It's now officially springtime, but many areas of the country are still a bit chilly. With upcoming school vacations, getting away by travelling to a warmer location is an appealing option. Advance planning and clever tricks can reduce the cost of your road trip.
Before you commit to driving, compare other transportation options. To decide which is most cost effective, check bus and train prices, too. Compare your findings to the cost of the gas you'd need if you were to drive. Don't forget to factor in related taxi costs or other modes of transportation that will get you to your end destination.
Those who decide to drive can utilize some resourceful tactics to pay less for gas. If your supermarket has a gas station in the parking lot, you might be able to cash in the supermarket store rewards points that are connected to your membership card for a lower price at the gas pump. In addition, you could redeem the credit card reward points that you've earned to get a gift card you can use to purchase gas. Another option is to trade in your unwanted gift cards using a site such as Plastic Jungle for gift cards you can use at gas stations during your drive. You can also fill up for less along the way using smartphone apps like Gas Buddy, which identifies low cost gas nearby.
When you reach your destination, your lodging can be a major expense. If you know someone who lives in the town you are visiting on your trip, reduce the cost of your stay by asking a friend or relative if you can stay at their place. Another option is to redeem your travel reward points for a free hotel stay.
Jon Lal is the founder of coupons and cash back website BeFrugal.com, which saves shoppers an average of $27 per order thanks to coupons plus an average of 7 percent cash back at more than 3,000 stores.
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