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Saving Money on Road Trips

Although “saving money” and “road trip” may no longer be logically linked together, what with the crazy high gas prices now, there are ways that you can make a scaled back family vacation where you drive in a car instead of pay (also high) airfare.

The first is to get yourself a great credit card with gas reward points. These little cards can sometimes really take a little money off each gallon of gas you’re paying at the pump.

And the nice thing is, you can pay them off every month and never pay a dime of interest, but also still enjoy the benefits of earning rewards toward free gasoline when you use it. Let’s face it, even if you think credit cards are the devil, they certainly are the most convenient way to pay for things, and they are really a basic necessity to get by today.

Another way to save while you’re on the road trip is to pack your food, instead of stopping and getting snacks at gas stations, and stopping at restaurants for meals. Of course, there will be times when you have to stop for food, but there are cheap places where you can get in and get out for almost less money than you would have paid if you’d packed yourself. One of them is McDonalds.

I know, not everyone’s favorite nutrition-wise, but McDonalds” has the dollar menu, and you can buy a meal for two for five bucks if you order only water (or bring your own). Like I said, if you choose wisely, you can really whittle down your budget for food, and you can pay less than you would have if you’d packed sandwiches.

Plus, Mickey D’s are allover the place, you will surely find a few on your way. There are other fast food joints with cheap-y menus that are competing with this, so you can find meals at most places for under $3 a person.

To conserve on gas, avoid things like hard breaking and accelerating too fast and all at once. People who have more “even” driving habits, where they put the car on cruise control and don’t constantly press the gas petal, usually save quite a bit on gas mileage. If you really want to save, try keeping the windows up and using the fan, not the a/c.

Also, make sure you car has the proper air pressure in its tires before you leave. Tires with the wrong pressure force the car to use more gasoline, so you are essentially wasting gas if you don’t have your tires filled to the proper pressure – plus you are endangering yourself.

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