Putting the Brakes on Summer Road Trip Expenses

Ahh..the summer road trip.  Load up the car, pack snacks and games for the kids and head out on your family adventure!  Admittedly along the journey, it can be easy to spend more than you planned along the way.   Let’s face it, unexpected expenses come up – everything from surprise treats and unexpected incidents like a flat tire that can be costly.  Here’s a how to on keeping the summer road trip expenses from taking a dent out of your wallet.

The big tip – plan in advance.  Really, it could not be emphasized enough.  A little prep can go a long way when it comes to savings.  Here’s how:

1. Plan your route and find rest stops ahead of time:  this will help put a brake on wasting time and money.  If you know where you’re going, you will spend less time searching and running low on fuel.  There are lots of mobile apps these days to help map out your trip and even alert you to quicker routes.

Map out your trip in advance with the help of various apps and websites!

Map out your trip in advance with the help of various apps and websites!

2. Hit the road early:  leaving ahead of rush hour will help free up the roads.  You and your family are less likely to get stuck in traffic and more likely to get where you need to go faster, which means saving on fuel costs.  It can also mean you don’t have to spend money on another hotel stay.

An early rise can lead to cost savings!

An early rise can lead to cost savings!

3. Don’t travel on holiday weekends.  Sometimes easier said than done but if you can swing it, doing so can turn into savings.  Rates go up during those peak times.

Avoid long weekend mark-ups!

Avoid long weekend mark-ups!

4. Find savings by figuring out where you’ll be staying overnight in advance instead of winging it.  Check out various websites to find lower rates on hotels.  There are also many group buying websites that may feature summer hotel deals.  You know your budget, just find the rate that suits best.

We all know a great way to save money is to go camping.  But, you can make camping even cheaper by going off the beaten path.  Head to less “touristy” spots and check out lesser known campsites.  It’s easy to research online and find unique campsites and savings before you pitch the tent.

Do your research! Sometimes you can find free campsites!

Do your research! Sometimes you can find free campsites!

5. Managing mealtime money:  This is definitely a big one.  Instead of spending money at restaurants, pack your meals and snacks.  Fill up a cooler with food, water and drinks.  By bringing your own food, you’re not only keeping your spending in check, you’re making sure you have healthy meals on the road.

Pack a cooler to save on cash.

Pack a cooler to save on cash.

Jennifer Palisoc

Jennifer loves getting to the heart of a good story. As a former television news reporter, she knows great stories are shared when people truly 'connect’. Jennifer also enjoys spending time with family and friends. A proud auntie to her niece and nephews, she can be found carpooling or chasing them on the playground! Jennifer is a blogger for Parentwise Canada and Social Media & Communications Specialist for CST. You can also catch her on the volleyball court, on Social or planning her next adventure!

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