Planning For A Holiday Road Trip

So, I do some crazy things at times. You can blame it on the fact that I’m young, you can blame it on the fact that I have a bit of a wanderlust in me, you can blame it on a whole lot of things, but I do crazy (and fun) stuff. This year, my crazy thing is going on a month-long road trip for the holidays. It’ll be the first period of time that I’ll have free time for more than a month, so I will be seeing family and friends that I haven’t seen in a long time.

Anyway, I started planning for this trip yesterday, and it’s always a fun experience. I was the one that my friends wanted to plan trips, so it’s definitely something that I enjoy doing. Here are some ways that I keep my costs for trips low.

Look at your gas mileage… and overestimate what you may need. I know this doesn’t sound like a way to save money, but it really is. Why? Because if you overestimate how much gas will be, then you’ll be sure to save too much, which means you’ll have a little extra for a night out on the town or something like that. Gas prices change, too, so it gives you some breathing room in terms of that.

Stay with friends or consider a hostel. My whole trip involves visiting family and friends, which ends up saving me a lot of money in the long run. Make sure to bring some stuff to compensate (like I plan on bringing food and such to the places I’m staying), because that’s just good manners, but overall, it’s a great idea. Hostels are a fairly cheap overnight option too; most run $30-$40 a night and have most of the stuff you’d need. They’re pretty cozy too; I stayed in one on my trip on the Appalachian Trail last September.

Try not to eat on the road. It’s hard. Food is tasty, and fast food is a great option, but don’t eat it all of the time. Not only is it absolutely horrible for you in terms of calorie consumption; it’s going to drive up those costs that you really don’t need. Pack car-friendly snacks and meals, consider using one of those travel coolers that plug into a power source in your car, anything to save on the dent that food on the go can put in your wallet.

Take advantage of Triple A and other discounts. I love Triple A. It’s the best thing ever in my opinion. I’ve saved money on everything from prescriptions to oil changes. If you don’t have an AAA membership, get one. Also, consider finding Groupons for the places you may be going…. you can get some great deals you may not find otherwise!

How do you reduce the cost of your trips? Are you getting ramped up to do some major holiday traveling? Do you have any other thoughts? Share some thoughts in the comments, have a great week, and we’ll see you back here next week.

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