Summer has arrived! School is finishing up for the kids and hopefully you’re gearing up to take a well-earned vacation.
There’s lots of options out there, but whether you live here in the lower mainland or out east in Edmonton, Calgary, or beyond, there’s a special Canadian tradition that I intend to take full advantage of this summer.
The summer road trip.
This is the second part in a series of posts about inexpensive summer holidays.
There’s nothing better than rolling the windows down, pumping some tunes, and setting out to explore a portion of our beautiful country. Plus, embarking on a road trip for summer vacation makes it easy to keep your trip in check budget-wise.
Here’s how to save a few extra bucks when you’re out on the road this summer.
1. You’re Already On It: Driving Instead of Flying
I never really understood why people take expensive flights to hot climates in the summer - it was 30 degrees in the shade in Vancouver yesterday! So the mere fact that you’re using your time off to take a road trip means you’re already saving money on some well-earned R & R.
2. Watch Your Fuel Consumption
The biggest, most unavoidable expense on a road trip is the cost to fuel up your ride. If you’re budget-conscious then chances are you’re already driving a vehicle that’s fuel-efficient, so good job! No matter what you’re driving, you can save on gas by:
- Driving the speed limit and keeping your speed steady
- Inflate your tires properly before you leave
- Plan your route!
3. Eat Smart
Paying close attention to the big expenses is important, but it’s also budget-friendly to keep an eye on all the little things that can add up to a big bill when your trip wraps up. Food is a big one - it’s easy (and tempting) to eat all your meals in restaurants. True story, one time my sister was on a road trip and she sent me a photo of her cooking up some road-side pirogies on a small fuel-powered grill. That’s a healthy meal for a fraction of what you’d pay in a restaurant.
It also pays to be smart with the snacks. Keep some healthy nuts and veggies in the car to keep the cravings in check while you sit still for hours at a time.
Here’s three things no one wants on a road trip:
- Famished children in the backseat
- Starving partners in the passenger seat
- Regret after giving in, eating a huge meal, and sitting uncomfortably for another 3 hours on the road
4. Camping vs Hotels
If your road trip spans several days in locations that don’t include a welcoming extended family, then you’ll need to set up shop overnight. Hotels with waterslides and continental breakfasts can be great for the whole family, but multiple nights in a hotel adds up quick.
Pack a tent and your camping gear and tell yourself that this is the summer you live off the land for a little bit. Camping is a rewarding and relaxing way to enjoy the rustic nature of Western Canada, provided you know what you’re doing just a little bit.
Alright, all set? Everybody jump in the car, let’s go!
Oh yeah, don’t forget the kids!