Thursday, March 17, 2011

7 Tips for a frugal roadtrip

1. Plan ahead. We mapped out our route and booked our hotels ahead of time, rather than looking for a place to stop. This allowed us to budget more clearly because we knew exactly how much we were going to spend. In one case, we even got a discount for pre-paying for the hotel. Also, because we booked ahead of time, they were able to block our rooms for us with our crib and my husband's feather-free pillows, so we could be sure to get them.

2. Use points. We had accumulated several hotel points from our relocation and my husband's business trips and were able to use them to get one of our nights of hotel completely for free. This is the first time we ever had enough points to do that, but we have been diligent anyway about always using our numbers, and now are close to being able to book rooms at several different hotel chains. I'm also a fan of Free Frequent Flyer Miles for accumulating points and miles without traveling.

3. Look for promotions. When we were at the wedding, we used the wedding block code to get a great rate and a free breakfast. I also checked the hotel website before we left and found a promotion for one free night after every two stays, which I registered for. After our trip, we should have a free night to use next time we want to go away.

4. Consider giftcards. Our grocery store gives gas discounts for giftcards purchased, so we bought a giftcard to use for our hotel stay and for some of the restaurants along the way.

5. Find restaurant coupons. If you've planned your stay, you know where you're going to stop. Search each of those towns to find out what restaurants are there, and sign up for mailing lists to get coupons to those restaurants. It's also a good idea to pile up coupons for fast food and coffee places for stops along the way.

6. Make good use of breakfast. Mid priced hotels are most likely to offer free breakfast. Many of these breakfasts are so good now that you can eat well enough to skip lunch and just snack in the car. This saves you time as well as money.

7. Pack food. We always pack a bag full of snacks from my stockpile - things like poptarts, granola bars, cookies, crackers - as well a cooler with some bagels sandwiches and drinks. You could also pack cereal and milk, and even some microwave meals to eat in your room. Be sure to bring your coupon folder to go to the grocery store once you are there and restock for the trip back.


Design It Chic said...

This is such a great list of tips! Thanks for sharing it. I am now following you thanks to Friday Blog Hop, and it would be so nice if you could share the love back on my blog;)
Also today we have the coolest blog hop there is... no rules just fun and would love you to join in with us at Boost My Blog Friday, where you can meet lots of friends and have a great time:) See you there!
Happy Friday

Are You A Mom said...

I am your newest follower from the hop. Please stop by and say hi and follow me too!
Have a great day!!!

Heavenly Savings said...

Nice Tips! I’m a new follower Happy Friday!! I would love for you to stop and take a look at my blog as well! Thanks!

Kevyn Hagemann said...

Planning everything days before the road trip has tons of merit on ensuring that nothing will go awry, and also, take a plenty of rest, to keep yourself aware and be able to dodge incoming traffic at the times you least expected it to happen. This is why, whenever we travel to Edmonton and its surrounding places, we always go prepared, and even the smallest detail isn't missed out.

Ji said...

Great advice/tips for frugal roadtrip. Love #7! Making lunches and snacks for the road make the drive so much healthier & easier then having to worry about a "good" place to stop. Although there is something to be said about a hole in the wall...middle of nowhere restaurant.