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Travel Hacks: Saving Money on Road Trips


This is a guest post by Kyle Rutten. Kyle is a freelance content creator for B&B RV in Denver, Colorado. He loves to travel and spends most of his free time in the Colorado wilderness.




Traveling can be expensive. For many families, the expense of travel leaves it simply out of reach. Of course, travel is extremely positive for the human spirit. So we thought it would be a good idea to highlight some opportunities to save money on the road. Maybe this will help make travel more accessible for folks it otherwise wouldn’t be.

Master the Credit Card Monster

hand holding credit card

Credit cards can be extremely damaging for a household economy if used improperly. That being said, they can also be extremely useful if used correctly. It’s all about discipline. For example, if you put all of your normal expenses through an airlines card you will start accruing miles. Pay the balance to zero every month and you’ll never pay a finance charge. This all translates to free airfare.

Similar savings can be had on fuel and grocery rewards cards. These often provide 3% cash back rewards on all fuel and grocery purchases. Again, return the balance to zero every month to avoid those finance charges.

Maximize Your Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is a massive financial variable while traveling. This is especially the case if you decide to travel by RV. However, even if you’re just in a rental car for a few days, this can be a meaningful amount of money. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, fuel credit cards can assist with the cost of a fill-up. However, getting good prices on fuel and stretching that fuel as far as possible are even more powerful.

A car that is behind on maintenance, with dirty/low motor oil, a dirty air filter, and low pressure in the tires can lose over 25% in fuel efficiency. So keeping up on your vehicle’s maintenance is huge. Couple that to the Gas Buddy app, which can save you 10% on fuel consistently and things are looking much better. Fuel is easily one of the biggest opportunities for saving money while traveling.

Stick to Your Diet

Eating out is often one of the biggest expenses while traveling. It also happens to be one of the biggest pleasures of traveling. Is it possible to have your cake and eat it too? Absolutely. Set aside part of your travel budget for a few nice dinners. The idea here is to have an extra special meal that will be memorable.

For the rest of your meals, grab some groceries and stick to your normal diet. The effect will be a handful of delicious meals that really stick out in your trip. Not only that, but you will feel more alert and able to enjoy your trip if most of your meals are what you’re used to eating. This is especially the case if you are a healthy eater.

Car Camp on Long Road Trips

Car camping may sound miserable, but the reality is that constraints like car camping can make the trip better overall. The last road trip we took involved a night of car camping. The effect was less time dilly-dallying at a hotel and more time on the road. This gave us more time to enjoy our destination. It also gave us a little perspective on how nice a bed felt, and some good laughs about the cold, uncomfortable night we had. Of course, the best part was that we saved money not checking into a hotel.

Post on Craigslist for RV Parking

If you’re traveling via RV, parking can be pricey. A quick post on Craigslist can often get you a place to park for a night or two. You might try offering to cook a meal or mow a lawn for your hosts. Get creative. This can be a good way to meet interesting people and pick their brains for the inside scoop on an area. Staying away from tourist traps and enjoying the “local” experience tends to be a money saving endeavor all on its own.

Utilize New Technologies

There are countless ways to save money when it comes to new technologies. For example Airbnb can be cheaper than a hotel and a much more genuine experience. Uber is another technology that tends to go overlooked for people who aren’t in the habit of using it. Uber is an excellent way to get around a new city. For the intrepid travelers, there are even sites like Taskrabbit that allows them to make a little money while they’re traveling. If you have a day to kill and nothing better to do, why not?

Think Outside the Box

Placing constraints on your travel will not only save you money, but it will actually heighten your experience. Some austerity added to any experience adds perspective to things and makes the positives that come with travel much more tangible. Even if a traveler is well-off, applying constraints that require creativity will make the trip far more memorable.

We hope this article has shined a light on some ways to save you and your family some scratch on your next trip. Now get out there and see the world!

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