of your needs.