The family road trip can be a great experience, but it can quickly go over your budget. It’s essential to plan so you can save money on your journey.

Road trips can be economical if you follow several important tips:

Carefully plan everything at home

  • It’s easier to prepare than to come up with last-minute solutions on the road. You can find a variety of deals online, make phone calls, and compare rates. Book your arrangements ahead of time so you can use your vacation to relax.


Compare gas prices

  • Gas prices often fluctuate from one area to the next. Use apps and websites to see the gas prices along your route. You can compare gas stations and read reviews.

Reduce the cost of food

  • Fast food is convenient, but the cost can quickly add up during a road trip. You may want to bring your own snacks and meals.
  • Consider getting a large cooler with ice to pack food and beverages. Your cooler may hold enough food for a couple of days, but in most cases, you’ll still want to eat out sometimes. This is another opportunity to do research ahead and find the most economical restaurants.
  • Restaurants aren’t the only option. You can also make pit stops at grocery stores to fill up your cooler with more snacks and meals.


Check twice to ensure you’ve packed essentials

  • Did you remember to bring all of your medication and other medical supplies? You can save money by avoiding a trip to a pharmacy. Do you have enough clothes and shoes for everyone? Are you prepared for emergencies?
  • Avoid having to shop for a new pair of sneakers during the road trip because your child’s feet are cold.


Check out free events and attractions

  • You’ll find that many museums, events, and other places have free admission. You can add these to your plan as you put together your list.


Carefully check your car before you leave

  • Inflate your tires to the pressure that’s recommended in the car’s manual to maximize gas usage. Also, consider the car’s weight. Heavier cars burn more gas, so pack the essentials and avoid bringing unnecessary items.
  • You can avoid costly roadside assistance and towing by doing recommended maintenance that you know will be needed soon. Do you need an oil change or minor repairs? Do them before you leave on your trip!

Flexible cancelation policies

  • Are you making reservations ahead of time? Road trips can be eventful, and the best plans cannot prevent all possible emergencies.
  • Search for hotels and restaurants with flexible cancelation policies to avoid adding extra costs to your trip. If you’re late and miss a reservation, some businesses charge you.


Look for coupons and additional discounts along the way

  • These money-saving items can reduce the cost of your trip.
  • Coupons and discounts may be available from hotels, restaurants, and other places. Museums and shops may also offer them along your route—stock up on additional savings.


Road trips can stay under a budget with the right plans. If you consider the costs of common items that occur during a trip, you can save money.