Road trip season is here! With warmer weather making its way across the nation and gas prices dropping, many families (including my own) are getting antsy for some much needed vacationing. That means some serious planning and saving is in order to maximize your family summer road trips this summer!
9 Ways to Stretch Your Family’s Budget on Summer Road Trips
- Double-check the route
Sometimes there are road closures, seasonal changes, or detours along your original route that could cause unnecessary delays, costing you time and gas money. We use Google Maps to help plan ahead and adjust accordingly.
- Timing matters
Rush hour is worse in some places than others but it’s always a good idea to avoid those peak hours of congestion. Why burn your fuel in traffic? If possible, do the brunt of your driving during the early daytime hours.
- Pump it up
Don’t forget to check the air pressure in your tires. When all of your tires are filled to the suggested PSI amounts (look for the sticker on the side of the driver door or in your manual), your ride will be smoother and less gas will be used.
- Use MetroMile
The pay-per-mile auto insurance from MetroMile is great for occasional road trips. Once you hit the 150 mile cap, you won’t pay for any miles accrued beyond that. You can also use the MetroMile app to estimate fuel costs for more efficient route planning.
- Refuel like clockwork
Keep in mind how many miles you can go on one tank of gas in your car and map out where you will get gas. Identifying gas stations with low prices at certain points along the route will save quite a bit. Lack of planning will result in you desperately searching for any gas station nearby, even if that means inflated prices in unsavory neighborhoods. You’ll also want to fill up the day before you leave so as to lessen the stress of having to worry about it on the day of travel. We have found that warehouse gas stations offer some of the lowest gas prices!
- Squash the munchies
Pack healthy snacks for along the way. These will keep you satisfied longer and are less expensive than if you pick them up at rest stops, gas stations, or fast food places. Bring fresh fruit like grapes and apples in a cooler with ice packs for a super refreshing treat.
- Keep mostly hydrated
Bottled water can get costly when bought in individual bottles. Instead, fill a few reusable water bottles at home or purchase a multi-pack to bring with you. Just don’t drink too much or you’ll have to make several pit stops, extending the drive time and lessening the patience of any passengers.
- Time flies when…
Bring plenty of entertainment to keep everyone happy. Handheld games, mobile devices, in-car movies, etc. will surely make the trip go faster. Have at least one non-electronic distraction just in case of technical difficulties (i.e. someone forgets the device chargers) such as coloring books, magnetic activities, or favorite toys.
- Book ahead
Start your search for lodging early for the best deals. Many hotels offer advance purchase discounts when booking 2-3 weeks before arrival. You’ll also have more options to choose from if staying at private places being rented out.
Less Money, More Family Summer Road Trips
The less you spend on each excursion, the more road trips you can take. Yay for more vacations! Hopefully these tips will help you and your family make this the best summer yet!
How do you make your summer road trips more affordable?
This is a sponsored post made possible by Metromile. All opinions are my own.