In these warm summer months, nothing beats the freedom of the open road. A road trip is a great excuse to see parts of the country you’ve never seen before. However, long car trips can also be rough on the budget if you don’t know what you’re doing. With a little bit of planning and these tips, you can save money on your next road vacation.

Save Money on Your Next Summer Road Trip

Between food, fuel, and lodging, life on the road can add up. Here are a few simple ways to travel the open highway for less.

Save on Gas

As the miles add up, so do the gas costs. Depending on the length of your trip, you might spend hundreds just keeping your car fueled. You can put a significant dent in your gas bill with apps like GasBuddy, which lets you track down the cheapest station in your area. Using a card with gas rewards can also help lighten the load.

If you have a gas guzzling car, consider renting a fuel efficient or hybrid option for the trip. The rental fees are often more than paid for by the money you’ll save at the pump.

Save on Food

Meals on the road don’t have to be expensive. Before your vacation begins, check out websites like Gift Card Granny, which sells gift cards to well-known restaurant chains at huge discounts. Order a few cards for some of your favorite places and map out where you can find them along your route.

Caffeine on the Cheap

Sometimes we need a little kick of caffeine to get us started in the morning. However, multiple cups at Starbucks can add up quickly. A quality thermos can keep coffee hot for hours. Just refill it whenever you stop. Hotels usually offer free coffee in the lobby. You can also carry around a portable coffee press to make your own on-the-go.

Give Your Car a Checkup

Your car is going to be carrying you through this entire journey, so make sure it is in excellent shape before you go. Breakdowns and mishaps on the road can cost you hundreds of dollars and hours of your precious vacation time. Make sure to check tire pressure and fluid levels before you hit the trail. This may be a good excuse to change your oil and have your tires rotated.

Camp Out

Lodging is another huge travel expense. Camping along your route is a great way to save on hotels while enjoying the beauty of nature around you. Pack a tent, an inflatable mattress, and some sleeping bags and find free or inexpensive parks or campgrounds to stop at along the way.

Set Spending Caps

When you’re surrounded by souvenirs, food, and fun attractions, it can be easy to go overboard on spending. By purchasing a pre-paid credit card, you can set a cap on how much you spend. Just make sure to bring along some extra money in case of an emergency.

If you’re still low on cash, consider a trip to Cash Fast Loan Center. We have several locations around the Carolinas. Appointments take just 15 minutes so that you can get your loan fast. Contact us today.