<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=355535778237127&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Budget Road Trip Hacks

A good road trip is a staple of adventure: seeing the scenery change, jamming to some killer playlists, and enjoying some time behind the wheel. But with ever-climbing gas prices and rising costs across the board, it can seem expensive to get out there. Fortunately, there are some sneaky ways to save money on a trip. Here are a few of our favorite budget road trip hacks.

Family high-fiving in a car on a road trip.

Make the most of fuel savings

You want to earn rewards like cash back whenever you swipe with a rewards credit card. That makes the weight of gas prices a little lighter. You can also take advantage of grocery store fuel rewards programs and gas station loyalty apps that help you save at the pump. And apps like GasBuddy or even Google Maps help you find the cheapest gas near you, so you can skip the inflated prices and go straight to the deals when you’re driving through. 


Stock up on snacks before you leave 

The cost racks up quickly when you’re shopping for snacks in truck stops and convenience stores. Plus, those spots tend to be pretty light on the healthy options. Plan your snacks out so you can shop at home and save. Consider bringing a cooler for hummus, carrots, fresh fruit, or chips and salsa. And even if you crave junk food on a long road trip, you can save by stocking up at the grocery store instead of the gas station. 


Kids eating snacks in the back of the car.


Don’t forget the drinks 

The same goes for drinks. Stash some seltzer or soda in an easily accessible spot, keep your water bottle full, and consider your caffeine carefully. Getting a latte every hundred miles will add up over time. You could make some cold brew to take with you in the cooler or bring your grounds to brew along the way (especially if you have your camping gear with you). It sure beats truck stop coffee! 


Save money on accommodation 

Aside from gas, hotel stays are one of the highest costs on a road trip. Camping or sleeping in the car can be a great way to save a bit, especially with high hotel costs. But if you stay indoors, use this as a chance to redeem travel rewards from your credit card. You can also look into Airbnb or stay in accommodations outside of city centers to save some money. It’s good to double-check that free parking is available either at the hotel or nearby, and complimentary breakfast can save you money in the morning.  


Find free activities 

Go for a hike, or bring your bike along for a way to get some movement in while you explore and save money at the same time. Invest in the America the Beautiful pass if you plan to stop at national parks or monuments. And remember, road trips are about the journey—you never know what sign might draw you off the highway to uncover a new spot. 


Family riding bikes on a trail through the forest.


Take care of maintenance before you go 

You don’t want to be stuck with a major breakdown that will ruin your road trip and cost a fortune when you’re in the middle of nowhere. Making sure you’re up on routine maintenance will save you the hassle, and it may even get you better gas mileage. 


If you’re worried about your car calling it quits before you even reach the next state, it might be time for an upgrade. With an auto loan from RMCU, you can find your new set of wheels with an affordable monthly payment, all in time for road trip season. Apply today to see what you qualify for, and get out there to explore the road ahead of you. 

Non RMCU links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Rocky Mountain Credit Union of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. RMCU bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external sites.

Blog Categories