Saving Money on a Road Trip

Hey loves. How is your summer going? We just recently got back from a road trip from Ohio to Florida. On the way there we had planned to drive (yes we are nuts and yes all 3 kids went with us) but ended up getting a hotel for 5 hours because we left earlier than originally planned and had some time to waste before we could get into our hotel. On the way home we made two stops in Tennessee.

Going on a road trip can get expensive, especially if you are prepared in advance and buying food along the way. Which we ended up doing and spent more money than we wanted and got fast food that made me feel blah. Sometimes we have to learn from our mistakes. Next year when we go cross country we will be more prepared. 

 These are some easy ways to save money on a road trip

  • Buy gas at clubs along the way. Most Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's warehouses are right off the highway. If you have a membership use it. (or get one before you leave). You can save between 20-60 cents off per gallon if not more. 
  • Buy snacks in advance. Gas stations raise the prices of snacks that they know you are going to way. Buy in bulk from Walmart or Costco snacks you know you're going to want. We like this, this and this
  • Buy water and drinks in advance. You can get a case of water for $3 or pay $2 at the gas station for just one bottle. We keep a cooler in the trunk and a soft sided cooler within reach.
  • Plan meals in advance. Bring a cooler and make sandwiches for lunch, have a picnic at a rest stop, grab yogurt for breakfast, etc. Eating out can get expensive quick and can also make you feel like crap after a while especially since it is harder to eat healthy with fast food. 
  • If possible preplan stops to book hotels at best rate possible. This also helps with the stress of making sure you can find a room and have a set amount of time you will drive. 
  • Buy the dramamine in advance. It is so much more expensive at the gas station if you can find it. We also always have sickness bands, vomit bags, peppermint essential oils and ginger essential oils  (All of which we haven't had to use since getting the dramamine but before that I did a lot of clean ups)
  • Use the ice machine at the hotel to fill coolers and water bottles. 
  • Track your spending to see where your money is going. 
  • Bring your own coffee. That $5 coffee from Starbucks adds up. 
  • Take advantage of hotels that offer free breakfast.
  • Stay in hotels with kitchens and use bring or buy food to make. 
  • Avoiding stopping and staying in major cities. 

Not a savings tip but Brian has an app on his phone called "Rest Stops". It shows you the closest rest stop on the highway you are on and in the direction you are going. If a rest stop wasn't nearby our next best option was a travel gas station like Sheets, Loves, Flying J, etc. They were the cleanest. 

Enjoy your road trip. Take in the sights weather it be the mountains, oceans, or cows. It is memories you are making with your loved ones. It may not go as planned, sometimes the best parts are the stops not planned. 

 Thanks so much for reading. Do you have a road trip planned? Love or hate road trips? 

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