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There’s no beating around the bush here. Between fuel costs and hotel accommodations, planning a road trip can get expensive. The good news is that exploring the road ahead doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are plenty of ways to save money and plan a cheap summer road trip instead.

Planning ahead can save money on a summer road trip

A Honda Element driving.
Honda Element | Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

There are several ways to save money on a summer road trip. But if you’re hoping to plan the cheapest summer road trip possible? Well, that’s going to take some planning ahead. In fact, Discover reports that the best way to save money on a road trip is to plan ahead.

Fortunately, planning ahead isn’t all that difficult. After choosing your route, Discover suggests checking out travel review websites for money-saving tips. Trip Savvy also recommends downloading an app to find the cheapest gas stations along the way. 

Having your vehicle inspected before hitting the road can save you money on a road trip too. “Repairs at an unfamiliar auto shop are likely to be more expensive than at your home shop, not to mention any towing fees if you break down in the middle of nowhere,” explains Trip Savvy.

Finding a cheap place to stay during a summer road trip

Accommodations really come down to personal preference. But if you’re trying to plan a cheap summer road trip? Choosing the right accommodations can save you a good chunk of change. The good news is that there are easy ways to save on accommodations.

First, let’s talk about car camping. While car camping might not sound like the most glamorous experience, The Local Tourist reports that camping can save you money when planning a road trip. Some campsites are even free.

But if you’d prefer a hotel instead? The Local Tourist has a few helpful tips. Rather than booking direct, try using a cheap travel website like Priceline or TravelZoo. Depending on your destination, Groupon is also a good option for booking cheap hotels, The Local Tourist reports.

Other money-saving tips for cheap summer road trips

While both planning ahead and booking cheap accommodations are great ways to save money on a road trip, there are other ways to plan a cheap summer road trip. Rather than buying your snacks on the road, Trip Savvy suggests buying your snacks and drinks ahead of time. Skipping the drive-thru can also save you money on a road trip.

Another easy way to save money is to avoid getting pulled over. Before hitting the road, Trip Savvy suggests familiarizing yourself with local traffic laws and regulations. Having a good understanding of this information can help prevent any run-ins with local law enforcement. 

Planning a road trip doesn’t have to be expensive


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