Hidden Secrets to Save $ While on a Road Trip

Road trips are fun and allow you to see some amazing places or visit family at a low cost. Even though you will save on airfare, there are still some expenses that will set you back if you don’t know the tricks. These expenses are gas, food, and lodging. Read on to find out the tips and tricks I have learned to save money while traveling the US by car.gas buddy


Gas: The best way to save money on gas is to download the app GasBuddy. It is available for IPhones, Androids, Windows phones, and Blackberrys. This app will use your location and will bring up all of the gas stations around you and their prices. It looks like your navigation system when you use it and will even give you directions to the gas station you choose to use.


coolerFood: My number one tip on how to save money on food while road tripping is to pack a cooler! Load it up with ice, fruit, pre-made sandwiches, and whatever else you like to snack on before you leave. Once the cooler is in your car, all you will have to do is stop to replenish along the way. This will save you TONS of $$$! Another tip for saving on meals is to remember that you are not too good for fast food. Although, I do not recommend eating every meal at McDonald’s while on your trip, a few stops here and there could save you hundreds!

My last and most super secret tip on how to save money on food will only work if you are planning on staying in a hotel or motel along the way. If you are, call ahead to see if the lodging facility you are looking at offers a continental breakfast. By staying somewhere that offers you a free breakfast you will save money and can even take a banana or two for the road later.


hotel coupon booksLodging: Whether you are planning on staying in a hotel, motel, or bed & breakfast, you are going to spend money. I learned a great trick while traveling with my Mom early on. If you are on a road trip you will most likely be on an interstate where there are rest stops. STOP! Go inside and look for a rack of book that look like these ones shown to the right. They really are hotel coupon books. You will find that they are separated by state and that they will have coupons for 1 or 2 night stays for as little as $40 to $60 a night! Many of the coupons will not allow you to make a reservation in advance, but that is okay because my advice is to always wait to book a room until you see where the hotel is located. You do not want to be staying in a scary area. 

Another tip I have about lodging while on a road trip is that when you go into the hotel with your hotel coupon ask them if they a full. If they are not, ask them if they can upgrade your room for free. I used to work in a hotel, and we would do this for guests who would ask if we had vacant rooms.


These are all the secrets I have when it comes to saving money on a road trip so far. Each one of these has come in extremely useful and has saved me hundreds. I am sure someone else knows some more tips, and if that someone is you, please leave a comment below.


Safe travels, and happy savings!

2 thoughts on “Hidden Secrets to Save $ While on a Road Trip

  1. Thanks for sharing this. Your tips are very helpful. I am a travel freak and travel a lot. Next year Alaska is on my card.Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness., and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Next year I definitely want to explore Albany.
    People often have a theme that they base their worldly travels on, but how about a mental mantra for your travel? Out of a cheerleading event that consisted of our family shouting supportive words at our daughter who was attempting to kill a rather monstrous spider that the rest of us were too chicken to get close to, came this great quote, “If you don’t think, and you just do….then it’s done!”

    This quote came back to haunt me when on vacation in Seattle. I thought it would be a great idea to take the kids on the Seattle Great Wheel, the ferris wheel overlooking the ocean, but as we approached it, I realized how high it went and immediately panicked! Just as I had decided to put the kids on it on their own, my daughter says, “Come on dad…If you don’t think, and you just do….then it’s done!” What could I do at that point?! She was telling me to stop thinking and creating more fear about the situation and just get on the thing!
    “If you don’t think, and you just do, then it’s done!” We all now keep this quote in our back pocket, ready to whip out at any time to push one of us forward into an adventure we know they won’t regret. No hesitations, don’t allow any time for fear to set in, and be prepared for your kids to turn your life advice back on you

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