Road trips are one of the favorite pastimes of many Americans. It’s an excellent way to see the continent that over 200 million Americans are planning to do this year.
There are many reasons why road trips are so popular. They’re flexible, you can go at your own pace, and you can see things that you wouldn’t be able to see if you were on a plane or a train.
It’s also the best way to see North America for what it is. Going on a road trip is filled with adventures and misadventures as well. It awakens the great adventurer inside each one of us.
Lastly, road trips are cheaper than international travel. It’s estimated that the average cost of international travel was around $3,500 in 2013. If we consider inflation, that’s around $4,400 this year! That’s a lot of money. Road trips will only take less than half of that. But what if you can save even more money? Here are some ingenious ways you can save money on your road trip.
Rent a Car
Interestingly, renting a car is cheaper than driving your vehicle on a road trip. The average cost of renting a car is $50 per day, while the cost of driving your vehicle is $70 per day.
This is because when you’re driving your car, you have to factor in the wear and tear of your vehicle, the gas, and the other incidentals. However, when you’re renting a car, you only have to worry about the rental fee and the gas.
You also don’t have to worry about breaking down in the middle of nowhere as most car rental companies offer 24/7 roadside assistance. Just ensure you’re covered by insurance so that you don’t have to pay for any damages to the rental car.
Moreover, if you’re planning to buy a car for your road trip, forget about it. The average cost of vehicles has skyrocketed throughout the years, so renting a car has become an even cheaper option. So if you want a car, consider purchasing a used one instead.
Plan Your Route
One of the best ways to save on road trip costs is to plan your route. Map out where you’re going and calculate the estimated gas costs. This way, you can take the most efficient route possible and save money on gas.
You can also look for places where you can stop and stay for free. There are a lot of websites that offer lists of free camping sites. All you need is a tent and you’re good to go!
If camping isn’t your thing, there are other ways to find cheap accommodation. You can look for hostels or Couchsurf with locals. Hostels are a great option if you’re traveling solo as they offer dorm-style rooms that are usually cheaper than hotel rooms.
Couchsurfing is when you stay with a local for free. It’s a great way to meet new people and get insider tips about the places you’re visiting. Just make sure that you’re Couchsurfing with someone who has good reviews.
Bring Your Food
Another great way to save money on your road trip is to bring food. This might seem like a no-brainer, but many people forget to do this.
Eating out can be expensive, especially if you do it daily. You can easily spend $50 a day on food if you’re not careful. That’s $350 in one week!
Instead of eating out, pack your food and snacks. It doesn’t mean that you have to bring canned goods with you. You can still eat fresh food by packing a cooler with ice.
Some great road trip snacks include fruits, vegetables, sandwiches, chips, and nuts. And of course, don’t forget the drinks! Bring a water bottle so you can save money on bottled water.
Look for Discounts
There are many discounts on attractions, hotels, and restaurants. One way to do this is to look for coupons online. Another way is to sign up for membership programs such as AAA or CAA.
These membership programs offer discounts on many different things, including gas, hotels, and attractions. If you’re planning to visit many attractions, you can also buy a city pass.
This is a great way to save money, especially visiting a large city like New York or London. The city pass gives you access to all the major attractions and usually includes a hop-on hop-off bus tour.
These are just a few ways to save money on your next road trip. By following these tips, you’ll be able to have a fun and affordable trip. Just make sure you’re flexible with your plans and enjoy the journey as much as the destination. With that mindset, you’re sure to enjoy your upcoming road trip.