Going on a Cost Effective Roadtrip | How to Pick the Right Car, Save Fuel and Other Tips


When I think of road trips, I envision author Ken Kesey and his merry prankster mates setting off on a cross country trip bringing hysteria, madness and a beautiful chaotic energy wherever they go. That was the hippie 1960s. Since then, setting out on a road trip has factored in a lot of things such as inflation, rising fuel prices, vehicle types and models and the changed landscape of the world — where urban cities sprung up in former countryside areas. It’s gotten more complex than just throwing a few stuff on the trunk of your vehicle and instantly setting off. In this brief article, we will enumerate a few helpful tips on how to plan a cost-effective road trip that won’t siphon your savings. Remember, there’s never a shortage of epic road trips to be experienced. Just be wise about pulling it off.

Plot a budget-friendly route

Most travelers who set out on road trips are also avid backpackers who love getting lost. It is one thing finding yourself off-the-beaten path using your two feet, it is another when driving a vehicle. Getting lost during road trips means more fuel to consume, which basically means additional money to spend. The best way is to plot a budget-friendly route. Simply, find more short-cuts or alternative roads free from traffic going to your destination. Plus, most of the time, these unknown shortcuts can also offer the best roadside views.

Decide Whether to buy a New or Used Vehicle

Of course, the most important thing to consider is the vehicle you will use. If you are just planning to buy one, consider the pros and cons of buying either a new or used vehicle. For sure, one can’t go wrong with a brand-new automobile if your budget can afford it. However, there is also an advantage to purchasing a pre-owned vehicle especially if it’s a brand and model known for durability. One, it can save you a lot of money and second, you won’t have to worry much beating it down on the road with more mileage. To help you decide which one to buy by factoring your budget, there’s this helpful website CarPaymentCalculator.net. It will automatically compute everything you need to know from down payment, rebate, Trade-in value, sales tax, interest rates and more.

Follow these fuel-saving practices

As fuel prices continuous to increase, many road trip plans are being put in the backburner. For those, like you, who still intend to push through, you can follow these fuel-saving practices to keep your gas expenses down. First, keep your vehicle in tip top shape and this includes making sure your tires are properly inflated so it will lessen the drag. Explore more using your feet after finding a nice parking spot in places you will visit. Another way to save on fuel is to avoid traveling during peak or rush hours especially when passing through an urban city since traffic jams forces your vehicle to consume more fuel. You can always this online tool that calculates fuel budget to help you plan accordingly.

Look for cheap accommodations or might as well car camp

Like with all travel, accommodations take the largest portion of a trip budget. To lessen the expense on finding a home on the road, make sure to find the cheapest accommodation available. Airbnb offers a wide selection of home-stays that can be had for a cheap. Another option is to well, uhm, go car camping. If you are using a van on your road trip, it is doable to sleep inside it. Just reconfigure the layout instead so you can have a pull-out bed and add some pillow and you’re all set. Another alternative is to bring a tent and pick a secured place to park your car and pitch your tent. National Parks are the usual top choice for car camping locations.

Cook your own food

While it is always nice to try local dishes in places you go to on your road trip, sometimes you are better off cooking your own food. Make a schedule to pick days where you’ll have to eat at a local diner and set days when you can prepare your own food. Similar to hiking and camping in the wilderness, you need to bring a small stove, cooking utensils so you’ll have your own MasterChef On the Road edition on most days. The best thing of doing this, is you get to buy cheap local ingredients and also learn how to cook some local cuisine. Oh, and get an insulated cooler box for you to store some leftover food.

Meet up friends on the road

I guess you already know where this is going? Yes, your guess is as good as mine. Meeting friends who happens to reside along your road tripping route means free meals or better, a free stay for a night or two. So yeah, take advantage of your friends during your road trip. I’m sure they will be entertained by your stories of being on the road.