Road trips – saving money while traveling by car
- Maximize gas mileage and efficiency. A well-maintained vehicle will go a long way to ensure carefree driving. It is advisable to travel in a small economy car. It could be your own or a rental. However, bear in mind, the smaller the vehicle, and the better it will be on gas. Minivans and sport utility vehicles are practical only if you have to transport a large family and lots of equipment or luggage
- Keeping yourself and others entertained while on the road is no small task. Music or books on tape or CD, signed out from your local library, can be a lifesaver. Solo driving can become extremely boring especially when all others have nodded off and all falls silent.
However, when you are actively listening, on the edge of your driver’s seat so to speak while listening to a novel or mystery, the time passes by quite quickly.
- Pack-a-snack. Bring your own refreshments and snacks. Gas station prices on drinks and snack food are high. Avoid these during a pit stop, if you are counting your travel dollars. A cooler packed with lots of cool drinks, water and ice and/or a thermos of coffee or hot water for tea, some fruit, granola bars, or a sandwich, goes a long way to still the hunger and save you money by avoiding all high priced stops en route.
- Gas fill-ups. For filling up your car en route, avoid pushing to the limit until the gas runs out or filling up at or in remote locations. The rationale in this statement: gas will obviously be more expensive, the more remote or isolated the station is. If you miscalculated and the light on the dashboard indicates that you are really in need, opt for filling just half a tank until you reach the next more densely or major populated destination, where gas might be a little cheaper.
- Travel necessities. It is advisable to be traveling with basic value-add necessities, like a cell phone and a first aid kit. Both can prove to be essential in emergencies.
- Communication needs. A handy short-term cell phone rental might be the answer for and on your trip. The peace of mind it offers, might just be worth the price, trouble and investment. Cell phone long distance calls are still cheaper than ones made from hotels or resorts. They typically add some hefty surcharges and tend to charge higher long distance rates.