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7 Tips for a Frugal Road Trip

Scott Monge

Planning a road trip this summer? These tips will save you money along the way.

  • Choose your stops wisely. Along the route, pick points of interest that won’t cost you much money to visit. Many historic sites have free entry. Make a stop at old churches, town parks and city hall. Pick activities like hiking or going to the beach. All you need is a destination and a sense of adventure.
  • Before you head out, make sure you inspect your vehicle to ensure your fluids are topped off and everything is in tip top shape. Check your spare tire and take along a few tools in case you run into any trouble. If you cross all your T’s and dot your I’s before you hit the road, you’ll avoid a breakdown that can be expensive to repair.
  • Pack your own snacks. Bring a cooler for anything that needs to stay chilled and pack a tote bag full of finger foods like crackers and carrots. Avoid the added expense of fast food french fries or convenience store cheese puffs. You’ll likely safe a few bucks and maybe a few calories, too.
  • Save on lodging by finding free campsites. Enjoy a night under the stars to save a night or two of hotel fees.
  • Watch your fuel consumption. If it’s not too hot, drive with the AC off, ensure tires are properly inflated and avoid long idles to save on gas. Fuel is typically the biggest expense for a road trip, so don’t waste your gas by overloading your vehicle with a bunch of weighty items. Pack lightly.
  • Find the cheapest gas. Use sites like to find the best pump price in the area.
  • Plan your route ahead of time. Map out your stops and make an itinerary. Every minute doesn’t have to be planned, but having a general idea of where you’ll be and when will you keep you on track. Knowing the route before you jump in the car will ensure you won’t get lost and waste gas and time trying to find your way back.

Gear up for some fun and adventure this summer. Pack up the car and take your family and friends somewhere exciting. A short weekend road trip doesn’t have to break the bank.

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