Roadtrippers everywhere are rejoicing in their ability to control costs as the airline industry continues to add fees. These days, everything from carry-on luggage to the privilege of herding your kids down the Jetway before the masses will cost you some extra cash.
However, road trips can get pretty pricey too, unless you plan ahead. Consider these 10 money-saving tips before you embark on your next cross-country adventure.
Before you hit the road, research routes and destinations to make the most of your summer vacation. Map out places to visit popular eateries (consult Food Network for recommendations) and pre-book your accommodations to avoid a no vacancy nightmare. Try using TripIt to keep all details organized in one place, but bring a map in case your GPS goes down.
Save on Gas
Gas has dropped in price by 10 percent since its peak earlier this year, but it’s still pretty expensive at an average of $3.57 per gallon. Avoid the stress of hunting down the cheapest gas by using the Cheap Gas app to navigate to the most inexpensive fuel available on any route. Also, consider using a credit card that provides travel points or cash back on gas purchases. Consult this list of top gas reward credit cards for suggestions.
Get your tires checked and schedule a tune up before you hit the open road. This will help you avoid breakdowns that could result in costly repairs with unfamiliar mechanics. There’s nothing worse than cutting your road trip short with a car repair you know was easily preventable.
Avoid paying premium prices for trip essentials by packing what you need beforehand. Beach staples like towels and sunscreen cost much more when purchased onsite, as do travel-related gadgets like phone chargers and camera batteries. Ultimately, you don’t want to get stuck paying a pretty penny for something you have sitting at home.
Avoid Bottled Beverages
if you run out of refreshments or simply must purchase something from the gas station, opt for fountain drinks over bottled soda. You pay a couple bucks extra for the bottle and receive less soda than when you go for a Big Gulp with ice.Tell Your Bank
Alert your credit card company about your upcoming road trip and give them destination details so you don’t temporarily lose access to needed funds. Otherwise, most banks and credit card companies will tag frequent, out-of-state charges as fraudulent and put a hold on your account.