Summer is synonymous with road trips for many across West Michigan. But just because you plan to get out of town, doesn’t mean you need to spend more doing so than necessary. Before you go, check out these tips and tricks to save money on your next road trip.


Plan Ahead

While spontaneity can bring excitement to a trip, it can also make things more expensive than they absolutely need to be but making some decisions beforehand, you can help reduce the overall cost of your trip versus making decisions on the fly. Start by deciding some of these things…

  • Will it be a house, a condo or a boat? If so, utilizing websites like Homeaway, VRBO or Airbnb to find lodging at a privately owned home or rental can help you find a good deal at the destination of your choosing.
  • Will your drive be long enough to make it necessary to have an overnight stop to sleep where you’ll need to stay at an additional hotel? If so, try comparing hotel and motel rates with websites like Kayak, Orbitz or to find a cheaper rate typically over what you can get booking directly through the hotel’s or motel’s website.
  • What attractions will you be taking part in while you’re there? More than likely your trip will involve some type of sightseeing and knowing what you plan to do ahead of time can save you some green. Many cities offer bundle deals to some of their most popular attractions and buying one can typically save you a bulk amount if you plan on hitting up all or some of the locations listed. Try searching for deals before you leave or seeing if buying tickets online and printing them out before you leave home can save you as well. Remember, every $5 or $10 you don’t have to spend adds up! In addition, you can search sites like Groupon, LivingSocial or CoolSavings can help you find hidden savings or events you never thought to try while you were in town!


Get Road Ready

Road trips are only fun if you can get there. Avoid the stress of breaking down on some unknown highway or byway by getting your vehicle in shape for the trip ahead before you head out. Check your tires to make sure they offer the recommended tread to keep you safe on the road to ensure they have the recommended air pressure. Not only will it keep you safer on the road, but it will also help improve your fuel efficiency and savings at the pump. In addition, getting an oil change and a tuneup before you leave will lessen the odds of having issues on your vacation. If you decide your vehicle just isn’t roadworthy enough to make a long-distance trip, look into renting a vehicle. While it may seem like an added expense, the truth is it could be the difference between having an expensive tow and repair bill in a strange town or getting there worry-free.


Pack Smart

Making frequent stops for snacks and meals while on the road can not only make a long trip feel even longer, they can also tally up fast as unneeded hits to your pocketbook. Packing sandwiches, drinks and healthy snacks into a cooler for your trip can help alleviate both problems and you’ll find it will more than likely be a healthier choice to keep you feeling better as well.


Save At The Pump

While many people may download apps like Gas Buddy to save at the pump (which also isn’t a bad idea), you can save on fuel before you even get there by adjusting your driving. Habits like accelerating quickly, braking often and driving too fast reduce your fuel efficiency as well as making your drive more stressful. Driving defensively can not only help you improve your mpg but it can help you avoid an unwanted accident.



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