Final Destination: Tips On Planning A Road Trip

June 24, 2015  |  

How do you plan to get to your summer vacation? Will you take a plane, train or automobile? If you answered car, this one’s for you.

Millions of people pack up their vehicles and head off to various destinations across the country this time of year. Road trips have been known to save money, but only if you know what you’re doing.

I personally hate sitting in a car for long periods of time. Not only is it boring, it can really make your butt hurt. However you don’t have to deal with crazy airfare when traveling by car and you can try to tame your mini circus of a family without eyes or comments from others. Seeing as my husband and I have a toddler and a newborn, it’s almost guaranteed any traveling we do will be in a car — same for any college students, frugalistas, and other ballers on a budget.

So whether you’re looking to save money on your vacation or need to take a breather, check out these tips and tricks on planning a road trip.

Get an idea of time. How much time do you plan to spend on the road? Always have a good understanding of the amount of time you’ll need. This is especially important if you only have a set number of vacation days. Create a timeline to help allocate how many days you can dedicate to a particular location. Tip: Use road trip planners like Roadtrippers that help you map out your vacation with ease.

Figure out where you’re going. No matter how much adventure you want, it’s important to have some idea of where you’d like to go. Plan a route that includes paths you can take and attractions you wish to see along the way. It’s also a good idea to look for backup routes should you experience a hiccup or two. Relying on GPS is okay, but do have somewhat of a working knowledge of the land when it comes to your destination in the event you enter an area with no service.

Download gas apps. Anyone who travels during summer is pretty well aware how crazy gas prices can get crazy. One minute they’re affordable and the next they’re burning a hole in your wallet. Download gas apps on your smartphone to find the cheapest prices on your journey. Note: Make sure you fill up before you leave.

Get your car inspected. Everyone who wants to go on a road trip should first get their car inspected. Make sure your vehicle has received all necessary maintenance and repairs before you trek off somewhere. This will help ensure your car runs smoothly and doesn’t break down.

Research stops. Don’t think you’re being anal or controlling if you want to research pit stops. Knowing hotels and even places to eat on your road trip can save you both time and money. You won’t believe how many people waste countless time — and miles — driving around to find these needs.

Always remember to budget for expenses as you’ll need to have a general idea of the amount you wish to shell out for this trip. Create a budget that includes how much money you’re able to spend on things like gas, hotel rooms and activities. Sticking to a budget will help prevent you from overspending.

Enjoy your trip!

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