Many travel experts are predicting that this year’s summer is going to be one of the busiest travel seasons in a long time. People who have been putting off vacations for the last two years are finally heading out for adventure!
But with increased traffic means higher costs. Plane tickets, attraction costs, and just general inflation will only go up in the summer months. Whether you are going big this year or just going on a local road trip, you need to prepare to spend extra on nearly everything. To help keep it affordable, we’ve got some tips for your summer road trip.
Map Out Gas Stops at Lowest Price Stations
The internet is a powerful tool. Using Google Maps, you can see the current price of gas at most gas stations, including those along your road trip. Between calculating how much your car gets per gallon versus the size of your tank, you can predict where you’ll need to stop and get gas.
Rather than just pulling into a random town and stopping at the nearest station, you can know where the cheapest gas is and where you can save some money. This could even mean leaving the highway a little bit and going into town to a cheaper gas station to save quite a bit of money.
But this advice doesn’t just apply when you are on the road. If you’ve reached your destination, you can also search for the cheapest gas to fill back up for the return trip.
Where to Buy the Road Trip Snacks
There are three important parts of any great road trip: great music, figuring out the prime napping position, and delicious snacks.
If done impulsively, snacks can quickly become a heavy cost to your trip. Gas stations and rest stops can charge up to double or even triple for some snacks compared to buying them at a grocery store. A snack size bag of chips that costs a dollar at the store suddenly costs $2.50 at the gas station.
Don’t get overcharged by buying snacks on the road. Buy ahead, fill up a cooler, and ration out snacks per individual. Rather than buying little individual bags of chips for each person, buy a few large bags and then divide them up in ziplocs. This works great especially for younger children so they don’t blow through all of their food early and end up either with a tummy ache or hungry later.
Is Your Car Road Trip Ready?
Nothing puts a dent in the road trip budget than the car breaking down. Not only do you need to pay for repairs, whether it’s replacing a cheap part or fixing the entire engine, but you’ll likely need to pay for a tow truck and maybe even a place to stay if the repairs run long.
Before you hit the open roads, you should make sure your car is ready for your road trip. Get the gas changed, the tires checked and pumped, and if you are going really far, go to your mechanic and get everything looked over, just to be safe.
If your car is getting too old and not be up to a long road trip, it might be time to consider getting a new car. Not only will you be safer on your trip, but what better way to break in the new vehicle than making memories with an amazing road trip! Pioneer can help get you into a new car with our auto loans.
If you’re a young adult driving the hand-me-down family car looking for a road trip, but nervous it won’t make it, Pioneer can help with that too! We offer a First-Time Auto Buyer loan that can get you into a car better suited for your next adventure.
Paying for the Unexpected Later
Some people struggle with relaxing during a vacation or road trip because they are so focused on how much it costs. It’s the parents at Disneyland who can’t enjoy the magic because of the money, or the parents who let a sudden bill or expense ruin their mood.
Don’t be like that and have a plan for unexpected or larger expenses. The easiest solution is to utilize a credit card to cover those expenses and give yourself some flexibility for paying it off. For example, if you have to suddenly pay for an costly repair on your car, put it on your credit card so you can focus on paying for it when you are home and can be more prepared.
By using Pioneer’s Visa® Credit Card, you also earn Rewards points with every purchase. You get 1 point for every $1 spent, so if you put your travel expenses on it, you can wrack up the points very quickly.
Utilize Credit Card Reward Programs
Speaking of credit cards and reward points, use them to make your trip cheaper! Pay for hotels, theme park tickets, or even gift cards for restaurants to help keep costs low.
Many credit card companies have incentive programs for opening a new card and spending a certain amount in a specific timeframe. This way, you can earn a large amount of points quickly to help low your trip’s costs by hundreds!
Pioneer is no different! If you sign up for our credit card and spend $30,000 in the first 90-days, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus Rewards! points. You can redeem those points for hotels, flights, tickets to amusement parks, or even VISA cash gift cards.
Apply for a Pioneer Credit Card