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We're going to visit DH's parents for a couple weeks this summer and we're driving because DH refuses to fly anymore -- too big of a pain. It's ~1250 miles each way so it'll be quite awhile in the minivan and obviously quite a bit of gas money. We're already planning to pack snacks & drinks in a cooler to help avoid getting the munchies at convenience stores, and we're bringing stuff (groceries we already have, for the most part) to have picnic lunches/suppers too, rather than eating at restaurants. I've gotten the car checked out, gotten the tire pressure fixed, oil changed, etc. so hopefully we won't have any emergencies that way. We're staying with DH's parents once we get there, so we won't have a motel room beyond hopefully the two nights we'll be on the road.
Anything else I can do to make this trip cheaper? I've thought of leaving the back seat out of the van (removeable) because I think it improves gas mileage to have less weight.
I don't care how small it is I'm willing to consider it!
Make sure the motel you stay in has free breakfast, that should help with those meals.
We always use my husbands AARP card.
Also it is nice to know if your car insurance offers any road service if you need it. We had a flat tire on our trip this past spring break. With my husband having arthritis in his hands it was very hard to get the tire off that had originally been put on by one of those air drill things when we bought the tires. So we did have road service to help with that.
Hope this helps you out.
Also bring a spare jumper cable kit along.. I have a small container I keep them in I bring with me.. anti--freeze in it.. windshield washer fluid.. bug stuff ya know when your driving.. at night.. Also eating at lunch time is cheaper than at night so if you stop then along the way.. and maybe a drive thu.. until for supper.. I did that.. or stop for supper altogether at supper time depending on when you plan on stopping for the driving part..
I took a trip cross country from WI to Seattle it took me 2 days to get there.. 4 days of straight driving so I tried to budget as much as possible.. but I only had my aunt with me and my 10 year old step daughter. We stayed with a cousin when we got there.. I used coupon Entertainment/happenenings book and or a local at a rest stop hotel discount coupon for hotels we stayed at on the way. I would have to say that my favorites were the truck stop cafes and hotel right next door. Also almost all of the hotels I picked had free breakfasts. Also male sure your air conditioner works as mine worked kind of on the way there but not so much on the way back.
I also found that truck stops gas prices were cheaper for some reason so I gased up there when ever possible.
For the two nights at motels while driving, see if you can find one that gives AAA discounts (many do). That can save you some cash.
Also, check the internet for motel deals en route. You would be shocked at how many coupons and deals you can find.
On the road, we usually stop at subway sandwich shops and buy the 12 inch ones for $5. You can eat half and put the other half in a cooler for next meal (or snack). Unlike some other fast food, they actually have vegetables on them.
Have a great trip.