The sunshine, vacation time, and open roads of summer are right around the corner. A well-planned road trip can introduce you to new regions and bring your friends and family close like nothing else can, but without planning, road trips are overly tiring and painfully expensive. Save money and avoid stress with these tips on planning this summer’s road trip on a budget.
Plan the Route
This step is unavoidable, but you shouldn’t underestimate its importance. Don’t just think up the sights you want to see – if you go the extra mile and use Google Maps or Rand McNally to plan out where you will drive, stay, and shop in advance, your road trip will run more smoothly and cost far less.
Once you’ve figured out all the where’s of your trip you can move on to calculating the how much. Create a good estimate for your daily mileage. Multiply your car’s average miles per gallon by the size of the tank – this is how far a full tank will go. Use this number to see how many times you will likely need to buy gas on your trip, and by using the GasBuddy app, you can easily find the cheapest gas prices in any area.
When driving, boost your fuel economy by maintaining a consistent speed, and try to remain at about 60 miles per hour. For every five mph above 60, you waste an additional 26 cents per gallon on gas. Spend your money smarter with a low and consistent speed.
Food, Lodging, and Entertainment
Sometimes, a little creativity can boost the fun of your trip and help you stay faithful to your budget. Consider camping at a State Park rather than a motel – there is more to learn and explore and they are often less expensive. Do your food shopping at grocery stores along the way and bring along a small grill to cook dinners for your friends and family. Finally, make sure to research affordable entertainment in the areas you’ll see. Official state or city tourism websites are great resources that highlight dozens of free events every day of the week.
Are you ready to hit the road? Contact us at Mama’s Used Cars to find the vehicle perfect for your next drive.