By Darren Griffiths

Travel on a Budget: How to Keep Costs Down on the Road

25th January 2023

Last updated on April 23rd, 2023 at 05:21 am

Travelling on a budget isn’t always an easy option and without some careful planning in advance, road trips can be expensive. So this is where you need to learn how to stick to your budget and we’re here to help with our best tips on how to keep costs down when you’re on the road.

Plan ahead

To make the most out of your road trip, you need to plan ahead. Map out the routes you want to take and mark the places you wish to visit. Planning ahead is going to help you out a lot when it comes to creating a budget because it will allow you to figure out how much time it will take you to get to your points of interest and how much fuel money you are going to need. This handy RAC guide to planning a road trip in Europe can be a great starting point for you.

Now of course, sometimes the best road trips are those best unplanned but, this can often lead to lots of overspending so we advise you to plan one or two things so you can stick to your budget.

Save on fuel

A lot of people shy away from planning a road trip because they are worried about how much it will cost them in fuel prices, but there are ways you can save money on fuel:

  • Don’t drive during rush hours such as 7:00 am to 9:00 am and 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
  • Stick to your planned routes and avoid venturing off track.
  • Get a point card for your fuel.
  • Stick to speed limits.

Breakdown Cover

For your road trip, you’re definitely going to need breakdown cover. This will help you when you need roadside assistance and can stop you spending a sustainable amount of money on fixing your car with a nearby garage. The price to get your car repaired is likely to be more than you’ll be paying for a year’s breakdown cover, so buying it is well worth considering.

Travel in a group

Go on a road trip in a group because the more friends or family you have with you, the cheaper it will be – you can split the cost of travel expenses, for example. Plus, a group road trip can be a lot of fun.

Pack your own food and drinks

Taking your own snacks and drinks is a great way to save on money instead of spending when you’re out on the road. You should try to take things that don’t require refrigeration such as granola bars but consider a cool bag to keep your drinks in.

Here are some top tips for packing snacks:

  • Take a variety of snacks –  don’t just pack sweet or savoury, pack both because if you crave salty and you only have sweet, you’ll be stopping at every shop or fast food restaurant you see.
  • Make your own snacks – consider making your own food and put it in sandwich bags so they’re easy to access. This would be a good idea for biscuits or sandwiches.
  • Take frozen water bottles. Frozen water bottles are a great idea because they last longer and can help keep everything cold.

Stick to these tips and you’ll be able to keep the cost down on your road trip while still having the best time.