Saturday, May 19, 2012

Road trip... on a budget...

We live in New Orleans, Louisiana. My family lives in Atlanta, Georgia.  Andrew's family lives a little further in Augusta, Georgia.  Needless to say, if we ever want to see our family we have a ways to travel.  Here is our route... I know many travel more than us, but this is still a daunting trip.

One of the largest concerns we have when we head out on our biyearly trip is how to do it on a budget.  Gas, food, and more... it just adds up.  So how do you make such a trip without breaking the bank?  Here are some ideas:

Are you using a lot of gas? Before you leave, tune up your car. Make sure your tires are filled, oil has been changed and the like.  When you plan your trip, plan multiple stops instead of multiple trips. For us this means we see friends in Birmingham, family in Atlanta, and family in Augusta, all in the same trip.   When you pack your car, take out any unnecessary weight.
Once on the road,  be a consistent driver.  Accelerating and braking quickly waste a lot of gas.  When on the highway, use cruise control and don't tailgate other drivers.  Here is a hard one: drive slower.  It may take you longer to get there, but you will save money. Lastly use Gas Buddy's trip calculator to find the best places to stop along the way and to budget for the gas you will use.

Do you need to eat and drink on the road? This is a place where Andrew and I really struggle, I would even say it is one of our weak spots.  It is just too easy to pick up unhealthy fast food, and drinks or candy at each gas station stop.  The first thing we have done to pack a cooler of drinks so we don't have to buy any drinks on the road, even if we stop to get food.  Then we try to pack at least one meal and snacks.  The most important thing is to have will power.  You have to decide: we will not buy food unless we have planned to do so!

Are you meeting friends?  We always seem to have a long list of friends we want to see while we are in Georgia.  What usually happens is we meet friends at coffee shops, ice cream shops, and restaurants.  Sometimes we even find ourselves eating extra meals and snacks, just to see everyone.  So why not just meet at a park instead?  Go on a walk, talk and catch up... not to mention that this is a healthier choice!  When we are meeting at meal times, choosing inexpensive restaurants, with healthy choices like Panera  or Atlanta Bread Company.  Plus there you are free to talk for as long as you want without tying up a server's table.

Writing all this out is like a commitment to a frugal trip for us, and hopefully it has some helpful information for you!

1 comment:

  1. So glad you posted this! We will soon be putting it to good use! Thank you :)