There’s nothing quite like being out on the open road. Putting your worries aside, venturing into the unknown, the wind in your hair… the kids fighting in the backseat, someone having to go to the bathroom every 25 miles, and if another person asks, “Are we there yet?”, the answer will be, “Yes!” and they’ll find themselves on the side of the highway.
This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more details.
Actually, a road trip doesn’t have to be that bad. The drive could even end up being part of the fun! Follow my tips and you’ll have a much more pleasant and affordable road trip. A vacation can be a journey AND a destination.
Saving Money on Your Road Trip
Travel with a cooler so you’re not buying drinks and snacks at every rest stop.
Breakfast and lunch are always priced lower than dinner. When you dine out, make dinner your lightest meal.
Remove extra weight from your vehicle. An excess 100lbs in the trunk can reduce your fuel economy by 1-2%.
Map out the most efficient route based on mileage and possible traffic.
Get a tune-up before you leave. This can improve gas mileage by up to 4%.
Improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3% by having your tires inflated to the proper pressure.
Gas mileage can also be improved by 1-2% by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil in your car.
Using cruise control on the highway helps maintain a constant speed and will typically help save gas.
Use the Gas Buddy App to find the lowest gas prices where ever you are.
If you are traveling in a rental car, choose the smallest car practical for your use. Not only will you save on the rental, you’ll save on gas, too.
Avoid renting a car at the airport. You’ll find more competitive rates online.
Saving Your Sanity on a Road Trip
This Travel Scavenger Hunt Card Game will keep the kids busy. To play, each player takes five cards and tries to locate various roadside objects.
National Geographic Ultimate U.S. Kids Road Trip Atlas promises hours of backseat fun and has great reviews.
Reading in the car is generally not a good idea for most people. The last thing you need is another mess to clean up. Download Audible and listen to audio books on your mobile device in the car. New customers can get 30 days Free and 2 Free audio books.
Travel pillows allow kiddos to sleep while still staying safely buckled in.
Roadside America can tell you where to find offbeat tourist attractions along your route, like Salvation Mountain in Calipatra, CA, Cano’s Castle in Antonito, CO, or The World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, Kansas.
Sign up for my email newsletter to get tips like this delivered to your inbox!