Road tripping on the cheap

Laine Gordon

Laine Gordon

If you’re heading for the open road this long weekend, there are simple ways you can plan ahead and save a significant amount of money over the course of your holiday. Here are the top 5 ways to save on a road trip:

1. Bring a sack lunch

Packing food for the duration of the trip will not only save you a bundle, it could also give you more time to enjoy the scenery. Of course, you’ll miss out on the experience of wining and dining your way along the course of your trip, but if you’re really squeezed for cash this could be your best option. Make a list of all the food you want to eat for each meal, then hit up the supermarket and go nuts! Chances are, even if you splurge a little on home-cooked meals, you’ll still end up ahead since eating out along the way costs a lot more than you think.

2. Do your research

Find out the best places to stay along the route. Hit up Tripadvisor and read some traveller reviews. Decide on where to stay and look at getting some discounts, if possible. Multiple night stays are usually cheaper, so if you find a nice place, it might be worthwhile camping for a few nights.

3. Check your car insurance policy

Make sure your car insurance covers you and doesn’t expire over the trip. Also, know exactly what you are covered for, should roadside assistance be needed. It’s better to be prepared before you set off rather than finding out the hard way.

4. Check your tyre pressure

Ensure your tyres are all at the correct pressure. Usually this will be in your driver’s manual, or written on the sidewall of your tyres. Driving on under-inflated tyres is not only dangerous, but increases fuel consumption. Take a minute to inflate your tyres and not only will you save money, but you could also save your life, and the lives of those you’re travelling with.

5. Pack some cards

Entertainment for the duration of the trip needn’t cost you an arm and a leg. If you plan ahead, and take some board games, cards and other novelties with you, chances are you’ll be less likely to waste money on movies or other entertainment.

6. Be your own tour guide

Organised tours are great, but they can be very expensive! Get out there and see the sights on your own. It’s more adventurous, and you’ll have just as many memories at the end of the road trip. Organised tours can be great, but if you’re on a budget, chances are you can do a bit of research before you go and be your own tour guide!

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