Now most of these are going to sound obvious but just making a small adjustment can save you huge amounts on your road trip. I tried all of the following tricks this summer on our four week road trip around the West Coast of America and I was shocked how much of a difference they made to our budget! So let’s get started with my five road trip money savers!
Now I’m sure most of you enjoy a coffee in the morning and if you’re English you love cups of tea throughout the day! We had noticed we kept stopping to refuel on caffeine, especially on driving days, and it was making a bigger dent than we thought. So we invested in two good thermoses and every morning I would fill one with coffee and one with tea. They literally kept us going for an entire day and discouraged any extra stops. It was convenient, tasty and practically free. The only downside being if you are camping you obviously don’t have a coffee machine but the extra ten minutes in the morning is worth it!
Estimated four week savings: $110
2. Cool Box
Again this may sound stupidly simple but it really can save you substantial amounts. Being able to save the extras you made the night before so you can have them for lunch, or keeping your meat a little longer so you get more meals out of it not only reduces your need to shop or eat out but makes preparing lunch the next day super quick. It also allows you to stock up on groceries in cheaper locations and store them so you can prevent getting ripped on in high tourist areas or hard to reach locations. Just make sure you keep the ice refilled regularly!
Estimated four week savings: $30
3. Gas Buddy
I love this app so much, it is hands down one of my favorite road trip money savers! Basically you open the app and it uses your location to tell you where the gas stations are in relation to you along with the prices. It is all updated by the users, so once you’ve filled up you go on and confirm or change the prices accordingly so the next person will have the most up to date prices. This is an amazing resource because you can see all your options and often by simply coming off the highway or just waiting for the next town you can save big bucks! Super simple and a great assistance. The only difficulty is when you are in a no internet zone so plan ahead! Available on i-tunes or google play.
Estimated four week savings: $40
4. Food boxes
This is not only a road trip money saver but a great organizational tool. I bought a clear sided box for the back of the car and stored all my dry goods and cans in there. Not only did it save me time when it came to cooking, because I always knew where everything was, but it meant I could literally empty my pantry at home and use the food I already had in. It took several weeks before we had to restock and meant we could easily keep track of what we were eating.
Estimated four week savings: $45
5. Washing line
This works especially well if you are somewhere warm but regardless I would always recommend carrying a clothes line of some sort with pegs. It is multi functional and a great road trip money saver. When you are away for more than several weeks you are going to have to wash your clothes at some point. Some hostels offer laundry facilities but when you are on the road laundrettes are your best bet and they don’t come cheap. You will also often find that they dryers cost even more than the washers which is where your line comes in. Pay for your clothes to be washed then bag your wet garments and take them back to your campsite to be hung out on your line. In most cases they will be dry overnight and if you are in the desert they may take as little as 30 minutes!
Estimated four week savings: $20
Using these five tips saved me around $245 this summer. I loved doing every single one because they all have dual purposes, not only are they road trip money savers but they are organizational aids, gas station trackers and life simplifiers, all of which are key when you are on the road for any prolonged period of time. Give them a go and let me know how much you save or tell me what your favorite money savers are!