When was the last time you went on a road trip? While it has been a while for me, I think they are starting to increase in popularity again because of today’s economy. Road trips can save you money on airfare and you can visit some cool destinations along the way. Whether you are going from the east to west coast or along the coastline, these easy-to-follow road trip tips will help you make the most of your trip and save you a penny or two.
Amp up your apps: With thousands of app options for anything and everything, it only makes sense to arm yourself with ones for your road trip. A few that might be good for a road trip include WiFi Finder, which tells you the closest Wi-Fi hotspot, and iExit, which shows gas stations, food stops, and shopping at upcoming exits on the interstate. Roadside America is a great app for roadside attractions.
Bring a paper map: While you might think that this is an “old-school” idea given that GPS navigation is on our cars, phone, and more, I will explain while it is not “old-school.” Depending on where you’re traveling, you may not have service or connectivity, which then means these aforementioned devices will be useless. So, to avoid ending up in the middle of nowhere because your navigation went out on you, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan and a hardcopy of map.
Chart out your journey: It is always good to have an idea of what path you intend to take when traveling. This will also help you figure out what stops you plan on making and where. It is also a good idea so you can give someone who isn’t going with you, say your parents, a rough idea of where you’re going so they don’t worry.
Cruise control: Use it! It is a feature in your car for a reason and allows you to somewhat relax on a long drive. There is no point in wasting that energy with your foot being uncomfortable for hours on end. This also helps to save gas by not having variances in speed.
Entertainment: Movies, books on tape, music, maybe a few games, old school games like punch buggy, or I spy with my little eye something that’s..green
Get your car inspected or rent a car: The last thing you want to happen on your road trip is for your car to break down on you. So make sure to check your gauges, air pressure, spare tire, fluids, etc. If you’re not interested in driving your car because you don’t want to put miles on it, consider renting a car that is spacious (as you will be spending a lot of time in it) and that gets good gas mileage. If you decide to go with your car it is important to have the right car insurance. My friend, who has had a few car charges was afraid that he would struggle to get a good deal on his car insurance. He was pleasantly surprised to find out that there was car insurance for convicted drivers and he got a quote for his road trip, enjoying all of the savings that come along with it.
Pack snacks: The fastest way to waste money on a road trip is pit stops at McDonalds or 7-11 for a quick snack, which always leads to over eating, poor food selection, and overspending. Instead, pack some snacks from Costco or Safeway where you can get more for your money. You can also save by bringing a cooler of drinks rather than stopping and wasting time for one.
Road trip planners: Use cool tools like Roadtrippers or TripIt to plan your road trip. Both are great tools that allow you to factor in rest stops, accommodations, attractions, entertainment, food/drink, shopping, and more.
Let me know your tips or if these helped you.