Fall might be on the horizon, but it’s not here yet — we’ve still got many weeks of summer left before we start thinking about apple cider and warm clothing. September is arguably the best time to take a road trip, since there are fewer people on the road and prices, in general, are cheaper. But it can still be expensive if you don’t take steps to limit the costs. Below, we take a look at a few tried and tested rules for saving some dollars on your late-summer journey

Car Maintenance

If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail, is what people say. When it comes to a road trip, failing to prepare means simply getting behind the wheel and driving, without any consideration to how your car might handle the journey. In the build-up to your trip, you’ll want to take your vehicle to a garage for a maintenance update. They’ll be able to identify and fix any potential problems before you set off. While there are costs involved, these are more preventative — it’s much cheaper to have your car looked at by a professional than it is to pay for an expensive repair when you’re on the road.

Gas Prices

The annoying thing about cars is that the cost of the vehicle is just the starting point. Then you need to find the money for gas. This will be one of your biggest expenses when you’re on your road trip, but there are ways you can keep the costs down. There are apps that will tell you the cheapest gas in the area in which you’re driving, and it’s also worth keeping in mind that prices will vary from one state to the next. Additionally, driving smart will result in a higher MPG rate, which will ensure greater gaps between trips to the gas station. 

Handling Issues

You don’t want to think about anything going wrong, but it’s always important to remember that there’s always a chance. And while you can’t always prevent an accident from occurring, there are things you can do that’ll limit the amount of damage it does to your financial situation. If you’re involved in an incident on the roads that isn’t your fault, make sure you get the driver’s information and work with a lawyer that’ll help you to get the best compensation for your injuries. There’s no reason why you should face the financial burden of someone else’s mistake, but especially so when you’re trying to enjoy yourself on vacation.

Accommodation and Food Costs

After gas, the biggest expenses you’ll have will be related to accommodation and food, but there are smart ways to keep these costs down. For accommodation, look at taking a tent with (it’ll still be warm enough to sleep out). If you’re going to spend some nights in a hotel, stay in one that’s away from downtown. Avoid eating at restaurants by taking your own stove, buying food from a supermarket, and preparing a simple meal yourself — you’ll save a lot. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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