There’s no better way to explore a country than through a road trip. Cities come alive, and landscapes feel different when you have the freedom to go anywhere, anytime, in your own car. With the windows rolled down, the company of friends, and some good tunes in the car stereo, you can go for miles and gather memories to cherish for a lifetime.
A road trip doesn’t have to be expensive, however. By making judicious selections and following these five tips, you can save a lot of money on your next road trip:
1. Get a Fuel-Efficient Car
This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised how few people actually follow this simple tip. Don’t take your SUV unless you have a lot of stuff to ferry around. Instead, get a fuel-efficient car like a Honda to cut your fuel costs in half.
2. Find Cheap Petrol
Petrol prices are seldom the same within the city, and different states levy different duties on petrol. This means you can often save a lot of money over a long road-trip by planning ahead of time and buying petrol from only the cheapest sources. Keep in mind also that stop-start city driving is more expensive than uninterrupted freeway driving; you can factor that into your road-trip plans as well!
3. Skip Expensive City Hotels
When you want to just crash for the night before hitting the road again, spending a hundred dollars on a hotel room might be excessive. Instead, find cheap motels in the city outskirts. Better yet, camp out under the stars and live like a true pioneer, while saving thousands of dollars on hotel costs!
4. Save on Food
Food is one of the biggest expenses on a road trip. Avoid drive-through restaurants as they usually serve overpriced, low-quality food. Also avoid snacks as they can cost a pretty penny and actually leave you feeling hungrier. Instead, patronise local restaurants and resist the urge to snack.
5. Keep Your Car in Top Condition
One of the easiest ways to cut costs on a road trip is to make sure that your car is kept in top shape. A poorly maintained car will consume more petrol, break down more often and be more of a general nuisance than a car in good condition. Make sure that the tires are inflated properly, there’s enough oil in the engine, and everything else is working as it should be.