Road trips are a fun way to travel for families, not only for the memories (and songs in the car) but also because it is much cheaper than travel by plane.
Still, there are things you can do to slash that price down even farther! Here are some of the best ways we’ve found.
Let’s start with how to save money on gas during your road trip. GasBuddy.com is a really helpful site if you are planning a trip. Gas buddy is a website and they also have a free app for your phone. To use it, simply enter a zip code and it will tell you where there cheapest gas is in that area. This is so helpful since the most expensive gas is usually right on the interstate. You’d never know that if you drove 5 minutes or so out of the way you could save a TON on gas! I’ve seen huge differences in prices using this app, and that can add up to huge savings over a long trip.
You could also consider applying for a gas credit card before the trip. I’m not usually a huge credit-card user, but with the discounts they offer, this could be a way to save during a trip, especially if you budget out the expense still and pay it off immediately when you get the bill.
The other thing that drains the budget during a family road trip is snacks. It seems like every time we stop, kids want new snacks and all at crazy-high gas station prices! We’ve found that if you buy snacks in bulk before the trip, you can save a lot of money over the course of your vacation. Some of our favorites are these, these and these!
Keep chalk in the car so kids can get out at rest stops and play with it. A glove and ball would work great for older kids as free entertainment along the way.
You can also strategically plan your stops around pet shops. We’ve found that kids treat pet stores like miniature zoos, and they are free to visit! See if you can find any on your route to stop off and have a little fun for 10-15 minutes on your trip.
You can save money on lodging by camping along the way. Look for national forests, as they often have free campsites.
If camping isn’t your thing, look for a groupon deal in the areas you will be driving through to see if you can find a good deal. Otherwise, make sure you make reservations ahead of time so you don’t get stuck tired and staying in an expensive hotel not knowing there was a cheaper one just down the road.
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks for your trip!
Where are you traveling to next? How will you save money on your next road trip?