“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!