How to Save Money on Your Next Road Trip

How to Save Money on Your Next Road Trip: 5 Fool-Proof Tips

There’s nothing better than going on a road trip during the summer. Although they are much more affordable than taking a flight abroad, road trips aren’t always cheap. In this article, we’ll discuss five tips and tricks to save money on your next road trip.

how to save money on your next road trip

1. Create a Budget

Creating a budget is an absolute must if you’re looking to cut down your road trip spending. While there are many ways to go about making a road-trip budget, you will need to account for your biggest traveling expenses, which should include:

  • Food
  • Accommodations
  • Gas
  • Activities
  • Tolls
  • Emergencies

By researching these prices upfront, you’ll be able to determine how much flexibility you have within your budget for other items. If you can purchase a gas gift card in advance, you may be able to save on the cost per gallon or at least make sure you have that expense covered before you set off on the road.

2. Avoid Traveling During Peak Hours

When you’re on the road for hours on end, you don’t want to be stuck in traffic. Driving early morning or late evening for long stretches of your trip can help you avoid the delays of peak traffic hours. This can help you save on gas, as sitting in traffic can really reduce your gas mileage since you’re using gas to keep your car running. If you’re traveling with children, driving late at night is also a good idea so that they can sleep during most of the travel time.

3. Bring Your Own Food

Eating out can get pretty expensive, you can easily spend $40 per day per person on food while eating out on vacation. We recommend packing your food and snacks before your road trip.

By preparing your meals for your road trip, you’ll not only be saving money, but likely you’ll also be eating healthier food. You can pack:

  • Sliced up fruit
  • Granola bars
  • Sandwiches
  • Veggies and dip
  • Chips

If you want to be even more cost-efficient, you can stay at a hotel with a basic compact kitchen to cook like you’re at home.

4. Travel with Friends

Going on a solo road trip can be fun, but you’ll also be shouldering all the costs. You can cut down your expenses by bringing your friends or family on the trip and sharing the expenses. Of course, you should align with your travel buddies prior to going on the road trip on how to split expenses–perhaps you could divide the costs evenly or have one person cover food in exchange for lodging–otherwise, your trip may end on a sour note.

5. Find Cheap Entertainment

Entertainment can be one of the most expensive costs of a road trip. However, it’s possible to find cheap (or even free) things to do, if you’re willing to get plan ahead of time. You may want to try searching on deal sites like Groupon or Expedia for discounted or inexpensive activities.


Going on a road trip can be expensive, but there are ways to save money if you plan ahead, especially if you make and stick to a budget. By taking the time to plan, identifying your expenses, and creating your budget, your next road trip could go without a hitch.