The stress of finals has probably made you want to pull out your hair, but now that’s all over and you’re ready to unwind. If a road trip is on your mind, you’re likely looking for ways to cut costs for the trip.
Road trips are an awesome way to avoid pricey airfare. Read these tips on how to save even more money on your getaway.
Take the most fuel efficient car: Spend a week tracking gas mileage to see who truly has the best car to take on a trip. Then, make sure the car is up-to-date on its oil change. You may think that taking an SUV will make for a comfortable ride, but with gas prices often nearing $5 a gallon, you could be saving tons of cash by taking a smaller vehicle.
Plan to stay with relatives along the way: Staying with aunts and uncles makes for a good (and free) bed and breakfast. Call your family members and ask them if it would be OK for you and your buds to spend the night. Get a free, home-cooked dinner and make it a small family reunion.
If you can’t rely on relatives, be sure to book your hotel room in advance: If you accurately map your trip, you should be able to figure out where you will stay each night. Booking early saves big money, and using sites like Priceline and Hotwire can significantly cut hotel costs. Also, be sure you’re inquiring about student travel discounts.
Limit eating out to once a day: Food can take up over half of your expenses if you’re not careful. Bring a large cooler and fill it with lunch meat, fuit and refreshments. Also, be sure to take advantage of that free continental breakfast. When you do eat out, split your meal with a fellow traveler, and just ask for water.
Plan your trip for weekdays: You can save some cash on entertainment if you go on a weekday. Plus, amusement parks and museums are crowded on the weekends. Be a nerd and plan your itinerary accordingly. Pick excursions that offer the biggest discount on that specific weekday.
Road trips are a great way to bond with those friends you’ve lost touch with over the semester. However, if you’re stressing about money the whole time, that’ll put a strain on those relationships. Be budget savvy and have everything planned out before you leave.