There’s nothing quite like setting off on a grand road trip adventure. But road trips can get expensive if you’re not careful.
From gas to car snacks, simple purchases can add up in just a few days until you’re burning through your budget. The good news is there are some money-saving hacks and tricks you can use to keep your money in your pocket and not on the road.
That said, here are a few mistakes you don’t want to make when you’re on a road trip to keep your budget from bursting.
Not driving the right vehicle
You don’t need to drive in your family car when you’re taking a road trip. In fact, there are many different vehicle options at your disposal.
If your family car is a gas-guzzler, or if you’re worried about your car giving up mid-way through your road trip, consider taking another mode of transportation instead. Renting a charter bus or RV is a great way to have your cake and eat it, too.
Not scheduling your vehicle maintenance before the trip
Charter buses and RVs aren’t for everyone. But if you do decide to take your family vehicle during your road trip, it’s important to make sure that your car is up for the ride.
Make sure your tires have enough pressure, your engine is running right, your fuel line is good to go, and your oil has been changed. Even if you plan to have your vehicle replaced by next year it’s crucial to make any necessary repairs on your current car before you travel a long distance.
Not packing food and snacks for the road
It’s no secret that eating out can be fun. In fact, Americans eat burgers approximately 4.3 times per month.
But eating out can get expensive when you’re on a road trip, especially when it’s unplanned. To stick to your budget, pack snacks and food for the ride.
Opt for meals that don’t need to be refrigerated and choose snacks that are high in protein to keep everyone content for the ride.
To keep your expenses from going over your budget, consider planning for when you do stop for food. Follow your road trip along a map to determine which restaurants or food joints are along your route. Pick and choose which of these places you and your friends or family would like to stop at.
Remember that hunger strikes approximately every three to four hours, so it’s good to have food for everyone for that amount of time. If there are kids in the car, you’ll also want to stop every few hours not just for food but also to run around so the kids can burn off some of their energy.
Road trips can be a lot of fun, but they can also get expensive if you’re not careful. By following the tips above and avoiding the most common road trip mistakes, you can have your adventure without busting your budget.