A road trip is the perfect little escape from the routine. The thrill of adventure while riding along scenic views and long winding roads with your favourite music - ooh la la! But then comes the big B - the budgets, which can be a dampener. But wait. All road trips need not bite you in the pocket. Here are some neat tips and tricks that can help you save money without missing out on the fun:
1. Pick A Destination and the Best Route
- The first thing you need to do is to plan your route well in advance. Picking the right course helps you avoid getting lost or delayed, wasting your fuel and time. But remember, you’re going on a road trip. And this means that the journey should be as exciting as the destination!
- Calculate the budget based on the route:
Once you have decided on a destination and the best route, plan your budget. How? Calculate the number of kilometres it will take for you to successfully complete your road trip. This will help you understand how much fuel your vehicle will need and determine the costs. Don’t forget to add the expenses for pitstops, toll booths and overnight stays. Remember to keep some money aside for unforeseen expenses.
- Share the Fare
If you’re going on a long trip, you can invite your friends to join you. Not only is it “more the merrier”, but you can share the fuel fare and other expenses while having double the fun! And now that you’ve settled the budget, stick to it!
2. Digitize Your Itinerary
- Use our mobile phones to create your itinerary. There are several apps that can help you plan it as well. Plus, even if there’s no network or data connectivity, download offline maps before the trip for easy navigation. Make digital copies of your vehicle’s documents, hotel bookings, and other such essentials. So in case you are overshooting your budget or underspending, you would know and can change the itinerary accordingly.
3. Fine Tune Your Vehicle before travelling - it will save unnecessary mishaps and repair costs.
- The upkeep of your vehicle plays a vital role in ensuring that you stick to your budget. Whether you’re journeying on a car or a bike, you must send your vehicle for servicing before you hit the road.
- A well-maintained vehicle will make the trip trouble-free and curtail unnecessary expenses that many road trippers end up making due to vehicle malfunction. Ask your mechanic to thoroughly examine all the wires and cables, headlamps, tail lamps, engine battery, brake pads and other parts of your vehicle.
4. Don’t Ignore the Tyres, avoid repair expenses on a road trip!
- Pay attention to your tyres and ensure that they are in top condition. Get your wheels aligned and balanced well in advance. Worn out and underinflated tyres are prone to punctures, and will increase your expenses and cause delays. So show some love to your tyres and get them repaired or replaced if needed.
- If you’re travelling by car, make sure you inspect all the car tyres. And if you’re more of a biker, then show equal attention to your bike’s front and rear tyres. Did you know that loss of tread should not be ignored, especially right before a road trip? Find a replacement for your car tyres or bike tyres at a CEAT authorized tyre shop nearby. CEAT’s online store is a convenient stop to find the best car tyres, as well as high-quality tubeless tyres or tube-type front tyres and rear tyres for all motorcycles.
5. Avoid Staying At Expensive Hotels
- Think out of the box for your stay. Opt for shared accommodation or affordable bed-and-breakfast outlets. There’s no time like now to get new experiences!
6. Carry Food & Water From Home or DIY!
- The most popular road trip destinations offer many pit stops on the way. But those are a no-no if you are on a budget. Stock up on water and snacks for your road trip. Ready-to-eat snacks and juice packs are other useful options, especially if you’re travelling with kids. If you have these handy, you can keep travelling without stopping, to beat your hunger pangs
Instead of spending on lavish meals at highway hotels, cook your own food. Maybe a barbecue evening with live music can be a fun family or group activity. Plus cooking your own meals will lower your chances of getting food poisoning.
7. Keep The Baggage Light and fuel bill lighter
- Cars allow for extra luggage, but don’t overload your vehicle as that will mess with its performance and mileage.
- If you’re biking, you need to be smart about your luggage. Only carry the essentials in your backpacks wisely to utilize the space sufficiently.
- As a precaution, restock your first-aid kit and carry common medicines also!
8. Recharge Your FASTtag - it saves money!
- The toll rules in India have changed considerably recently. FASTag is an e-toll payment portal by the government of India for fast and easy toll payments on national highways.
- You may end up paying double charges if you do not have adequate balance in your car’s FASTag. Therefore, recharge the FASTag in advance to avoid penalties.
- Using FASTag at tolls will reduce your travel time as compared to paying toll charges by cash.
9. Be A Law-Abiding Motorist - Fines are not fine
- Actually, this rule should be followed not only during road trips, but also in daily life.
However, a road trip is meant to be a memorable experience. You don’t want to spoil it at any cost, literally. When you’re on the road, avoid rash driving and follow all traffic rules, sincerely.
- Carry all the necessary documents like RC, PUC, Driver’s License, Vehicle Insurance, etc. Or you will be at a risk of paying a heavy fine.
10. Make Sure you Insure - accidents can cost lives and moolah
- It is always recommended to buy or renew your insurance, especially before hitting the road on a trip. Mishaps can happen with anyone, and it is always better to be prepared, especially while travelling to a different place.
So next time you hit the road for a trip, keep these money-saving tips in mind. Happy road-tripping!