Going on a vacation soon? Traveling by car? Before you pack up and get on your way, have you thought about how you will save money along the way? Here are a few tips that will help you save money on your vacation and how to save money when you travel by car.
1. Plan ahead! Make an itinerary with the places you plan to visit or see. Then, search for coupons online that may help you save money at those locations. Request brochures several weeks or months in advance or check for free travel guides. You don’t want to waste time when you get to your location by trying to find things to do, so be sure you plan ahead.
2. Find deals on places to stay. If you really want to save money, the best bet is to find a friend to stay with that lives near your destination. If you don’t have any friends to stay with, then you will most likely have to book a hotel room. Compare prices at hotels. Research the services and amenities the hotel offers. Do you want it to have a free continental breakfast? A pool? Free wi-fi? Make sure parking is free, too. There are hotels that do make you pay for parking! Find hotels that travelers trust. If you don’t want to stay at a hotel, you can also try camping out at a state park.
3. Before you go, make sure you check that car is running well to avoid mechanical fees along the way. Check the tire pressure. Get an oil change if needed and make sure your inspection and registration is up to date. Carry your license and car insurance cards with you when you travel, too. While driving, make sure you watch your speed. You don’t want to end up with any tickets along the way!
4. Carry extra cash with you for emergencies.
5. Bring maps or your GPS and make sure you know how to get to your destination before you leave. You don’t want to waste time or fuel because you got lost.
6. Pack up plenty of snacks and drinks. Pack up a small cooler with water, juice, or milk for the kids. If possible, try to eat before you go so that you don’t have to stop shortly after leaving to get a bite to eat. To save even more money and if you have room, pack a picnic and stop at a park or rest stop along the way. Let the kids run around and get some energy out. To save on ice, refill empty water bottles and freeze them and use them to keep food and drink cool.
7. If you are traveling with kids, make sure you have everything ready to go: DVD player with adapter, bottles or formula, snack bags, wipes for easy clean up, plastic trash bags for trash, toys, books, etc.
8. Take your medicine or prescriptions with you. Take an extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts just in case they get broken or lost.
9. Make sure everyone uses the restroom before you go! This will avoid a “Mommy, I have to go potty!” after only 5 minutes into the trip, saving time and money.
10. If possible, try to find cheapest gas. Check GasBuddy.com to compare prices in major cities.
How do you save money when traveling by car?