Although flying is more time efficient, driving vacations are more economical. Plus, we see so much more of our world when we drive and make so many great memories together. Still, transportation costs rise quickly when on a road trip.
One of the ways to save money on a family road trip is to watch expenses on transportation. We’ve already looked at ways you can save money on lodging. This week I want to focus on tips that can help you save money on transportation in your family road trip budget.
10 Budget-Friendly Transportation Tips
- Tune it up! Get the car tuned up before you hit the road so it is in optimal running condition.
- Download a gas-saving app, or see website GasBuddy.com, which show you the cheapest places for gas along your route.
- Pack light! Travel without a car-top carrier (if you can). If you are going on a longer trip pack enough clothes for 3-4 days and do laundry along the way. You can also stock up on snacks and easy meals every couple of days instead of packing everything at the start of your trip.
- Even if you use GPS along the way, map your trip ahead of time so you can find the best routes and order of travel for what you want to see. There’s nothing worse than zigzagging across a city wasting gas AND time. Do your best to plan meal and attraction stops so you can make the most of rush hour and aren’t stuck sitting in traffic around cities. Sometimes the “scenic route” is the faster route.
- Slow down! Follow the speed limit to save a little on gas and avoid a potential ticket.
- Invest in roadside assistance. I know, spend more. However, it’s worth the investment in the event you need it and will give you peace of mind, especially if you are traveling with kids.
- If you are going into a city for the day see if it is cheaper to park outside the city and take a train in.
- If parking in the city, check online for parking coupons ahead of time.
- E-Z Pass can sometimes save you money and makes navigating highways easier. Just verify the state you are in uses E-Z Pass so you have cash on hand as needed. Also remember some states use pay-by-plate so you will want to watch for those bills in the mail.
- Rent-a-Car. Can you get away with a smaller vehicle with better gas mileage? Have high mileage that makes a long road trip extra hard on your vehicle? Sometimes the best option is a car rental.
If you haven’t planned a family road trip for this summer, what are you waiting for? Make time to savor life with your family on the road.