Taking a road trip is one of the quickest, most fun, and scenic ways to see the country. You are in complete control of timing, stops, food, activities, just about everything. Add your family or a couple friends to the mix and you also get a great bonding experience and stories you’ll be telling for years.

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But sometimes, budgeting for a road trip can be the tough part. How much should you plan for gas, hotels, food? Should you eat out for every meal? It’s also possible that you want to go, but don’t have a lot of money to spend in the first place. But it is possible to finally go on that epic road trip while still saving money.

Here are the best ways to not break the bank on your next road trip.

Start Saving

Start Saving

If you have a few months to prepare for your trip, open up a savings account and start putting a little in each month. If you get a tax refund, put a little bit of it in, we suggest 10 percent. You don’t have to put your whole refund in, just a little bit.

If you can figure out exactly where you’re going to stay, eat and how far you’re going you will know exactly how much you need to start saving.

Plan Your Route

Plan Your Route

Knowing which way you’re going can help you control your spending. Once you plan your route, you can plan on how many days it will take you which will help you figure out how many nights you need to find lodging.

Also, you can use distance calculator between cities, places on the map to find the most convenient routes for reaching your destination, calculate the flying and driving distance in both kilometres and miles.

All this will help you figure out how many meals you need to plan eating out and can also help you calculate gasoline costs.

Calculate Gasoline Costs

fuel

Once you calculate gas costs you’ll know exactly how much you will need to save for gas. You can use the AAA Fuel Calculator to estimate your cost of gas by entering your starting point, destination and even the fact that you’re driving a Toyota Corolla LE.

To help increase gas mileage, make sure your tires are properly inflated, pack light, maintain a steady speed, and avoid rush hour traffic. You should also park your car and walk whenever possible if you want to explore. Don’t leave it running.

And of course, also try to find gas stations away from the highway. The closer a station is to a highway, the higher the price per gallon tends to be.

Stay with Friends/Family

Family Friends

When possible, stay with friends, family, friends of friends, and extended family. As you plan your trip, try to stay in certain towns or cities where you know someone so you can save on lodging.

Even if you can’t every night, try to at least get one or two nights at a friend’s where you can save on lodging and maybe even dinner and breakfast if they’re generous.

Pack Your Lunch

Lunch Box

That first day you leave, pack your lunches and eat at home. Buy any and all snacks from your local grocery store as gas stations really jack up the prices on drinks and food.

Buy snacks that won’t melt and are filling, like granola bars, nuts or crackers. If you have a small portable grill, take it with you so you’re not eating out but making your own food.

If you do stay at a hotel, find one that offers free breakfast and snag a few apples and yogurts for the day.

Use Discounts & Coupons

Hotel Discounts

Use sites like Kayak, Priceline, Booking.com or Reservations.com to get last minute deals on rooms. These travel aggregator sites enables you to experience travel in a whole new way. Accessing hotels in the place you’re going from wherever you live, offering a range of search options from cheap to deluxe.

www.Cheapbair.com has the cheapest flights, Hotels, cruises, car rentals and Las Vegas show discounts. The coolest thing about this site is that traveller’s can post their vacation pics on the site. Its a new and fresh appeal to global travellers. Its beautiful array of pictures gives travelers ideas of where to travel. Cheapbair.com is the fresh face of travel.

Also try to stay away from tourist areas and find hotels outsides of metropolitan areas. You can also use coupons for chain restaurants, or find deals on Groupon for restaurants where you’re stopping for dinner.

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