Frugal Summer? See the 9 Tips for Summer Road Trips

Do you like to drive? Check out the best tips for summer road trips: 

Road trips are amazing, and if you have ever been on one, then you probably agree with me. It brings a greater sense of being present to the entire experience. You are free to stop anywhere you like, go at your speed, and enjoy the scenery as you go.

A road trip may also be adjusted to fit your goals and budget because it is a vacation you planned and organized. Nevertheless, you must remember that if you are careless, the costs may mount up. While flying isn’t for everybody for various reasons, that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in your town for the warm season.

And if you prepare ahead of time, summer road vacations may be incredible, life-changing experiences. Here are seven planning suggestions that will protect your budget while you’re having fun with your friends and family. Let’s have a frugal summer!

summer road trips, frugal summer
Photo by Juergen Faelchle from Shutterstock

Save on gas

The price of gasoline has skyrocketed in the past year, and not even now is it very affordable. So, if you want to have a frugal summer and a nice road trip, plan your trips around the gas stations offering the best deals on fuel. Remember that while prices might vary significantly in large cities, gas will probably cost less in the countryside.

Therefore, rather than filling up in big cities, do it in those little villages along the route. Additionally, plan to fill up your tank during the week and avoid weekends at all costs! To keep an eye on where the nearest and cheapest gas station is, install GasBuddy or GasGuru on your phone.

Make sure you have a functional vehicle

How do you feel about having your vehicle break in the middle of the road while your plans were completely different? An engine warning light may disrupt your plans. Make an appointment with a reliable vehicle repair shop for maintenance before you go. Check your car’s brakes, tires, dashboard, and undercarriage to make sure it’s safe to drive.

Would you like to find a way to keep the miles off your car? Rent one, if you can!

Look for a fuel-efficient vehicle

When we think about summer road trips, obviously, the focus is on the vehicle. How reliable it is, how much gas it uses, and so on. If this is your first road trip, I’d say you should stick to a rented car.

Car models like the Nissan Rogue, Honda HR-V, Toyota Rav4, Subaru Crosstrek, and Chevy Equinox should be kept in mind. Since they have the highest ratings for long-distance fuel efficiency, safety, and spaciousness.

Plan the route beforehand

If you want to stay within budget for a summer road trip, it’s important to plan your route carefully. To keep your spending under control, you should know where you’re going, where you’re staying, etc.

This will let you decide which little towns to fill up with fuel, where to stay, what activities you can squeeze in (like museums, tourist locations, and such), and how much to spend at each gas station.
You can, of course, be spontaneous, but it can come at a higher cost. If you want a frugal summer, the more ahead of time you plan, the better!

Go camping

I don’t know about you, but me and my family love camping! Even if none of us are in our twenties anymore, we can still enjoy what nature has to offer and spend less money by camping. Every road trip has plenty of stunning locations for camping. All you have to do is make mindful camping choices well in advance. A little cost is required for some, while it is free for others. You can sleep in your car (or camper van) or bring a tent.

This summer, are you planning to go camping? Don’t forget to pack mosquito-repellent bracelets for camping near wooded areas! The good news is that they’re not expensive at all. Amazon is selling them for just $9.99.

Book a hotel that offers free breakfasts

“Is that even a thing?” you may ask. Well, it is, and you must take advantage of it. You’d be pleasantly surprised at how many hotels provide free breakfasts. This is going to be like a breath of fresh air for a summer road trip when you have to consider paying for the fuel and other things.

Check to see whether the hotel offers a complimentary breakfast if you are planning to stay there while traveling. Better still, when you make your reservation, pick the hotels with free breakfast!

Stock up on food, snacks and coffee

Another huge tip for frugal summer road trips is to buy everything you need or even cook something to munch on for the road. Avoid buying snacks or sandwiches from gas stations since they are the most expensive, and with a big family on board, trust me, you’ll want to save as much money as possible. Stock up on fruits, protein bars, and sandwiches. Make sure you also have a cooler with you, since the heat may spoil some items.

Are you a coffee drinker? If the answer is yes, make your coffee and don’t spend money at Starbucks. Hotels and campsites always have easy access to hot water, and depending on the type of road trip you’re going on, you can find yourself in more remote locations. So all you need to bring is a to-go cup, ground coffee beans, and a French press!

summer road trips, frugal summer
Photo by Juergen Faelchle from Shutterstock

Check the weather

If you’re not cautious, the weather may mess with your road trip budget. The list is endless: if you become stranded in a tornado, flood, or heavy rain in the West, for example, the increased risk of wildfires makes even dry weather problematic. You might be caught in many different locations along the route due to these weather conditions.

To prevent delays that might result in increased expenses for food, accommodation, and transportation, pay attention to the weather and keep an eye on the weather app.

Go for budget-friendly activities

While on a road trip, there are a ton of free things to do. Consider hiking, sightseeing, park, and beach exploration—the possibilities are endless. So be sure to spend as much time as possible on free activities. When you spend a day trekking or at a stunning beach, your trip will seem complete. After that, you may indulge and top it off with something at night, or the next day and visit a couple of museums.

How do you save money on summer road trips? 

I hope you can use these suggestions to cut costs on your upcoming summer road trips. In my case, these little tricks have significantly improved my on-the-go experience. When you’re as obsessed with road trips as I am, every buck matters! Any advice you guys have on road trip budgeting would be much appreciated! If you remark below, I’ll even include your suggestions on my list for my next road trip.

Until next time and happy exploring!

…you may also like Traveling On A Budget This Season. 8 Tips And Tricks For Beginners


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