3 Money Saving Tips for Your Next Road Trip

With Memorial Day in the rear-view and temperatures heating up there’s no doubt that road trip season is coming up. Every summer millions of American families hit the highway and head toward their various vacation destinations. In addition to all the sights there are to see along the way, there are also several ways to save a few dollars on gas, food, and lodging. Here are three quick tips for saving money on your next road trip:

Find the cheapest gas using an app

Chances you are you probably know the best gas station to go to around your hometown or on your commute to work. But out on the open road it can be a bit of a mystery… or at least it was before the introduction of smartphones. Today apps like GasBuddy can not only provide you with peace of mind by letting you know how far the next gas station is but also help you find the one with the best prices.

Keep in mind that the info on these apps is mostly crowd sourced and so it may not be 100% accurate. However they will usually tell you how long it’s been since the data was updated in order to give you a better idea of how trustworthy it is. Also be sure not to let yourself run too low on gas just to save a couple of bucks as it’s probably not worth the tow you’ll need if you misjudge how far you can get.

Be adventurous and book on the fly

If you don’t already have hotel reservations and are flexible on where you spend your nights you may want to considering making same-night hotel/motel reservations. Since rooms are likely to sit vacant otherwise, sites and apps like Hotwire and Hotel Tonight can often get you a good rate on a room for the night. In addition to the monetary savings, this method also gives you more options and allows you to cut your day short or get a little further along in your trip than you would if you had booked a room ahead of time.

Clip your coupons and bring them along

You may be surprised to know that many of the coupons that show up in your mailbox or arrive with your Sunday paper might come in handy on a road trip. Many national brands will run circulars that are good at any of their locations meaning that the Burger King off the highway seemingly in the middle of nowhere will probably still honor your coupon. Just be sure to read the fine print on the coupon as some are specific to regions or cities. Of course there’s always that “participation may vary” clause but it’s worth a shot. Alternatively many chains now have their own smartphone applications that also offer special deals and coupons no matter where you are in the country.

Road trips are a great American pastime that has yet to go out of style. In fact there’s a good chance that you and you’re family will set out on your own adventure this summer. Whether you’re using a map or a GPS app to help navigate your route just be sure to also follow these tips in order to save some cash along the way.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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