You have two weeks’ vacation and its time to plan a getaway with the family. Where will you go? What will you do? And, most importantly, how much will it cost? For those who want to want to have a good time without feeling it in the wallet when you get home, John Elway Chrysler (Claremont, CA) has created a few tips to help you save money while you take that much-needed family vacation.
1. Research, Research, Research
It’s essential to plan before you hit the open road. Make sure you research routes and destinations so you can make your vacation the best one yet. We all want to go to Hawaii, but sometimes that just not financially possible, so maybe its best to head to Florida instead. Checking traffic is also essential as no one wants to get stuck on the highway while your kids are screaming in the backseat. Also, be sure to research hotels and book them ahead of time to avoid having to stay at a place like the Bates Motel.
2. The Cheaper the Gas the Better
Nobody wants to spend a ton of money at the pump, so we recommend using the CheapGas app to find the least expensive stations for your road trip. You may want to consider using a credit card that provides travel points or cashback on gas purchases.
3. Try not Eating at 5-Star Restaurants
You’re on vacation, so naturally, you should try all the expensive cuisine native to the area. Not so fast, my friend! It’s best to limit yourself from those fancy 5-star restaurants and instead spend a few nights eating at places for a quick meal you know you’ll like. This is especially true for the trip down as you are sure to find plenty of chain restaurants. We recommend also using GiftCardGranny, where you can save up to 30 percent on places like Chili’s and Outback Steakhouse.
4. Choose Your Luggage and Snack Options Wisely
When heading to a beach, bring towels and sunscreen and make sure to bring phone chargers and camera batteries. Packing the essentials saves you money from having to purchase them onsite. Also, no one likes paying those high convenience store prices, so pack snacks from your fridge in a cooler and take them with you. You can also keep these items cold by buying cheap ice from a gas station, thus saving more time for looking at the sites rather than looking at the wonders of a convenience store.
5. Obey Traffic Laws
Perhaps driving 95 mph down the highway with your seat belt unbuckled while your family is in the car is not the best option. Crazy thought, I know. Also, studies have shown that your fuel efficiency decreases as your speed increases, meaning you will have to stop more times at the gas station, making your trip more expensive. Not to mention the fact that putting the “pedal to the metal” also attracts police officers who are more than happy to hand you costly tickets.
6. Price the Parking
Not a lot of people remember to price parking spaces, but let me tell you it’s crucial. Your hotel might not be the best option, so be sure to scout out the parking garages for the best available price. One thing to keep in mind is that signs labeled “No Parking” are not suggestions and the police will be there to give you a helpful reminder in the form of a ticket or by towing your car.