With a some time left in August, there is still plenty of time to plan that summer road trip! Whether or not you already have a destination in mind or you need to do a little bit of planning to pinpoint where exactly you want to go, there are endless options when it comes to our Canadian roadways.
Once you have decided where the road will take you, there is also one important part of the overall itinerary you will want to take into account. This element of course being, how expensive is this trip likely to be?
If the total cost of your road trip is a source of worry for you, then remember there are various ways you can save money, yet still have the freedom to enjoy yourself to the fullest.
Here are 3 ways to save on a road trip this summer.
1) Pack Wisely
When it comes to road trips, the ones that are planned at the last minute may be more likely to involve stopping along the way for food, as well as buying what you need when you get there. However, this method is likely to prove to be quite expensive for you in the long run.
In order to save some money however, you might consider packing most of what you will need, of course including food. It is a given that you will need to have nourishment along the way, however, by packing your own food or at least your snacks and drinks, this can reduce the amount of money you will have to spend by continuing to stop for these items at restaurants and rest stops. In addition to food and snacks, you can also pack your own water, as buying bottled water at stores can also be quite pricey.
Since it is a matter of fact that you will require ‘re-fuelling’ along the way, be sure to plan ahead and include some non-perishable items, as well as packing that cooler so you can save considerably on your road trip when it comes to these edible provisions.
A second way you can be a wise packer is to pack the items you will need along the way as well as when you get where you’re going. For example, if you are going to be visiting a beach or a pool at any point, be sure to pack your own sunscreen, towels, and even your swimsuit.
Buying these items when you arrive can also prove expensive as they are likely to be prices higher in various tourism shops along the way. In the end, you can save a lot by bringing these items from home, the ones you already own or the ones you have purchased at a less expensive non-tourist driven retail locations.
Ultimately, depending on the areas you will be visiting throughout your road trip, you should prepare a checklist for these destinations and make sure you pack the key items you will need. If you miss one or two of them, that is not the end of the world, however be sure to pack adequate food, drinks as well as the items you need as they are likely to be more expensive when you arrive.
2) Find Affordable Accommodations
Depending on the nature of your trip, it is likely that you will also require some form of accommodations. That said, spending the night in hotels can also be quite costly, and as a result you may want to try and save some money on these expenses, by finding deals on accommodations or alternative lodging.
If hotels, motels, or B&Bs are your best options, you will want to look into these prices ahead of time as well. You can begin by researching these options and comparing prices. By doing so, you are likely to find discounts and more ideal rates versus if you leave it to the last minute. Fortunately, there are plenty of sites and phone apps that help you compare the best hotel prices.
You may also opt to stay at a campsite or a National Park. This year National Parks in Canada are open for free to the public in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, so this may also be and alternative that will help reduce your overall road trip costs this summer.
Finally, if you know anyone who lives in the areas you are travelling to this summer, you could also look to stay with relatives or friends for a night or two. You can certainly offer to help with some of the costs, also offering to contribute some food and cook meals, etc. while you’re staying with them, ultimately this will still lower your travel expenses rather significantly, as you avoid the more expensive hotel bills.
3) Ensure your Vehicle is in Good Condition (Including Fuel Prices)
Since you will be putting extra kilometres on your car this summer, you will want to spend a little more time ensuring your car is in the best condition possible – the last thing you want is to encounter any vehicle issues on the road. For example, some of the vehicle areas to check include, fluid and oil levels, tire pressure, the lights, and of course the engine.
In the event your car does break down, this will not only ensure you experience added stress and delay, it will also be an added car expense you don’t need. In order to ensure it is smooth ‘sailing’ take the additional time to make sure your vehicle is in people working order before you depart for your trip.
In addition to performing a vehicle check before you leave, it is also a good idea to identify gas station locations along your route as well as which ones may offer lower fuel prices. You can also compare gas prices online before you leave as well as on your cell phone from basically anywhere. Overall, you can significantly minimize your road trip expenses by finding stations which offer lower gas prices whenever possible.
It is certainly important to be aware of the locations of various stations along the way, so that your vehicle is fuelled up and you don’t encounter any vehicle set backs in terms of empty gas tank lights coming on and of course your vehicle breaking down.
In the end, while an impromptu trip can certainly be exciting, it can also have the potential to become extremely expensive! As a result, it makes sense to factor in a little bit of extra time for planning ahead, including packing what you will need, securing inexpensive accommodations, and maintaining your vehicle.
With these summer road trip objectives checked off, you will then be able to embrace the adventure, while also saving money!