If financial constraints are keeping you from exploring the world, it may be time to reassess your approach to travel. From road trips across the country to jaunts across your state, there are plenty of ways to curb costs, so your biggest challenge is finding more days away from the office, not replenishing your bank account.
Make reservations in advance. Shopping early for lodging is one way to save. Give yourself plenty of time to watch deals so you can grab the best one, and if it’s possible, be flexible with the travel dates. Shifting your trip by even a day can sometimes make a difference in the rates.
Utilize rewards programs. Shopper loyalty programs make it easy to save money on essential purchases. Not only can you access exclusive card-holder discounts, but you can accumulate rewards points or even earn cash back. For example, with the Shell | Fuel Rewards® credit cards, you can save 10 cents per gallon (up to 20 gallons) every time you fill up at Shell, in addition to earning rebates on other qualifying purchases. See store for details or learn more at shell.us/roadtrip .
Share the journey. If your travel party consists of multiple families, consolidate into as few vehicles as you can. This helps minimize costs on everything from gas to per-vehicle admission fees at destinations like national parks.
Pack snacks. Next to lodging, food is the biggest expense you’re likely to encounter on a road trip. Consider packing snacks for the road so you can save money while managing your hunger. Alternatively, an option like the Shell | Fuel Rewards Mastercard lets you earn rebates on qualifying purchases made with the card.
Be conscious of your gas mileage. You may not have much of a choice when it comes to which vehicle you’ll drive, but paying more attention to your driving habits can stretch your gas tank a little further. Be sure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure. If your vehicle is a gas guzzler, consider renting a more efficient vehicle for the trip. Weigh the additional cost of the rental versus what you may spend in fuel for your personal car before making a decision.
Research attractions. Admission fees to various attractions can really add up, but a little pre-planning can help you capitalize on discount days and other special deals. If your plans are flexible, you can schedule your trip around those offers to capture the same experiences at a significantly lower price tag.
Travel doesn’t have to drain your wallet. Managing your trips with practical tips like these may even free up enough funds so you can fit in an extra adventure or two. (Family Features)