Road trips can result in some of the funnest times of your life. Preparing for road trips, on the other hand, is stressful. Costs can rapidly add up, leaving drivers in the red before the trip is even over.
The best way to prevent excessive spending on a road trip is preparation. The following four tips will help you and your family keep costs down on you next road trip:
Bring snacks and entertainment with you.
Food and entertainment can rack up to a considerable expense faster than you would expect. Minor conveniences like gas station snacks, fast food, hotel pay-per-view, and Wi-Fi surcharges can make travel more comfortable, but they can add up to hundreds of dollars over the course of a trip.
The best way to eliminate these costs is to bring your own food and entertainment. Bringing along a cooler or two filled with sandwiches, snacks, and beverages can be a great option for most road trips. For entertainment, consider bringing books, portable gaming systems, and board games. Any traveler knows to bring a charger for their phone, but it is wise to avoid using cellular data while on the go; data overages can be costly.
Drive below 60 miles per hour.
There is a common myth that driving quickly somehow improves fuel efficiency. This isn’t true. While your primary concern may be to get to your destination as soon as possible, keep in mind that driving too fast wastes gas. In fact, every ten miles you drive above 60mph adds another 54 cents to the cost of a gallon of gasoline.
What is the science behind this? Aerodynamics. While driving at higher speeds, around 40% of a vehicle’s energy is spent on combating air resistance. Air resistance increases dramatically for objects moving faster than 60 mph, so the energy it requires also greatly increases. Analysts suggest that driving at 55 mph is ideal for lowering fuel consumption.
Not sure if you should invest in an RV? Try renting.
Recreational vehicles can be a huge convenience on road trips, but some consumers may find it difficult to justify the cost. Those who are unsure about the investment should consider renting an RV. Being able to experience an RV road trip without the commitment of a hefty price tag is a rewarding experience.
Not only does this give consumers convenience for their next road trip, but it may also give them an idea about what kind of RV would best suit their needs in the future. For instance, Class A motorhomes are ideal for medium sized families, while class C RVs can comfortably accommodate up to nine people. In addition to providing convenience for their next trip, renting an RV gives drivers an opportunity to determine what kind of RV they should consider purchasing in the future.
Keep your vehicle maintained prior to the trip.
Before taking off, be sure to perform some basic auto maintenance. Not only does a well maintained vehicle have greater fuel efficiency, upkeep can also prevent the need for unforeseen repairs.
Drivers should ensure that their tires are properly inflated and do not have too much wear. Brake pads should be inspected to ensure that they do not need to be replaced. The battery should have a strong charge and clean terminals. Finally, it is smart to top off your gas before beginning your trip.
These steps will help travelers keep some cash in their wallets. Preparing for your next road trip with these tips in mind will result in a smoother — and much less expensive — journey.