How to Hack the Costs of a Road Trip

Who doesn’t like a good ol’ road trip? They’re great! The open road, seeing our big and beautiful country, leaving most of your worries behind… No wonder Americans love cars.


But your ordinary road trip doesn’t make a lot of financial sense. Plane tickets nowadays can be so cheap, it’s really rare for anyone to justify driving. But this article will show you how to keep the costs down. These are tips and tricks for hacking down the cost of your next road trip.


Tip #1: The more, the Merrier


Here’s some simple math. The more people you have in the car, the cheaper hotel and fuel expenses will be for you. Because everyone splits the bills. 1 person means $100. 2 people means $50. 3 people means $33, etc. etc. Consider bringing along as many people as you can stand.


Tip #2: Plan Your Routes


Getting lost is not fun. I know it’s romanticized in the movies but getting lost is a pain in real life. Think about it. You’re on a cross-country adventure… and you take a wrong turn. As if thousands of miles weren’t enough, you’re now moving additional real estate in the completely wrong direction. Every mile you go – every inch you go – is wasteful. I’m not suggesting you don’t take any side trips. But I’m suggesting you plan your route, use GPS and always know where you’re going. It’s also less stressful as well.


Tip #3: Pack Lots of Food


I love this tip. If you ever meet me in real life, I’m the one who’s always eating. I enjoy all sorts of snacks: dried fruit, nuts, etc. Pack along food. You can even pack cold food if you want to get fancy. This will keep you from stopping every time someone gets hungry. Sure, stopping is nice every now and then but usually food on the side of the interstate is pretty boring – think McDonald’s and Arby’s. The food you pack will taste better as well. You also get to go grocery shopping a little along the way. I like grocery shopping with the locals. It makes me feel like one.


You can even go next level with this. You can build a way to cook your cook in your cars engine bay. There’s a book called Manifold Destiny that shows you how it’s done. My uncle has done it.


Tip #4: Skip Hotels


Hotels are really, really expensive. I can burn through a month’s rent just by staying 4 nights in a comparable hotel. What I like to do is rent out Airbnb’s. Plus, again, this makes you feel more like a local. I love it.


If you really want to save money – camp. Bring along a tent and you’ll sleep for little money – sometimes even for free. And if you want to go even cheaper, sleep in your car. Just find a place that’s legal/safe to do so.


Tip #5: Keep the Car in Good Working Order


If the car shows signs of trouble, get it taken care of. Being penny wise, pound foolish can get you stranded on Route 66. No one wants that. It’s desolate out there in Arizona and New Mexico!


If the car is acting up, get it checked out as soon as possible. It could be something as low as low tire pressure. But it’s best to get this taken care of while the car is still moving. Tows can be expensive.


Tip #6: Consider a Service like AAA


AAA can get you free tows, fuel if you run out and discounts at thousands of attractions, restaurants and more. The annual fee is definitely worth it if you drive a lot. Check them out.


And those were my 6 tips for how to save on road trips. Together, they can make future trips much more enjoyable and much less expensive! If you have any tips, please share below!


Have fun out there!

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