General partner — Long poorly planned car journeys involve a lot of expenses that are sometimes difficult to recover from. However, this should not prevent you from going on vacation or on an expedition with your car. You just need to find a few ways to limit your expenses and save money. Come and discover, in this article, ten tips for saving money when traveling by car.
Plan your road trip well
The right things to do to save money when traveling by car start long before you leave. From the moment you make the decision to travel until the day you leave, you can plan your trip to save money throughout the expedition.
1. Plan your expenses
Planning for savings begins with establishing a detailed budget. This budget can pursue several objectives, but the main ones will be anticipation and limitations. First, you must plan the costs of everything you will do during the trip. This assessment should take into account various elements, including:
- The price of gasoline: fuel is necessary for the use of your car. You must therefore plan the price of fuel in your budget by indicating the different variations related to countries and gas stations. Some applications allow you to make a complete forecast.
- The exchange rate: if your trip takes you to another country and your destination country uses another currency, you must take the exchange rate into account so as not to distort your calculations.
- Daily budgets: Before setting the general budget, you must set the daily budget for one person. This amount should take into account all the needs of a typical traveler, which you will multiply by the number of travelers and travel days. These expenditures mainly cover the consumption of food and drink as well as restaurant visits.
Second, once you have accounted for all of these items, your budget will serve as the basis for establishing spending limits. The following tips will help you get there.
2. Plan the route
Most travelers often forget to plan the roads to take, the gas stations to refuel, the various stopping points to enjoy a break and the interesting destination places to explore. However, it is by establishing these elements before leaving that you will keep control over your expenses during the crossing by car.
You can use one app to find out about traffic jams, another to find out which gas stations are open, and finally one to set the safest and fastest route to your destination. If you manage to establish all these elements correctly, you will ride for less time, on less dangerous paths, with fewer unforeseen expenses.
3. Inspect your vehicle
One of the fears of travelers is the breakdown, because far from home, it leads to high costs. To avoid this, have your vehicle inspected before you leave. Driving with a car in good condition will save you time and money.
First, ask one or more professionals to check the general operation of your vehicle. Then, just before you leave, check the condition of the tyres, shock absorbers, brakes and fluids yourself. However, all this should not make you forget to keep a cash reserve on you for mechanical emergencies.
Also, to leave with peace of mind during your road trip, make sure that your registration documents and driver’s license are in order.
4. Choose the right insurance
In the same logic of emergency prevention, you must not forget to take out adequate insurance. Important insurances are car insurance and travel insurance.
Indeed, the costs that could result from an accident or a breakdown, if they are not covered by a good car insurance or a roadside assistance program, could cost you dearly. This car insurance will allow you to receive compensation in the event of an accident, mechanical assistance in the event of a breakdown and compensation in the event of loss or theft of your car.
Travel insurance is used to cover your medical and hospitalization costs abroad. By speaking with your representative, you will be able to benefit from the best advice on the coverage to add to your automobile contract. You should always check that you are prepared for all possible contingencies. With auto insurance, some contingencies are covered and you don’t need to budget extra for them.
5. Plan your diet
You should avoid getting food on the way, as food and drinks bought on the go cost more than those sold by your grocer. If your trip is rather short or if you are thinking more of a road trip (road trip) without long-term accommodation, you must also plan how to feed yourself at your destination. You can thus cook cold meals from food stored in a cooler.
During your road trip
This step is where you can finally benefit from all the money-saving tips put in place before your departure. Here, you are no longer in forecasts, but in profitable actions. You should therefore follow all your forecasts to the letter and remember to keep your eyes peeled in case additional savings arise.
1. Drive economically
It’s time to leave. All you have to do is drive carefully, respecting your forecast for the trip. However, if you want to maximize your savings possibilities, in addition to following your plan, you can adopt eco-driving. This safe driving will allow you to save money while respecting the environment. The eco-driving guidelines include among others:
- Maintain your car before departure.
- Avoid unnecessary baggage.
- Warm up the engine only 30 seconds in winter.
- Adopt a fluid, constant and predictable driving style.
- Limit speed.
- Avoid overusing the air conditioning.
By following all these tips, you will save while helping the environment.
2. Negotiate at all costs
Now that you have arrived at your destination, your watchword must be negotiation. Despite the specific budget you have established, you must continue to assess whether optional expenses are necessary. You must therefore consider your budget as the line not to be exceeded and negotiate to save.
Even if you have planned a detailed budget, you can negotiate for:
Some concrete examples are presented here.
Choose between camping and hotels
If you had originally booked hotel rooms, the question will not arise for you. If, on the other hand, you have the choice once you get to your destination, you might prefer sleeping under the stars or camping rather than spending a fortune on hotel rooms.
Hotels and activities planned for tourists are usually expensive. To save, you can favor subscriptions and packages. During a road trip, the highest expenses usually come when you pay for an activity each time. When possible, opt instead for the purchase of a package that includes a lot of activities.
For example, a resort membership card gives you access to savings for visiting each of its sites. Also, a complete tour with a guide could cost you less than visiting one museum at a time. According to this principle, spending several nights in the same place of accommodation will be cheaper than changing places every day.
keep an eye out
With your budget in mind and your activity plan in hand, you have a solid foundation to navigate your travel environment. However, some of these forecasts may not be consistent with the reality on the ground. Indeed, you could discover opportunities for additional savings on the spot, even without negotiating.
In order not to miss this kind of opportunity, you must keep an eye open and find out about yourself, mainly outside the circuits intended for tourists. A good trick? Make friends who know the local offerings and who might offer you a personalized tour or free lodging.
To save money during your car trip, regardless of the duration and distance to be travelled, these various tips will be useful. In addition to the established budget and the steps to take to not miss the opportunities to save, you must not neglect the importance of good car insurance to cover the assumption of risks on the way and on the road. the way back.