Traveling home from school for break can be an expensive endeavor, whether you’re flying cross-country or only driving a few hours away. Here are some tips you can use to save your hard-earned money while making the trip.
1) Carpool with a Friend
Once you factor in gas, tolls, and meals, driving home for break can be expensive. Ask a friend who lives close to you or along the route to your home to carpool. Carpooling can split the costs in half for both of you.
2) Save on Gas
Whether you’re carpooling or driving solo, gas is probably the biggest expense associated with driving home. Free rewards programs that lower the cost of each gallon can help you save when you travel. But far in advance of your trip, you’ll need to check for participating gas stations, then sign up right away so you have time to accumulate those rewards. You can also save by researching the cheapest gas stations on your way to and from school. Some mapping apps will show you prices if you search for gas stations as a stop on your route. There are also standalone apps that allow you to input your zip code to see the best fuel prices in your area.
3) Pack Smart
It may seem like you need to bring all your personal belongings for the trip home, but it’s important to pack light. This will cut down on luggage expenses if you’re flying home or can save you time packing and unpacking a car full of things you probably won’t use. Plus, when your car isn’t carrying extra weight, you might save a little bit on gas.
4) Buy Snacks Ahead of Time
Buy snacks at the local grocery store before heading home to avoid expensive airport or rest stop prices. Grocery stores near your college may even offer a student discount that can help save you even more.
5) Drive the Speed Limit
Hitting the gas when you’re out on the open road is tempting. But outside of being unsafe, there are other costs that can come with speeding. For instance, some statistics that show you can lose fuel efficiency when you drive at higher speeds. Going over the speed limit can also get you stuck with a speeding ticket, which can be a major expense. Save yourself money by simply driving the speed limit.
6) Know Your Route Options
Another way to save money when flying or driving home during a break is to map out the cheapest route. If you’re flying home, compare the cost of direct flights to flights with layovers, and check prices with different airlines, as well as airports, if there are multiple options close to your home.
If you’re driving, there are probably several different paths you can take. If you can find one that avoids tolls without adding too much time to your trip, take it to save that extra expense.
Next time you’re headed home, use these tips to save money while you’re on the road. For more money-saving tips, visit our WalletWorks page.