With some simple planning, anyone can reduce unnecessary travel expenses on a summer trip! With gas prices constantly on the rise, people are looking for ways to reduce their travel expenses. These simple tips for saving money on a long drive can help put money back into your pocket.
Pack a Cooler and a Snack
It is far cheaper to buy a case of soda or bottled water at the grocery store than it is to pay gas station prices along the interstate. Likewise, snacking on the road is much less expensive if you pack your snack bags before your trip. You already know what drinks and/or treats you will buy if you stop at a convenience store, so save yourself some money by buying them in advance.
Planning ahead also enables you to eat snacks that are more healthy for you. A bag of raw vegetables such as red peppers, cucumbers, celery, and tomatoes can make a much better traveling treat than grabbing a sugary candy bar, and will give you more energy for your trip.
Use Public Rest Stops
Many people feel guilty using the rest room at a gas station or convenience store unless they make some kind of purchase while they are there. As a result, they spend money on unnecessary purchases just so they feel justified in using the facilities. Making quick stops at public rest stops along the interstate makes it easy to keep the pressure on your bladder from putting pressure on your conscience.
It also saves time on the trip, since people are less likely to browse around in a rest stop than they are in a a store. Don’t even look at the snack machines at an interstate rest stop, however, as the prices there are astronomically high – even compared to the prices at convenience stores.
According to FuelEconomy.gov, fuel efficiency decreases rapidly as speed rises above 60 miles per hour. Each 5 miles per hour above 60 adds approximately $0.20 per gallon to the cost of driving. Slow down to save on fuel and to reduce the risk of unplanned expenses such as speeding tickets and auto accidents.
Proper Auto Maintenance
Another way to save money through fuel efficiency is to give your car a checkup before your trip. Keeping your auto maintenance up to date can save on your fuel costs by making sure your car’s engine is running properly. More importantly, it could keep you from incurring a costly repair at some unknown location along the road during your trip. The risk of you being ripped off by an unethical mechanic is much higher when you are traveling than when you are using your regular local mechanic.
Plan Gas Stops in Advance
As gas prices go higher and higher, it is becoming increasingly important to find the cheapest gas prices along your route. Visit GasBuddy.com to see the current gas prices at the stops along your travel path, and map out your gas refills in advance. Also, certain clubs like Costco make discounted gas available to their members, so review your club memberships to see what special benefits may be available to you.
While none of these tips will make anyone wealthy, they will help shave off some of the unnecessary costs of a trip.