8 Ways to Save On the Cost of Your Holiday Road Trip

8 Ways to Save On the Cost of Your Holiday Road Trip

black family/sleeping children in a car
(Source: ThinkStock)

Drive the speed limit

road trip highway sign
(Source: adoptahighway.net)

Pack snacks and meals
Avoid unnecessary convenience store expenses simply by packing your own snacks, beverages, and even full meals that can be eaten at room temperature. Start by choosing perishable items from your pantry. Prepare sandwiches before you go, fill up a few water bottles, and you’ll have far less need to make an expensive stop. For inspiration and tips, check food blogs such as those on foodnetwork.com for healthy snack foods to pack when traveling.

The primary reason for doing this is to avoid getting pulled over, which could result in a very expensive traffic ticket in addition to aggravation and time lost. But, there’s another, more common-sense reason: Cars tend to be more fuel efficient when driven at around 55 mph. The faster you drive, the less fuel efficient they become, which means you’re churning out more money on fuel just to cover the same distance. Sure, you may save an extra five minutes on the parkway by speeding, but over a long trip, that’s sure to cost you an extra stop at a gas station.

Keep updated registration and proof of insurance in the car
If you do get pulled over, that stop is going to be far less painful and time consuming if you have proof of insurance and registration in the car, conveniently available. If you don’t have these documents, you can expect a much more expensive traffic ticket and the slow ticking away of much of your day. It’s worth spending the extra few seconds – and the 10 minutes required to print new ones if you can’t find them – to double check and make sure you have these documents in your car to avoid the possibility of hundreds of dollars in tickets.

Avoid toll roads
Toll roads can be a large additional expense on your journey, easily adding $10 or more to the trip. They should be avoided even if this adds more miles to your trip. Thankfully, many online mapping tools, such as GoogleMaps, provide alternate routes that avoid toll roads. Adding another few minutes to your trip to avoid several tolls can end up saving you a noticeable amount of money.

Smart planning before and while you’re on the road can save you significant cash during a holiday road trip.