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6 Ways To Save Money On A Road Trip

Updated: Jun 3

road trip save money

Roadtrip reminds me of a family packed up with their stuff and going on a long journey in their family van or SUV. You might be thinking of travel by plane to a far-off destination or a simple drive using your car to a local attraction.

Whatever is your ideal or your perfect road trip, there are a few simple ways to save money when you are on the go.

Let's jump in...

Tip # 1: Buy Snacks Before You Leave

driver sitting inside a car holding a snack in hand

You can save a lot of spending outside at the gas station or a local shop. It might be a lot of spending on snacks you say, but it can add up when you buy small things here and there along your trip.

Especially on a long day, when you get thirsty or just indulge in that potato chips while listening to your favorite music. Buy a big family at a club store at a great price and use it during your trip. Of course, remember to buy a cooler if want to bring along a dozen bottles of coke or other drinks.

Better yet, prepare your food (sandwiches, etc..) at home and take it with you instead of buying food outside.

Tip # 2: Use CashBack App To Get Cheap Gas

There are many apps that find you the cheapest price on gas every time you need to fill up gas. But I found an awesome app call GetUpside which not only lets you search for a nearby gas station but also gets you huge cashback on every gallon of gas you fill up on your road trip.

With GetUpside, you will earn 25 cents per gallon for every gallon of gas at most participating gas stations in the United States. Read my review of this app here in my blog post.

Bonus: This app also saves you money when you dine at restaurants and when you buy groceries.

Tip # 3: Budget and book in advance

Plan ahead where you are going to stop and get an estimate of how much your trip will cost. Set a budget with a plus or minus of a few hundred dollars.

Book your flight, amusement park, parking, and any other payments that you can make in advance. This will get you early booking, advance purchase deal if available. Before buying tickets early, you might want to check if they offer free cancellation without any penalty just in case you changed your mind and want to cancel your tickets.

Tip # 4: Use a good navigation app

You heard of the Google maps app for your smartphone but you would also use another app like WAZE which is also a good GPS app. Personally, I think WAZE has a good UI and helps me find attraction pretty easily and quickly. You might end up finding a lot of unknown attractions along your trip and you can plan in advance which ones are the best you want to cover in your road trip.

Planning out where you will go and what places you will see helps you prepare for long stops. It helps save you money on gas by choosing the right order to visit attractions so you do not have to make a U-turn to visit one and then drive some more to get back to your next attraction.

You can also use WAZE to find a route that has no tolls and still manage to get to your destination in a fairly lesser time. It worked better than Google maps in most cases in my experience.

Tip # 5: Camping is free!

Instead of staying in a hotel, you can choose to camp outdoors. It is fun for many and saves you some money! Outdoor experience plus the free thing is better than staying in that costly hotel room.

Tip # 6: Check your vehicle

Before you leave for that road trip, check your vehicle for lights, any service-due indicators, oil-change if needed soon. Change that oil, fix that light if that is your case, check tire pressure, windshield wipers, vacuum clean your car/SUV, etc..

The benefits of doing this save your money and time:

  • Saves your time by avoiding surprises along your trip

  • Saves you from Police tickets just because that tail end light was dirty or not working.

  • Saves you gas because you checked your vehicle's tire pressure


Roadtrip always has surprises and you avoid them by planning ahead and using apps and other ways to save money and also avoid trouble along your route. All of them are good tips and use them to your advantage and have a fun road trip! Leave a comment below and let us know which tip is your favorite.

Did you check out my Top List section? It is worth your time and you will find some interesting posts there!