Travel Cheap – How to Save Money on a Road Trip

You can’t always use cheap airfare when you travel, because there are times when traveling by road is necessary or even desirable. For those times, perhaps you can make use of the following tips to help you travel cheap on a road trip.

There are many reasons why you might want to use a vehicle when taking a trip. Maybe you’ll need one at your destination and would rather not rent one there. Perhaps you are traveling with family or friends and want to avoid numerous airfares. Or, maybe you just feel like driving. Whatever the reason is, if you want to travel cheap, here are some ideas:

1. Plan your trip – It can help you determine your budget if you plan ahead. You don’t have to plan every specific detail, but a general plan will help you set up your route, make reservations for lodging, and even help plan your fuel stops.

2. Saving on fuel – Gas prices are often higher near the Interstate highways, but that isn’t always true. One great way to save on fuel costs is to plan your stops using an online tool. There is a site called Gasbuddy.com and members from cities across the country will post current prices at various gas stations. You can use this tool to plan exactly where to fill your tank. As an example, let’s say you stop for lunch in St. Louis and your gas tank is half full. You check the prices of gas in the towns along your route and find out for the next 300 miles the gas is 30 cents higher per gallon. In this case, go ahead and top off your tank now so you can make it to the cheaper gas down the road. It may sound crazy, but I’ve actually done this on trips and saved quite a few dollars. Keep in mind also that all similar grades of gas are the same. One brand of gas isn’t any better than others, so no need to pay premium prices for a particular brand.

3. Saving on food – Another way to travel cheap on the road is to keep your food bill low. Here’s what I do. I take a cooler for drinks. It can be filled with low priced drinks you buy in bulk or you can make your own drinks at home, such as iced coffee or tea. I also stop at a discount super market and buy ingredients for sub sandwiches (cheaper and better than the sandwich shops). If you must eat at a restaurant, try small diners. The food is usually very good and healthier than fast food.

4. Saving on lodging – Hotels and motels are always a big expense during travel. On a long trip, sometimes I will sleep in my car on alternate nights to save money. And, on those nights when I do use hotels, I get the most reasonably priced one I can find. To help you plan your trip, you can research hotels here.

These money saving ideas are meant to help you travel cheap on your next road trip. Please comment if you have anything you’d like to share. Live cheap and prosper…and drive safely.

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4 Responses to “Travel Cheap – How to Save Money on a Road Trip”

  1. I really like your post. Does it copyright protected?

  2. Yes Kelly, all content on the site has a copyright. If you’d like to use this post, please give credit to this site and post a link to the page it came from.

  3. Travel Cheap – How to Save Money on a Road Trip great article thank you.

  4. I thougt your readers would be interested in my site – LowerMyHeat.com

    The site is designed to help homeowners determine if they are paying too much for home heat – propane and oil. We do this using an algorithm that takes into account Department of Energy data as well as per gallon costs of visitors who run the free test on our site. We combine this data to give our visitors an accurate assessment if they are paying more than they should for oil or propane. Soon we’ll add an alert service that will let users know when prices fluctuate and they should call their provider to renegotiate.

    We just got coverage in Mass High Tech – http://www.masshightech.com/stories/2009/08/31/daily2-Home-heating-firms-gather-funding-fuel.html

    Arik Keller

    http://www.LowerMyHeat.com

    LowerMyHeat.com helps people save money on home heating

    Site offers quick and easy way to find out if you’re paying too much for oil or propane

    Newburyport, MA – Sept 14 , 2009 – LowerMyHeat.com, a start-up based in Newburyport, MA, announced today the launch of their website that is designed to help people quickly determine if they are paying too much for home heat.

    The idea came to Arik Keller, a local tech entrepreneur, back in the spring of this year. After researching average state home heating prices, and asking neighbors what they were paying per gallon, he discovered he was paying too much. “It turns out I was paying more than my neighbors and more than the state average. So it dawned on me that there has to be an easier way to empower people to gather the same information, quickly and easily online”, says Keller.

    LowerMyHeat.com, now in beta, is designed to allow users to enter the price per gallon they are paying for oil or propane and determine two things – whether or not they paying more than their neighbors who run the test on LowerMyHeat and if they are paying more than their state average according to the Department of Energy. “These two pieces of information allow users to quickly determine if they should call their provider and negotiate a better rate”, added Keller.

    LowerMyHeat.com offers a quick three step process to run the test on their homepage, all you need is a recent bill with your per gallon rate. The test is free at LowerMyHeat.com.

    In the near future, LowerMyHeat.com will also offer an alert service. For a small annual subscription, LowerMyHeat.com will send users an alert when prices for oil and propane have dropped. “How many oil providers called their customers last year when the prices of oil dropped 50% – our service will do this for our customers”, added Keller.

    There are approximately 8MM homes in the US who use oil and about 7MM using propane. And a majority of those are right here in New England, with a concentration in Massachusetts and Maine.

    LowerMyHeat will also provide a rating system. “Price matters to everyone, but it’s also important to find good service. So in the near future, our users will be able to select a new heating provider based on price and user ratings.”

    “We’re taking a ground up approach to helping people really save money, and we’re researching other ideas for electricity, cable and gasoline,” added Keller.