- Gas Prices often rise in the summer. The reasons are numerous. More people are traveling by car this time of year = increased demand. Also, there are summer and winter blends of fuel and the former is more expensive as it uses different additives and refineries have to shut down before they process it. Gas is averaging around $2.70 a gallon for regular right now in the Denver area but consider yourself lucky since gas was near $3.69 a gallon last year at this same time.
Solution: Pack light, leave early, check your fluids and air pressure, and don’t speed. These steps will help you increase your fuel efficiency.
- Even if you whip through the fast food drive through, you’re still buying food that you otherwise wouldn’t have if you stayed at home. Plus you’re likely not doing yourself any favors by eating food out of a crinkly bag. Why not save your food budget for the corn on the cob at that state fair you are traveling to, or better yet, an Elephant ear?
Solution: Pack some fruit, jerky, and sandwiches in a cooler. Unless you are spending your time driving through large metropolitan areas, what you bring is likely to be much tastier than what you’ll find at the 7-Eleven.
- Hotel and motel costs add up even in less desirable destinations you’ll pass through. Case in point: a Garden City, Kansas room at the Hilton will run you $106 a night. But if you leave early enough on your trip, you can reach your destination without having to stop to sleep. Warning, do not drive when you are overtired. As much as you may not want to share driving responsibilities, consider your safety and hand over those keys at the 8 hour mark.
Solution: Leave early and avoid motel costs or at the very least, bring a tent and a few sleeping bags to camp. If you need the comforts of a bed with sheets, use Airbnb.com for a room that will likely be cheaper, cozier and include a kitchen.
Traveling by airplane used to be the obvious choice when confronted with a decision to drive or fly. After all, convenience is paramount. However, with delays, increased costs and the shininess wearing off, driving has become more appealing. Especially if you have young children, the car can be your scream proof sanctuary.
Armed with these budget backs for a summer road trip, it’s time for you to get on the road! Remember to report back with any additional ways to save money.