Top Tips for Frugal Trips

By: David Stack | Posted: 19th July 2010

During these times more and more people are canceling their vacations and road trips, no matter how much well-deserved it would have been. Are you one of those people? Well, times are tough now and most people are so overworked that they want to take a break. If you're wondering if you can pull off a road trip with your family, loved ones or even by yourself well, yes you can!

As with all things, plan ahead to get a general idea of where you're going, the things you're going to do while you're there and how much it's going to cost you. Planning ahead may seem the obvious first task to do but so many people just simply forget to plan and budget or do a bad job on it and lose more money than they plan to.

Reducing Fuel Costs On the Road

First of all you have to make sure that the car you're taking with you on your trip will actually get you there. Remember that a small to medium-sized, fuel-efficient car will do well than a tough and huge gas-guzzler SUV.

* Get your car serviced for a tune-up at least a month before your trip, for your auto to run smoother and checked for fuel efficiency. You can also save money for emergency repairs and frustration, avoiding costly breakdowns while on the road
* Always check maps, search for information for gas doesn't hurt either, but never drive out of your way to get cheaper gas.
* Always pack light and choose lightweight items all the time, because the heavier your car becomes, the more fuel it burns.
* Try to lessen your need for heat and AC, turn it down or turn it off entirely. As much as possible keep driving in highways with a steady speed.

Skip the Hotels

When you're on a road trip embarking on a great adventure, why not go for the whole hog? Skip the hotels and try booking for a campground! Hotels can cost you hundred dollars or more while camping can only set you back $10-$20 per night. There are campsites all over the U.S., most especially near well-known tourist hot spots. Enhance your road trip adventure by sleeping under a blanket of stars.

Pack Your Own Snacks and Drinks

Save money by avoiding popular snack bars, as they have prices that are quite high for simple food like pasta, pancakes and sandwiches. Popular snack bars in rest areas delude hapless tourists, making them pay for a higher price for ordinary food repackaged as their "specials". Keep a cooler and bring drinks if you can. One of the best ideas for drinks is packing concentrated powdered drink so that you can have a liter of iced tea or juice yet don't lug around that weight in your bag. For sandwiches, don't buy prepackaged ones in convenience stores, instead before you leave pack 2-3 loaves of bread, sachets of spreads and your favorite jam, as well as pieces of meat and extra veggies.

Choose Attractions and Activities

Visit online tourist information sites especially if you're barely familiar of the state or county's events and places. You can also visit their info centers as you can get free maps and other information about deals and free events that will save you money.While tourist attractions are great to keep you entertained, the real sight seeing begins with the scenic views.
Kick back, relax and enjoy your special vacation! It's a time to de-stress and get a breath of air to revitalize your body. Road trips are a simple way to get away from it all, and these frugal ways to make road trips cheap helps your budget, too!
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Tags: budget, hot spots, frustration, general idea, vacations, highways, fuel efficiency, maps, fuel efficient car, camping, breakdowns, tune up, emergency repairs, fuel costs, road trips, campsites, great adventure