There’s nothing like hitting the open road and heading out on an adventure, seeing new places and experiencing new things! However, the cost of adventuring can quickly add up, between campgrounds or hotels, gas, eating out, and activities.
Thankfully, there is a solution! There are SO many ways to save money while traveling. Once you get in the habit of using the following techniques, they will become second nature and you’ll be saving money all across the country. Here are 10 ways to save on your next road trip.
If you’re traveling in an RV, you have many options of where to camp. You can look up prices online for various campgrounds or call and ask about prices. Many campgrounds also take discounts, like Good Sam. You can also save money by staying for longer periods of time, like a week, or staying during the week or off-season.
Did you know that many campground chains also have rewards programs? You can earn free nights by being loyal to certain parks, like Jellystone or KOA.
You can also save a lot of money by staying at state park campgrounds. You may have to purchase a park’s pass for that state or pay an extra daily fee, but it’s still usually much cheaper and scenic than an RV park.
2. Free Campsites or Boondocking
Want to save even more money on camping? How about FREE camping?! You can look for free campsites on Freecampsites.net. Boondocking (dry camping) can be out in nature, away from cities, or it could also mean camping in a Walmart parking lot. Either way, it can be a great way to save money on a few nights of camping. Always ask or verify that you can camp overnight, so you don’t get a knock on your window asking you to move.
Not staying in an RV or need to book a hotel for a few nights? Compare prices of hotels to find the best deal. Once you pick a hotel, look through the price options (AAA discount, best available rate, senior discount, etc). The best available rate is not always the best!
4. Hotel Reward Programs
It pays to be loyal to one hotel chain if you join their rewards program. You can earn points towards free or discounted nights. You won’t earn a lot each time, but it adds up. Some chains also offer bonuses during certain times where you can earn extra points.
5. Cashback Websites
Another savings trick for hotels (and many other types of travel-related companies) is to use cashback websites like TopCashBack. You can earn a certain percentage back on your hotel reservation by booking through their link. There is sometimes also a specific coupon attached to the link as well.
If you’re driving down the road and NEED GAS NOW, you don’t have much room to be picky about gas prices. If you plan ahead a bit, you can save money by using apps like Gas Buddy to find the lowest gas prices around.
Some gas stations also have partnerships with grocery stores to give you a small discount, such as saving on gas at Shell stations with your Kroger rewards card. All you have to do is enter your phone number to save a few cents off each gallon.
7. Restaurant Reward Programs
So, you’re all signed up for campground and hotel rewards programs. Don’t forget about restaurants. Eating out can be a huge expense on the road, especially if you’re not in an RV.
Joining the rewards program for your favorite restaurants can save you money on the road. Earn free meals at Panera bread with their rewards program. Or sign up for Burger King’s new subscription to get your daily coffee fix for only $5 a month.
8. Pack a Picnic
Eating local is one of the best parts of traveling. This is the one part most people tend to splurge on during road trips. Most local restaurants won’t have immediate discounts, but you can stretch a dollar by sharing meals or ordering smaller portions.
Another fun option is to order to go or shop at a local market and have a picnic! You can pack a picnic for a hike, eat somewhere by the water, or find a great place to snack and people watch. You can get a great local experience and still save money.
9. Online Coupons
Next, let’s talk about saving money on experiences. You can research online coupons ahead of time for activities you’ll want to do. Sometimes, you can also get coupons by signing up for email lists or looking at social media pages.
10. Brochure Coupons
One of the BEST places to find great coupons is on the back of brochures. You can find these at campgrounds, hotels, and visitor’s centers. You can find discounts on experiences, restaurants, and more. Look for coupon booklets as well. These savings really add up.
Enjoy these savings on your next road trip! Do you have other tips for saving money while traveling? Comment below!