How to Save Money on Road Trips

by Crystal Carder
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One thing my family loves to do is travel. Throughout the years, we have gone to some pretty amazing places, but we couldn’t have done that without learning ways to save money on road trips.

Traveling can be expensive, but we never let that stop us from going where we wanted to. We just got savvier and way smarter with our money. We now plan frugal road trips and go everywhere we want to go without sacrificing fun.
If you are looking to go on a road trip, but not sure how you can financially afford it, check out these tips for how you can save money on road trips too! 

We Pack Our Own Lunches

Before we really started traveling a lot, we made the rookie mistake of eating fast food. While that may not sound like such a bad idea, I soon came to the realization that we were spending way more money on food than we thought. Plus, we were always so sick, that we barely enjoyed the trip back home. Now, whenever we know we will be gone all day, we pack ourselves lunch. This probably saves us $30-$50 a trip!

We Don’t Buy Drinks

I used to love gas station stops, but when we begin to spend $10-$15 on drinks, I knew we had to change something. Now, my family packs our own drinks and we save a ton of money. And, instead of my children drinking soda and sugary drinks, they can drink healthier alternatives.

We do the Maintenance on Our Car


This may sound a little silly, but we’ve paid a lot for our car, so we like to keep it looking and sounding good whenever we go out. We make sure to keep the fluids topped off and keep our tires rotated. This ensures that whenever we are out we don’t break down. An unexpected tow truck and/or mechanic’s bill is just not in our budget.

We Don’t Leave Home Without a Plan

tips on how to save money during road trips

I’ll admit, some days my husband and I bicker about where to go, but we never ever leave home without deciding on a location first. This ensures that we aren’t wasting extra gas by turning around ten miles down the road and we can always try to pack whatever we need for where we go. For example, if we decide on swimming, my family can pack up the kid’s floaties, rather than, having to buy new ones.

We Limit How Much We Drive Throughout the Week

Although we would love to drive hours every day, with the price of gas that is impossible, so we limit ourselves. Normally on weekdays, my family will only drive within a 15-mile radius of our house, while on weekends when my husband is off of work, we tend to drive much, much further. Having a limit on our driving tends to save us a ton of money on the gas throughout the week and allows us to have fun on the weekends when we’re not rushing around.

Some days we “forget” to follow these tips or decide its easier to eat out, but in the long run, these 5 tips have saved our family hundreds of dollars!

Enjoy these tips? Check out some of my other traveling tips for more ways to save money while traveling.


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