Showing posts with label Road trip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Road trip. Show all posts

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Summer Excursion: Tips to Save Cash on a Road Trip

The Great American Road Trip
The Great American Road Trip (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There is nothing like getting together with a group of friends to travel on an adventure. The memories will definitely last for a lifetime. Here are a few money-saving tips to keep in mind when taking a road trip.

Check the tire pressure

Before hitting the highway, travelers should always check the vehicle’s tire pressure. Not only will this enhance their safety, but it will also allow the vehicle to get the best possible gas mileage. By maintaining the proper air pressure, the cost of the trip can be reduced by at least $50. However, remember to periodically recheck the tire pressure along the way.

Scout the free attractions

Contrary to popular belief, a road trip does not have to cost a great deal of money. Although amusement parks can certainly be entertaining, there are several other ways to have fun. The key is to find the free attractions in the area. For example, a lot of mountain areas offer free hiking trails to the public.

Always pack food and water

As most travelers already know, eating out at restaurants can become very costly. This is why vacationers should visit the grocery store beforehand. After everyone pitches in to buy the food, someone can make sandwiches for the entire crew. The food and water can easily be kept fresh in a cooler.

Keep an eye out for hotel specials

Most hotels offer special rates at various times of the year. While some hotels advertise their specials on social media sites, there are others that may contact customers via email. For example, hotels rates are typically more expensive around the Fourth of July. After this popular holiday has passed, there are usually a lot of affordable hotels in Washington DC.

Use apps to find the cheapest fuel

Depending on the distance of the road trip, there is a good chance that travelers will have to refuel at some point. Luckily, there are several phone apps that help people to find the least expensive fuel. This is great news for the sightseers who are trying to have fun without breaking the bank. 

The summer is the perfect time of the year to hit the road. These tips should certainly help everyone to keep some extra cash in their pocket.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vacation Budgeting: Is it Wiser to Rent or Drive Your Own Car?

gas pumpThere's no clear-cut answer when you're asking whether it's better to rent a vehicle or use your own car. However, there are several calculations that will help you do the math. With these equations, you can make a budget-minded choice for your next road trip.

Fuel Costs and Opportunities to Drive Greener

Your fuel cost is one of the easiest things to calculate for your trip. You can find the MPG of nearly any vehicle online. Simply compare the MPG for your car with that of a rental. If you're not taking a lot of luggage with you, opt for the smallest car you can comfortably fit in. Renting a hybrid vehicle will also cut your fuel costs. Unless you have a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle yourself, you can almost always find a rental with better fuel mileage than your own vehicle. A rental will probably win this category.

Maintenance Costs vs Rental Fees

If you drive your own vehicle, you need to consider the maintenance costs associated with your trip. Your next oil change, tire rotation, front end alignment, and factory scheduled maintenance will all be moved up by a long road trip. AAA estimates that the average cost for maintenance, not including oil or gas, is 4.42 cents per mile for a medium-sized sedan. The cost for tires is 0.91 cents per mile. You'll cut these costs with a rental and replace them with your rental fees. Divide these by the number of miles you're driving for a comparison.

Vehicle Depreciation Considerations

Every mile that you put on your car speeds its depreciation. Most vehicle depreciation comes from the number of miles driven and not the age of the car. Use a resource like Kelley Blue Book to calculate the current value of your car as well as the projected value with the mileage from your trip. This will tell you what your long-term depreciation costs will be.

Paying Now vs Paying Later

Comparing your calculations for the above categories will let you know whether a rental car is ultimately cheaper than driving your own car for your next road trip. The last thing that you need to consider, however, is when you'll be paying. Many costs associated with driving your own vehicle come up later. You won't pay upfront for depreciation or maintenance, while you will pay upfront for your rental. If your car needs maintenance before the trip, however, you should visit a qualified shop like Tindol Ford to have this done before you leave.

The Value of Comfort

Comfort doesn't have a monetary value, but it's worth considering. A rental will be fresh and clean for your trip with no extra effort on your part. However, your vehicle may have features the rental does not. Consider the benefits of a larger trunk, more cup holders, or heated seats, whether these come with your own car or the rental. If this competition is close, this may tip the scale. Doing your math will help you make the best choice of vehicle for your next trip. Simply add up these important values and you'll find the best answer for your needs.    

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