The summer is around the corner and you may be trying to think of an inexpensive way to spend time with your family during their summer vacation. One great idea is a summer road trip. However, the idea of gas, food, and wear and tear on the car may have you pumping your breaks. So this contributed post will help relieve some of that anxiety and show you some great ways to save money on a road trip and get you and your family out site seeing and enjoying the countryside in no time.
Did you see it coming? It’s already June, and soon the calendar will be flashing in great big letters that we’ve passed the summer solstice – if you’re not sure when this is, it’s on June, 21st; it’s the longest day of the year and incidentally the official first day of summer. So, you don’t have much time to plan your last minute summer holiday if you haven’t prepared anything yet.
Thankfully for last minute trip, there’s always the solution of going back to basics and embracing the traditional American spirit. Yes, you know what we mean: Road trip. The US roads are ideal for this purpose, as you can drive across several states, landscapes, cultures, and stories within a few days. Is there any better way to spend your summer break than taking the infamous Route 66 – or any other road for that matter, take your pick – across the country? Road trips are fun, and they provide a fantastic bonding experience between friends and partners. Yet beware of the unexpected expenses on the road!
Driving is cheaper if you plan it
Nothing beats the sensation of being on the road and exploring your surroundings. It’s not the kind of things you can do when you travel by train or plane – or even coach. But when you’re driving, you can take a break whenever you want to and uncover the hidden gems around you. Besides, you’ll find that last minute trains or flights can be expensive – especially during summer, which is the absolute peak holiday season. While jumping in your car with your luggage and driving off to your next destination is a lot easier to organize and cheaper to maintain too. True, you can’t probably drive your way up to a sunny Carribean island, but it’s fair to say that you probably wouldn’t find any exotic accommodation available either if you’ve waited that long to book!
Check your insurance and recovery options
Admittedly, driving doesn’t come without risks, so you need to check with your car insurer that you’re safe to go. Minor mishaps happen to everyone, so you want to know that you’re covered, no matter what. Some policy covers are limited to a few states while others generally protect you throughout the USA and even in Canada too. If you intend to drive south, you might have the option of buying a cover for Mexico. Do clarify your right to road assistance too, as you don’t want to stay stuck on the side of the road without any help. Some car insurers are also happy to let you share the drive with friends for a temporary period, while others need you to take extra insurance. In short, don’t plan anything before you know this!
No car trip without basic know-how and tools
Road trips mean car maintenance. You’ll be surprised to know how easy it is for experienced drivers to puncture a tire or damage your brake pads on a new road. The main reason for this is that while you’re used to your local road, you might encounter a pothole you’re not able to avoid on an unknown road. So, you can’t plan a road trip without packing some essential car maintenance tools. From a floor jack to a brake bleeder tool, it’s best to pack these just in case. You might not need them, but you’ll feel safer with them in your boot.
Pack your food for the trip
The joy of road trips is that you can stop whenever you want to and take your time to enjoy a meal or visit a city. However, when you’re planning on spending several days traveling and touring, you may not want to sit at a restaurant table for every meal as this could rapidly become a costly trip. Instead, you need to pack your food for your road trip, planning up to two meals in the car for each day. You’ll find that homemade sandwiches and some cookies can keep you going for hours, for instance!
Be a fuel-efficient driver
Finally, when you’re driving long distance, you need to develop fuel-efficient habits to keep your cost down and keep your alert on the road. This means that you don’t need to accelerate hard – be gentle with the pedal and you’ll find your fuel consumption will go down. Additionally, a light foot on the pedal means that you can maintain constant pace – which is useful if you don’t use cruise control in your car.
In conclusion, everything in life is about finding ways to spend less so that you can enjoy more of it. This handy rule also applies to your spontaneous summer road trip holiday. Be cautious with your car and your money, and they’ll both last way beyond the end of the trip!
Road trips are a great way to get out and see multiple attractions. Many children do not enjoy long hours in the car and some even have car phobias so you will have to find ways to make the long hours enjoyable. However, you will be able to take your family to many different places instead of having to visit one place.
I remember taking a trip with my family from California to Newyork to attend our family reunion and I enjoyed stopping in the different states. The pictures we took and the different buildings we could see were very interesting even to me as a 10-year-old.
My parents packed a cooler in the car and we carried our own food to save money instead of eating at fast food places. Tips like these will help save you a lot of extra money. Road tips when planned out effectively can be very enjoyable.
Have you ever taken a road trip? What is your favorite way to save money? Share your experiences in the comment section.