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Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in Bargains, Deals, and Money Savers, Family, Featured, Home, Travel, Uncategorized | 61 comments

How to Save Money on Your Holiday Road Trip

How to Save Money on Your Holiday Road Trip

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“I found out long ago. It’s a long way down the holiday road.” During the holidays, excitement is high, spirits are lifted, and budgets are stretched. For many families, taking a road trip to visit family and friends is much anticipated, but can put a strain on an already tight budget. Here are a few ways to save a little money on your next holiday road trip.


1. Pack your own food and snacks! A sure-fire way to drain your wallet is to make multiple stops at restaurants and fast food joints. Throw in a few candy and soda runs at the gas stations, and before you know it, you’ve dropped a few hundred dollars. Save your cash and pack a cooler full of drinks, snacks, sandwiches, fruit, etc.

2. If you do need to stop for food, head for a grocery store instead of a drive-thru or convenience store. You’ll get A LOT more bang for your buck filling up at the grocery store. Prices are lower and you’ll likely stay a bit healthier too.

3. If you’re in for a LONG trip, skip the hotel and leave at night. The kids can sleep in the car, and you and your partner can take turns doing the driving. If you do need to stop at a hotel, go for value. Your family can share beds and be content with an economy room for one night.

4. Make use of your GPS or navigational system to travel the most efficient route and avoid getting lost. Traveling in a new city or part of town can be tricky. Save on gas by sticking to a map and not taking any “clever” short-cuts. (I’m notorious for this….and I ALWAYS end up lost!) Use the GPS!

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5. Get a gas app for your mobile device to let you know where to find the cheapest gas. While you may know where the lowest prices are in your neighborhood, you’ll need to know where the deals are along the road. I like to use Gas Buddy.

6. Fill up your tires before you leave. Fully inflated tires will help you save on gas.

7. Look for free or cheap entertainment. If you’re going to stop along the way, try to stop at places that are free, such as parks, the beach, or other scenic areas. Avoid shopping centers and malls. Though they are free to get in, you’ll likely walk out with an armful of bags and a much lighter wallet.

Hopefully this list helped you get a few ideas to help save you money on your holiday road trip! Have a very merry #kiaholidays !

I want to hear from YOU!! Please leave a comment letting me know your #1 money saving tip for road trips!! I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

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  1. We pack a cooler to take food on the road with us and keep drinks cold.

  2. we always pack lots of food and drinks. it saves a ton not eating out so much

    jagar0047 at yahoo dot com

  3. we just bought a kia soul a few months back and I love it 🙂

  4. good luck!!!

  5. We bring a cooler with snacks and drinks, and also lunch items. We stop at a park or rest stop and eat there instead if buying food.

  6. we pack food to eat in the car instead of stopping for food.

    ps I love our KIA! 🙂

  7. We pack our own snacks and drinks also, but this year our money-saving tip is staying home.

  8. It’s always a good idea to have extra mittens, hats, etc. in the trunk and a few sleds…MANY TIMES we have run into snow on road trips–even in Southern California where it wasn’t expected and we wished we had sleds to stop along the way for the kids to play for a bit. It’s free entertainment and it will be a great memory!!

  9. My hubby likes to play the “how high can my MPG get?” game. He uses a combination of cruise control and coasting, lol!

  10. Packing our own food is my #1 tip!

  11. I love Gas Buddy, and ever since I found out about it from one of the guys I work with at DISH, I use it weekly, not just on long road trips. We never start a road trip without our DISH Remote Access app. It lets us stream live TV and DVR recordings onto our tablet since we don’t have a portable DVD player and we don’t have one built into our car. It’s heaven to have some peace and quiet from the kids when a long stretch is getting to them!

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