Holiday Travel on the Cheap: Road Trip!
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Holiday Travel on the Cheap: Road Trip!

Posted on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 at 8:00 am
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To get the most affordable, efficient, and least stressful road trip possible we have some great tips to help you with your road trip: When thinking of holiday travel the mode of transportation most of us immediately jump to is the automobile! Not only is the automobile an easy way to travel for the holidays, according to the Bureau of Transportation 91% of long-distance holiday travel is by personal vehicle, it is also an incredibly popular way to travel for the holidays. To get the most affordable, efficient, and least stressful road trip possible we have some great tips to help:

Tips for an Affordable Road Trip

1. Car Maintenance

Making sure your car is ready to make a long trip is not only essential for getting to your destination in one piece, but it can also be a money saver too! Before heading out on your road trip we recommend that you check you car’s tire pressure, oil levels, coolant, lights, and that your windshield wipers are working properly. Having your tires filled to the appropriate level of air will save you money and ensure that you’re maximizing your fuel economy. Checking your oil levels, coolant, lights, and windshield wipers are essential for your safety on the road and it’ll help prevent any unpredictable breakdowns too. We all know those can get costly!

2. Travel at Off-Hours

If you live in a heavily populated area or are travelling to one you’ll want to factor in your ETA and departure time to your travel plans. Traveling when the roads aren’t busy will save you frustration, time, and gas you’d waste by crawling through traffic. If you’re  extremely concerned about traffic we recommend not traveling on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or the Sunday following Thanksgiving. Major highways and thoroughfares will be clogged with holiday travelers. If you’re able to avoid popular routes without sacrificing gas or time we recommend doing so.

3. Be Prepared for a Long Trip

Sometimes long trips in the car are unavoidable so it’s best to be prepared. This means you should gas up and be ready to roll with your route already planned. If you’re traveling with small children be sure to bring activities to keep them occupied such as: audio books, car games, books, movies, etc. Also, instead of pulling of the road for food, try packing a hearty meal to go. You’ll not only save money, but the meal you pack will probably be more nutritious too.

 

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.