5 Tips for road tripping on a dime


Summer is finally here, which means a road trip is definitely in order. But, that doesn’t mean you have to spend a small fortune on your family getaway. A little bit of organization and planning can go a long way in saving you money. Check out our top 5 tips for road tripping on a budget.

  1. Pack a cooler

    Stopping at restaurants or grabbing snacks at gas stations may be convenient, but the high prices can stack up quickly. Packing a cooler with everyone’s favorite snacks and drinks is more economical, not to mention, healthier! Plan out meals you’ll eat outside of the car, and have a few stops in mind. Your destination probably has better food than a convenience store hot dog, anyways.

    Bonus tip: Not sure what to pack? Check out our 8 easy on-the-road snacks!

  2. Consider camping

    Campground prices average around $30-50 a night depending on location. Compared to the average hotel room price ($137/night), this tip can save you over $400 on a 5 day trip! Look for campgrounds with amenities such as pools, fishing, and even mini golf to add to the adventure! Pitch a tent and bask in the great outdoors while you enjoy your savings!

    Bonus tip: If you prefer to stay in a hotel, look for one with complimentary breakfast to cut down on food costs

  3. Use GasBuddy

    Gas prices vary pretty drastically in different parts of the country, so it’s a good idea to know which areas have the cheapest gas. Before your trip use the Gas Buddy Trip Cost Calculator to map out the cheapest stops on the way to your destination. This will help you plan ahead of time how much you’ll spend on gas, allowing you to budget better. You can also download the GasBuddy app and don’t forget to check prices when your tank is at ¼ full.

    Bonus tip: Save your fuel points from grocery retailers until your trip to fill up for cheap right before you leave.

  4. Check car maintenance before leaving                                                              Nothing can ruin a vacation like unexpected car repair. Take your vehicle to your local repair shop for a full service check and tune up, and have your road trip check list handy. In addition to your standard oil change, you’ll want to make sure your car battery is free of corrosion, your tire pressure is correct, and engine coolant is topped off. These seemingly small preventative measures can save you some big cash in the long run; plus you won’t be stranded on the side of the road – priceless 

    Bonus tip: Many retailers have coupons on their website. Be sure to check for extra savings before taking your car in.

  5. Make a budget                                                                                                        This may sound simple, but budgeting can make all the difference when it comes to traveling. Estimate cost for gas, accommodations, food and entertainment. Try downloading a budgeting app on your smartphone, so you always have it on hand. We recommend using Spent because the app eve allows you to get cash back for items you’re already purchasing! Knowing how much you can spend ahead of time will help keep you from spending unnecessarily.

       Bonus tip: Get cash out before you leave to avoid ATM withdrawal fees.

Now that you’re equipped with these money saving tips, it’s time to hit the road. Just remember, be prepared, stay safe and have fun (especially with that extra cash on hand)!

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