(Image source: Pixabay)

Road trips can be loads of fun and a great way to escape the responsibilities and worries of everyday life for a few hours, days, or even weeks. Road trips can also put a big dent in your wallet and bank account if you’re not careful. Sure, you can save money on gas and food if you just look around a little. But there are more ways than that (and a couple you wouldn’t expect) to save money on a road trip and have an affordable great escape.

Plan Ahead (A Little)

Yes, one of the main points of a road trip is the spontaneity – getting the urge and then just heading out.  But you do need to do a little planning, especially if you want to save money on your road trip. It pays big in savings to plan your route ahead of time, locating affordable places to eat, inexpensive attractions and lodging, and lower-priced gas stops. You might even use one of the many services and apps designed for this purpose, such as TripIt.

Save on Gas the Easy Way

(Image source: Pixabay)

The price of gas is on the upswing again, so burning less gas is a great way to save money on your road trip. And it’s easy to do. First, keep your windows up and the AC on while you’re cruising down the highway. Open windows create a lot drag that makes your car work harder and so burn more gas. Use an app like CheapGas to easily find the most inexpensive gas available along your route. And pay for your gas with a credit cared that offers travel points or cash back on gas purchases.

Stay at Walmart

If you don’t mind sleeping occasionally in your car or pickup, you can save a bundle on motel costs. How? By sleeping in a lighted Walmart parking lot. Most Walmarts (as per Sam Waltons’ wishes) still allow travelers to stay overnight in the parking lot. You just have to let the store know what you intend to do in order to take advantage of this legal way to sleep free.

Look for Daily Deals

And don’t forget to look for daily deals, both in the planning stage and while you’re on the road. You can find numerous ways to save money on your road trip by searching for daily deals in the cities and towns you visit. You can get savings on activities/events (everything from winery tours to photo safaris), dining, and even lodging.

Keep Your Foot Light

You know how it happens. You’re enjoying the freedom and release of being out on the open road, you’ve got the radio or CD player blasting, the scenery is rushing past, and you feel great. But then you happen to glance in the rear-view mirror . . . and see those flashing red and blue lights approaching. It’s just too easy get a case of lead foot in a situation like this. And those speeding tickets are mighty expensive. So keep it under the limit, enjoy the sights, and save money on tickets.

(Image source: Pixabay)

Somehow, we’ve come to equate cost with quality – but that just ain’t always so. You can still find great quality at lower prices. And nothing makes a road trip better than coming home with a lot more money in your pocket than you thought you would.